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The New Year's Dedication Has Worn Off– How Do I Stay Motivated to go to the Gym?

The first six weeks of 2024 have come and gone and, with it, perhaps the New Year's motivation to get to the gym.  You may be at a point where you don’t feel like going to the gym anymore; life has started back up, kids are back in school, partners are back at work, and responsibilities need to be handled.  Life is busy and the motivation you had at the start of the year may be waning. So how do you get to the gym when you don’t feel like it?  Should you rely just on motivation, or are there other strategies that might be more effective? 

Remember Your “Why”

Each person is different and therefore will have different reasons for getting into the gym.  Whether you’re coming to the gym to get healthy, stay healthy, rehab an injury, or want the community feels, remembering your WHY is a big step to staying committed.  During the time you may not be feeling motivated, remind yourself of why you’re doing this. Sure, it may be hard, but you’re at the gym to do hard things!  Part of being resilient is learning how to accomplish challenging tasks.   

Set SMART Goals 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.  When setting goals, we ask our clients and members to make them SMART.  So, for example, say your goal is to start doing unassisted pull-ups.  Here’s how to make it SMART:

  • Specific: Instead of saying “I want to do pull-ups”, make it specific.  

  • I want to complete 3 unassisted pull-ups. 

  • Measurable: How are you going to track your goal? 

  • By doing 3 days of targeted back and shoulder training at RF.

  • Achievable: Is this goal challenging but realistic for you? 

  • I am already training at RF 4x a week, so I believe I can accomplish this goal with specific training. 

  • Relevant: This is your WHY! 

  • So I can feel proud of myself. 

  • Time-Bound: What’s your deadline? 

  • By the end of July. 

So the goal of “I want to start doing pull ups” becomes “I want to complete 3 unassisted pull ups by completing 3 days of targeted shoulder and back training so I can feel proud of myself. I will accomplish this by the end of July.” 

Feelings Don’t Always Matter

Getting to the gym becomes challenging when it’s the end of a long work day and you’re just not feeling it. It can be just as hard when the alarm goes off at 5:30am or when your loved one says, “Just skip the gym today.”  This is where you can keep in mind your “why” and your SMART goal/s. Additionally, as tough as it may be, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t really matter if you feel like it; what does matter is the commitment you made to yourself.  You wanted to change something in your life to get a result and at times that’s going to be hard.

That brings us to our next point…

Practice Willpower

When you first started working out, you didn’t come to the gym and workout for 8 hours a day. Starting that way would have, at best, left you exhausted and, at worst, potentially injured and turned you off to the gym altogether. Jumping from 0 to 100 in your workout can be too much for the muscles and willpower works the same.

Though the brain is not a muscle, we can still train it similar to one. Build up your willpower over time just like you’ve built your muscles up— with consistency!

Instead of saying, I haven’t been to the gym since 2023 but I’m going to start going 5 days a week, perhaps start with twice a week. Practice and get consistent with your willpower on both days and, over time, coming to the gym on those two days will be a consistent habit and your willpower will build. From here, it can be easier to add more workout days. 

Recruit Accountability Buds!

One of the best parts about belonging to RF is the amazing community we have. Utilize it! Make a friend in a fitness class or tell a coach when you’re planning to come back again. As coaches, if we know you need help with accountability, we can work with you to strategize techniques to keep you accountable. You matter to us and we want to help you succeed however we can!

Ready to get started?

We have a new Learn to Lift Program starting March 4th. Set up a free intro session with us today. Click here -> Intro Session

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