Rebooting Your Routine: What to do when you lack motivation
When people embark on a full body workout as part of a weight loss plan, often, a predictable pattern ensues. At first, there’s the excitement to take on the challenge, shopping for new workout apparel and options for a venue, be it a fitness club or a gym. But after a few weeks or months, a lull can set in. You may hit a weight loss plateau, and that enthusiasm that was brimming over may now be barely filling the cup. This is an important crossroads because it marks the point where your workout routine either becomes a habit or goes by the wayside. To help you take the right path at the fork in the road, here are some tips:
Go for your goals.
As part of a weight loss program, exercise routine, or healthy eating plan , goal setting can help keep you motivated and on the right track. There are two types of goals—outcomes goals and process goals—and both are important for ultimate success in sticking with your workout routine. Outcome goals focus on what you hope to achieve in the end, be it to lose 40 pounds, lower your cholesterol, or look more toned. Process goals are those that help you achieve the outcome goal. For instance, you may plan to hit the Curves circuit three to four times a week for 30 minutes, or eat at least five servings of vegetables a day. Process goals are important because they help you adopt new behaviors and change bad habits that are necessary to lose weight.
As you set your process goals, keep the SMART strategy in mind. Goals should be the following:
Specific: For example, I will go to Curves for at least 30 minutes three times this week. This goal spells out what you will do, when you will do it, and for how long you will do it.
Measurable: To make a goal measurable, put a value to it. Instead of saying, “I will eat less,” say, “I will eat no more than 1,200 calories per day.” Instead of, “I will exercise more,” say, “I will take a walk for 30 minutes every night this week at 7:00.”
Attainable: In order to motivate you, goals should be realistic. If you have 100 pounds to lose, don’t aim to lose it all in three months, for example. Instead, set smaller goals and celebrate them along the way.
Relevant: Goals should also be relevant to you. If you have bad knees, don’t sign up for a half-marathon. Instead, try something like completing 10 trips through the Curves circuit in the next few weeks.
Time-limited: Setting a time limit for achieving your goals can add to motivation. For instance, if you want to lose 25 pounds, pick a realistic date by which to lose the weight, say three months, and do what you can to achieve it.1
Do Fitness with a Friend:
Research shows, when you exercise with others, you’re more likely to stick with your workout routine. Plus, to state the obvious, you’ll have a lot more fun! Here are the some of the specific benefits of kicking it at Curves with workout buddy:
- Sharing the workout will help you bond
- When you’re in it together, the toughest part of the circuit will feel easier
- Knowing your friend will be waiting for you will make you more accountable. You’ll be more likely to show up and show up on time.
- You will make friends you can do things with outside of your ladies only gym.2
Summon some social media support:
In addition to the real live friend sweating next to you, social media friends can offer some exercise motivation, too. According to a 2015 report from the University of Pennsylvania, healthy social support and competition on social media can motivate people to get to the gym more. Social media can make you more accountable, keep you on track, and give you the added emotional boost you need on the days you don’t feel up to it.3
Remember why you started:
If you feel yourself losing interest in your whole body workout, remind yourself of why you chose to start in the first place. Perhaps you want to get in better shape so you can be more active with your children or grandchildren. Or maybe you want to lose weight to help combat your genetic risk for cardiovascular disease. Or, you may have decided you want to feel better about yourself when beach season hits. Whatever your reasons, repeat them when the going gets tough during your workout routine.