Losing Your Motivation? How to Motivate Yourself to Workout

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I was physically active until the age of 32. Weight training. Running. Basketball. You name it. I was always moving, and had a very fast metabolism.

And then life happened.

My first daughter was born in 1999. It was a new chapter in my life. I devoted all my time to being a family man, and set aside my active lifestyle.

Related: Maximize Your Motivation With These 10 Tactics

Lack of sleep also took its toll on my willpower. My food choices were awful. Processed pizzas. Doritos. Ice cream. Very few fruits and veggies. Mostly trash foods.

From 1999 to 2007 my weight skyrocketed from 220 pounds to 318 pounds. It eventually peaked at 346 pounds during my powerlifting years.

This weight nearly killed me. Literally. Fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes left my liver unable to efficiently process minerals. I was one donut from a major heart attack.

I was one donut away from death.

A photo posted by Steve Shaw (@bendthebarman) on

Article author and Tiger Fitness Editorial Director Steve Shaw’s dramatic transformation,

During these “fat gain years” I was really motivated to get back into shape and lose the weight. Or at least I thought I was motivated. Over the course of 13 years (1999 to 2012) I must have started a new diet at least 100 times.

Occasionally I got lucky and lost 10 to 20 pounds, eventually gaining them back and more, but generally I failed miserably. I wasn’t motivated. At least not in the truest sense of the word. I learned a lot about motivation during these years. Eventually I lost over 100 pounds.

What made the difference? Learning that motivation isn’t just a feeling. Staying motivated requires action. It requires cultivation. It requires you to do things each day that help sustain your long term motivation.

A feeling of motivation will fade unless you take action each day to sustain it. That’s what this article is about. The following tips aren’t magic, but they will help you stay on track… If you actually take them seriously and follow them.

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout

#1 – Surround yourself with like-minded people

This is a critical step. If your life is filled with folks on the same journey, more of your time, texts messages, and conversations will be about goals and progress.

Bring people into your life that motivate you. Folks that are already walking the walk, and have made progress. Positive people that are pursuing change with a passion.

If you are surrounded by positivity, it will be harder to stray back into old habits. You will have a constant reminder that you are not alone, and that anything is possible.

#2 – Distance yourself from negative people

Negative people suck. They drain the life out of you. I call them “life suckers.”

You need to toss life sucking friends out of your inner circle. I know this can be a difficult step, but it must occur. Negativity is a cancer. You must surgically remove cancer cells from your life if you want to increase your chances of success.

This may be harder than it seems. Perhaps you are married to a life sucker; someone that dissuades you and tells you that your goals are stupid or unattainable. What do you do then? There must be a talk.

If your partner is unwilling to support you then you have difficult days ahead. A decision must be made. Do you stay are fight negativity, or move on and forge a new positive life?

Distance must be place between you and negative co-workers, or negative family members. This can be difficult as well.

Remain polite. Remain a good person. But refuse to engage in conversations that bring you down. You have a right to refuse involvement in negative discussions.

#3 – Watch a video each day that pertains to your goal

YouTube is a wonderful thing. It is filled with a ton of channels and information for every goal and interest under the sun. And it can be accessed on your phone, computer, or television. Get out there and explore it.

Subscribe to channels so you can receive notifications of updates via email. Each morning while eating breakfast watch a video that pertains to your goals. Multitask. Eat something healthy and feed your motivation.

If you start to feel detached from your goal, or are losing motivation, watch another video. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to be proactive and watch something motivational each time you eat a major meal.

Feed your brain. Learn more about exercise form. Digest tips. Refine your diet and training.

#4 – Read an article each day that pertains to your goal

An article is an investment. It requires time to digest, but there is a payoff. Choose articles that provide tips, useful information, or motivation. Body transformations stories are also a great reading choice.

Find websites with an amazing amount of quality content, like Tiger Fitness, and slowly work your way through the library of information. This will not only help you to stay focused and motivated, but it will also allow you to refine your gym and diet approach and get better results. Improved results always forge stronger motivation.

 

A photo posted by TigerFitness.com (@tigerfitness) on

Make sure to follow Tiger Fitness on Instagram.

#5 – Join Instagram and “friend” those on the same path

Don’t dismiss this tip. Instagram is filled with fitness fanatics and body transformation freaks, just like yourself. It’s a very positive and encouraging environment.

Invest time each day exploring accounts that have similar goals or similar journeys. Make friends, and make sure to leave encouraging comments.

Interaction is key.

You will develop quality new friendships. They will take a vested interest in your journey.

Keep things real. Share your pictures, struggles, and successes. Allow people to support you when you need someone to lean on, and pat you on the back when you reach a goal.

#6 – Share your journey, allow others to hold you accountable

Be honest about your journey. Positivity doesn’t mean pretending things are always great. Keep it real.

Post your pictures, workouts, and progress stats on social media. Invite others to hold you accountable, and to assist you with diet, training, and exercise form advice.

By having a few accountability partners it’s harder to hide. You will be less likely to binge eat, blow off a workout, and try to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich.

#7 – Adopt a new lifestyle

Don’t simply approach training or diet as a temporary journey to a new body. It has to be a lifestyle change.

Adopt a completely new lifestyle. Live now like the person you envision yourself becoming. Eat healthier, train harder, supplement properly, and don’t allow food temptations to enter your house.

Change requires a completely new lifestyle. To become a new person you must live like a new person.

Prioritize the things you invest time in.  Replace watching TV on Sunday with meal prep. Ditch the fast food trips and pack healthy, high protein snacks.

Sell out to a new way of living. Sail your boat to a new island and burn it! Burn the darn boat. Leave yourself no way of escape.

#8 – Join a gym that motivates you

This is a big one. Find a high energy gym that motivates you to work out hard.

There is nothing worse that entering a gym that feels like a morgue; drab, colorless walls, barely moving humans that look more like zombies than fitness fanatics.

Spend a little extra time finding a gym that feels right to you. It might cost a few extra bucks per month but the investment will be worth it.

Don’t sign a contract until you’ve had a chance to train there several times.

Also, make sure your daily trip to the gym doesn’t involve an insane commute. You’ll be less likely to make a long drive when you’re having a bad day or experiencing fatigue.

#9 – Never detach yourself from your new community

I’ve seen this happen a hundred times.

An online friend will be super active for several months, and then slowly pull away. They will stop posting frequent updates, and their level of social media interaction will dramatically decrease.

This is trouble.

When someone detaches from interaction with others who are working to achieve the same goals, their motivation almost always decreases. The result is rarely good. Eventually they disappear for weeks, and often months.

Upon returning you find that they fell off the wagon and returned to old habits. They stopped working out and started eating like crap.

Whatever you do remain engaged with your community of fitness friends, either online or in real life.

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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.