Let's face it--all of us have days when we feel too tired to work out, or our minds are just not in the right place to really focus on giving it our best effort. This is an extremely rare condition known as "being human." Try as we might, there will simply be days when our energy level isn't what it should be, and we would rather do just about anything than exercise. So what can you do when you just don't feel like working out? Below are some workout motivation tips to help you when your enthusiasm is nowhere to be found.
1. Recognize that there's nothing "wrong" with you when you feel this way once in a while; as a matter of fact, if you plan on working out on a regular basis, these types of feelings are virtually inevitable. You're not falling off the wagon, and you're not a lazy person; you're simply experiencing the full spectrum of emotions and feelings that can come along with living a fitness-focused lifestyle. It's important to acknowledge this fact, because if you don't, you run the risk of beating yourself up or falling into a self-defeating mindset that just perpetuates your lack of motivation. Just keep in mind that it's not what you feel, but what you do, that determines whether or not you're on the right track.
2. Remember that even if you feel like you're a thousand miles away from even starting your workout routine, you can at least take one small step in that direction, such as changing into your workout clothes. Nobody's saying that you have to commit to the entire workout routine yet...just change into your clothes. This will at least get you moving in the right direction while you're contemplating whether you want to do the workout or not. Once you're in your workout clothes, now just fill up your water bottle. Don't worry about how many sets or reps you have to do; just fill up your bottle. What you're doing is completing small pre-workout steps that will at least get you started, and what you'll discover is that many times the motivation will kick in after you start.
3. Sometimes a little negative motivation can actually help you get going. Dig up some old (or possibly recent) pictures where you simply don't like the way you looked. You know, the one with the unflattering side profile, or the other one where you look like you're too big for your clothes. Think about all of the times where you felt insecure about how you looked, whether it was at the beach, or at that office party, or any other time where you wish you would have been in better shape.
Use those negative emotions as fuel to help you get more determined to lose that weight and change the way you look. Get angry if you need to; sometimes a little anger can provide you with the boost you need to fight against those feelings of dread or lethargy and go start your workout. Some of the most successful people in the world have used negative motivation as a way to keep them going through the tough times. NBA legend Michael Jordan was actually cut from his sophomore basketball team in high school, and he frequently refers to that negative event as one of the primary motivators that kept him working harder to improve his game.
4. When it comes to your exercise routine, don't be afraid to mix it up a little bit. Sometimes we can lose our enthusiasm for working out when we feel stuck in a rut, doing the same routine every time. Resolve to switch things up, possibly by adding a few new exercises to your regimen, or by simply changing the order in which you perform your exercises. Sometimes all you need is a little variety in your workout to reinvigorate you and breathe new life into your routine. The excitement of trying something new can many times provide the motivation you need to get going.
5. If you really just can't do the workout you planned to do, still do something. The important thing is to move. If all else fails and you simply can't make it to the club for your workout, then take a walk after dinner, clean the kitchen, vacuum the living room, do some yard work or play some catch with your kids. You'll still get the feeling of accomplishing something and you'll stay off the couch and away from the computer and TV.
Keep in mind that all of us, at one time or another, have experienced those feelings of dread or reluctance before working out. The important thing to remember is that when you actually overcome those feelings, you're communicating an important message to your own mind: You value the accomplishment of your goals more than the convenience of the moment. This will build the confidence and resolve you need to push past any obstacles in your way, so you can stay on track and reach your fitness goals.