We’ve all been there…you’ve been grinding out a new workout regime for the past couple weeks, hitting your goals and feeling great about your progress, when all of a sudden you’re hit with it—the fitness slump.
Whether it’s stress, stagnation, or lack of sleep, there are plenty of mental blockers that take the fun away from maintaining a regular exercise routine. So how can you care for your mental energy and stay the path towards a healthier, stronger you?
Follow these 5 steps to refuel your fitness motivation.
1. Be gentle with yourself.
The first step is to forgive yourself for losing motivation in the first place. If you missed a week of workouts or only ate banana bread for dinner (it happens to the best of us…), resist the instinct to punish and berate yourself. Motivation levels naturally ebb and flow, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you let those low points define you. Accept and acknowledge those fluctuations, and simply try again tomorrow.
2. Set tangible goals.
If only lifestyle shifts could happen at the snap of your fingers! Habits are built gradually, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is giving up before your body has a chance to adapt to your new routine.
We recommend keeping a log of smaller accomplishments that eventually build up to your loftier goals. Training for a marathon? Start with the goal of running a few miles 3x a week, then increase your mileage and frequency over time. The satisfaction of ticking off the boxes can offer you the boost of confidence you need to stay motivated for the long haul. A month from now, take a look through your fitness log and marvel at the progress you made, one step at a time.
3. Just get moving.
We know, we know, easier said than done. It seems counterintuitive but action leads to motivation, not just the other way around. If you’re feeling sluggish, pushing your body to get moving triggers your brain to produce feel-good chemicals—and it’s not just endorphins! Exercise encourages a natural release of dopamine and serotonin, creating a positive feedback loop that boosts your mood and inspires you to keep moving. So to begin, begin.
4. Celebrate your victories.
Positive reinforcement can be a powerful motivational tool, and there’s no shame in treating yourself (every now and again). The trick is to pick rewards that you can use to further fuel your wellness journey. Our favorites are to maximize our rest days with bath soaks and candles, or invest in high-quality workout gear we feel fantastic in.
5. Find your own, unique path.
Just because your friend got ripped doing deadlifts does not mean it’s right for you. If you find yourself dreading the days you drag yourself to the gym, that’s a pretty good sign you’re not going to be able to keep up your routine for very long. Instead, experiment with different fitness tools to find one you genuinely enjoy. If you look forward to the activity itself, getting in shape will come naturally!