The Key to Your Fitness Routine Isn’t Motivation

No hacks, just habits.

Motivation: It’s the reason that you do just about anything. It’s why you start exercising, saving money, or going back to school. There’s just one problem: motivation is fleeting. You may have met your goal of exercising 4 days last week, but this week it’s snowing and you’d rather stay curled up on the couch. You may have eaten nothing but salads and baked chicken breast all week long, but now it’s Saturday and you’re dying for brownies. 

There are plenty of motivation killers. See if any of the following sound familiar:

Boredom– Lacking variety, excitement depleted.

Perfectionism– Thinking that you’re not good enough or you’ll be a beginner forever.

Stress– There’s too much on your plate.

Comparison– Comparing yourself to what others are doing or have accomplished.

Others– Being motivated by the attention or praise of other people.

Expectations– Setting your goals too high too soon.

Instead of expecting to feel motivated every day, focus on consistency. Consistency is something you can strive for when you are lacking the internal motivation to stick with your routine. How do you accomplish this?

  • Make sure your routine is something you’re excited about doing.
  • Create a target- a measurable goal to track your progress against.
  • Set a date with yourself for the same time each day. Have this event in your calendar so that nothing else can be scheduled at that time.
  • Prepare today for tomorrow. Do whatever you need to in order to eliminate any possible excuses when the time comes.
  • Have an accountabili-buddy- someone to check in with regularly.
  • This is bigger than you. Think about how your accomplishments impact and inspire those who are important to you.

Remember: progress is not black and white, and success isn’t linear. The key to remaining consistent in your routine is remembering that every single day does not have to be 100%- the “all or nothing” mentality is the ultimate killer of consistency. When you make a commitment to yourself, you are committing to accept the good days with the tough ones, the successes with the slip-ups, the highs with the lows. It’s okay to have that brownie! It’s okay to want to walk instead of jog! It’s okay to miss a day because you accept your progress where it is and tomorrow you will get back on track. Dedication is more powerful than motivation. Every day you have a choice to make- choose yourself.