How to Workout When You Don’t Feel Motivated

posted on July 31, 2017 | by Sam Brown

How to Workout When You Don’t Feel Motivated

How to workout when you don't feel motivated, wearing Urban Outfitters workout gear

I LOVE feeling motivated, but I’ve never figured out how to keep that feeling for more than a few days – particularly when it comes to working out! So instead of writing a post about how to stay motivated, I thought I’d share my advice on how to workout even when you don’t feel motivated (because that scenario is so much more achievable). In this post, I’m going to show you the step-by-step process that has helped me stay consistent with working out – let’s get into it!

Step 1: Make A Plan

The first step is to make a specific plan about exactly what workout you’re going to do and exactly when you’re going to do it. Sounds obvious, right? But so many of us don’t actually do this because we’re so scared we won’t stick to our plans, which actually makes it even harder to follow through!

To make a plan, all you need to do is make decisions about the who, what, when, where and how. And it needs to be done in advance. Here are a couple of examples: ‘I will go to the gym today at 5:30pm to do a spin class.‘ or ‘I will wake up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, wash my face, get into my workout gear and immediately go to the gym to do a 60-minute strength session‘.

It’s really important that your plan isn’t vague (that’s a sign you haven’t truly committed to your goal) but it can be flexible – as long as there’s no wiggle room for excuses! Because it’s super easy to make mistakes with planning healthy habits (like working out) and there are quite a few considerations that need to be made if you have an all-or-nothing mindset like me, planning is one of the main things I cover in my online course Dream Habit: A 28-Day Habit Bootcamp For Perfectionists! But the key is to be specific and use empowering language (‘I will’ or ‘I’m going to’ instead of ‘I hope’ or ‘I’ll try’).

Step 2: Follow your plan

The second step is to follow your plan. Which means that, when the time comes to do your workout, you don’t ask yourself whether you ‘feel like it’. You just do it.

And that’s easier said than done! I’m not saying your brain won’t scream out in protest and tell you that it doesn’t matter if you put it off for just one more day (our brains are designed to keep us safe and comfortable and that’s all it’s trying to do). But that doesn’t mean you should listen to it. And with practice, it becomes easier and easier to ignore that voice. And once you’ve created a new habit there will be less protesting, promise!

The good news is that you already have this skill – you go to work even if you don’t feel like it, you brush your teeth even if you don’t feel like it. You know how to do this! You just need to learn how to do it with the things that seem negotiable (but actually have the biggest impact on your life – like working out). Which brings me to step 3…

Step 3: Repeat

Being able to workout (or do anything) when you don’t feel like it is just like building a muscle, so repeat repeat repeat! And if you’ve got an all-or-nothing mindset like me, it’s really important that you’re kind to yourself if you mess up! There will be times where you don’t follow through with your plan and that’s ok. You’re human. The most important thing is that you don’t make yourself wrong for messing up, so that the next day you can get back on track (instead of abandoning working completely)! If you’d like more advice on how to workout when you don’t feel motivated (and how to stop triggering your all-or-nothing mindset), make sure you download my free guide!

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful!

Do you have any tips on working out when you don’t feel motivated? Let me know in the comments!

And just so you know, you can find more tips on how to stay consistent with healthy habits on my blog Smart Twenties.