5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Train (when you really don’t want to)

When browsing social media and see professional athletes hard at work for their next big “thing”, I sometimes feel discouraged thinking “How is it that they always seem motivated to train and workout?!”

There are about a hundred different things in life that can try to drag us down. It is true that some personalities are naturally more accustomed to self-motivation, but the rest of us are constantly influenced by things in our daily lives. Studies have shown for a while that many of us in various parts of the world are over worked, underpaid, and way too stressed out. This makes motivation to train hard for particular dreams and goals difficult. How many of you have been in the situation where after working all day, all week, all you want to do after coming home is sleep, veg out, and decompress? How many of you end up in that situation far too often to where a month later you noticed you’ve gained 5 pounds, and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything?

SO, how can we break that stride? 

One critical piece many of us constantly forget is that exercise IS therapeutic, releases endorphins, and helps us feel better. Getting outside is also therapeutic, releases endorphins, and helps us feel better. But when we are in a motivation rut, we are simply “too tired” or feel like we can’t put forth the effort, it helps to take baby steps. Here are a few ways to start:

Simply get out of the house:

Go for a walk around the block, sit out on the porch, lay in the grass, go to a park, no matter how small, just getting some fresh air and sunlight can make a huge difference.

Do a quick at home workout:

It doesn’t have to be long, even like 10 minutes can help boost your mood. Just shut yourself in your bedroom alone and away from anyone who might bug you, turn on some music and do some push-ups, sit ups, yoga, whatever you feel like, as long as its active and distracting.

Go for the smoothie instead of the ice cream:

How many of us are guilty of eating comfort food after a long day? It is totally natural for us to crave sugary treats when we are upset or stressed out. But making even the smallest change to a healthier food choice can make a big difference. The reality is, eating junk food will only make you feel crappier. But getting vital nutrients that you need (and are probably missing after a stressful day) can help give you a better boost. 

Watch a motivating movie:

If you are really having a hard time getting off the couch or feel like you just need the rest, watch something that will re-ignite that flame inside. The Secret Life of Water Mitty is one of my personal favorites. It really brings out the wanderer inside. Everest may be a sad story about the ’96 disaster, but it the views and scenery will remind you what you of your goals! Free Solo is another great example. It is about Alex Honnold’s free solo climb up El Capitan is absolutely amazing and beautiful to watch. (I have seen it like 8 times.)

Review your goals:

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves what we are fighting for. By going over your plan and reevaluating your goals, you can remind yourself of what is important and why it’s important. It will help re-align your priorities, and maybe you will be able to make adjustments to your busy schedule to help better fit in training. 

Whatever you decide to do, be honest with yourself. No one else is going to care if you workout today or not. No one else is counting on you to live out your dreams and goals but yourself. If you start saying things like “Oh, I’ll just do it tomorrow” to yourself, you are going to find that tomorrow never comes. Nothing worth having in this life ever comes easy…. even when we wish it would. So start now, and you will be taking the first step in the right direction.


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