Want to know a secret?
I haven’t been “motivated” to workout in years.
You read that correctly. I very rarely feel motivated to workout. The other day, I spent some time doing a short Q&A session on my Instagram stories (if you’re not following me there – please do! I spend a lot of time there) on all things training related. One topic that continually came up was the topic of motivation. Specifically, what do I do when I’m not motivated to workout? I shared that I haven’t felt traditionally motivated to train in years. What I mean by “traditionally motivated” is the way that most people and social media conceptualize motivation.
Social media can paint a deceptive picture of what sustainable health and fitness look like. This type of “Motivation” tends to look something like bounding out of bed to go to the gym, smiling through your entire workout, and going home and laughing while eating a salad. It’s all positivity! And enthusiasm! And being super excited every single day! This is just not real life. Everyone has bad days, bad moods, and days where the last thing you want to do is put a bar on your back or go sweat it out at the gym.
It is 100% okay to not be feeling it sometimes.
It is normal to not feel endless enthusiasm.
It’s easy to feel like there is something wrong with you if you don’t share this seemingly endless enthusiasm. This is not the case. The presentation of motivation is failing you; not the other way around. Motivation, like anything else, is individual. What works for one person may not work for you. The drive that fuels your long term success and goals does not have to fit into a box or formula.
Motivation is not a pinterest quote. It is not pretty cursive words on a perfectly contrived, faded, slightly out of focus background. It is not a perfectly posed #fitspo photo with a narrative of text about how hashtagblessed you are and how excited you are day in and day out.If pretty pinterest images and quotes do motivate, then keep collecting them! If they don't, that's okay too. Motivation can be messy and difficult and maybe not so pretty. It is unique and it is your own.
If I'm not motivated, what does keep me going to the gym?
The fact that I have goals that I want to reach. These are goals that I have made and that resonate with me. They’re important to me. They mean something to me. These goals will not just happen and success will not just fall into my lap. I must work for it. In the realms of strength, everything is earned and nothing is given. I am firmly in charge of my outcomes and the efforts that I put in to achieve those outcomes.
Does that mean I skip the gym when I’m not feeling it? Not at all. Sacrifices DO have to be made, being uncomfortable is a given, and it is NOT easy. I cannot reach my goals without putting in the work, even on the days that maybe I’m not totally enthused about it. Is it always perfect and according to plan? Absolutely not. Keeping space for life to happen and keeping the perspective that the barbell will always be there is also important to keeping me “motivated”.
So don’t fret if you’re not feeling it one day, one week, or one month. Change it up. Explore your goals. Work hard for them. Create your own version of motivation.
Tell me: What goals are you working towards? What keeps you motivated?