What causes a lack of motivation?
As a health adviser, I’m aware that a lot of people struggle with motivation to either start or keep exercising. Here are some of the reasons why you might be finding it hard to be active.
- You might dread working out because it feels hard and painful to start with, and you’re finding it hard to fall in love with exercise.
- You might not be seeing results straight away, even after a couple of weeks of working out.
- You haven’t found a workout or type of exercise that you love.
- You’re focusing on the wrong benefits, such as the many physical benefits, instead of the mood-boosting effects and having more energy.
But, getting more exercise can help boost our mood, and feel less stressed. So below are my top tips for getting moving again.
How do I get motivated to exercise?
1. Set yourself realistic goals
If you’re really struggling to find motivation for working out, it might not be the right time to set yourself a huge challenge. Maybe you could try and get out for a walk every day or go for a run twice a week. If you don’t like being outside when it’s dark, why not try home workouts? You’re more likely to stick to a plan that feels achievable.
2. Celebrate the small wins
Breaking down your main goal into smaller steps is also a good way to get motivated. Maybe you would like to run 5K eventually, but your first goal could be to run 2K without stopping. Reflecting on your achievements along the way will help to keep your spirits up.
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people
Feeling a sense of competition can be motivating. But it can also be easy to look at what other people have achieved and feel bad and unmotivated about your own efforts. If this happens, try to focus on your own goals and the things you would like to achieve instead.
4. Think about the benefits
Try to think about why you want to be more active. It might be that you want to get fitter or spend more time outside enjoying nature. Reflect on these reasons when you are finding it hard to stick to your plan.
5. Prepare for setbacks
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you lose motivation again. Try to reflect on why you’re finding it more difficult to be active and adjust your goals to get back on track.