We’ve all been there. For the last few weeks you’ve been crushing it at the gym and doing great with your nutrition. You feel like you are really starting to make some progress and can’t wait until your next session or chance to properly prep your meals. Then out of nowhere, it’s gone. Maybe you missed one workout that got your schedule out of whack and you couldn’t right the ship. Maybe one of the kids was sick and you couldn’t get out to the store in time to do your food prep and it really set you back. No matter what the cause, we’ve all found ourselves at one point in time lacking the motivation to do the things we need to be doing to succeed. A few members asked me recently about this so I tried to come up with some common things I’ve seen when people come to me “lacking motivation”. Here are the top 3 reasons I see people fall off.
1. You don’t know where you want to go…
To me, the above quote says it all. If you don’t know what you want or what you are training for, then it really doesn’t matter what you do. While there is certainly nothing wrong with training for training’s sake I do believe it can leave to frustration and lack of motivation.
Without a goal it becomes very easy to let thoughts like “It’s just one workout” or “I ate pretty good this week, it’s ok to have this” to creep in and take over.
Before you know it after your routine has had one slip up you are telling yourself you just don’t feel like doing it anymore.
We have clients with all different goals. Some want to do their first powerlifting meet, some are working to losing the 10lbs they never could get off, and others just want to throw weights around in a friendly and encouraging environment three times per week. The important thing isn’t WHAT their goal it’s that they have one.
So if you are in a rut, try setting a new goal that takes you out of your comfort zone a little. Women, maybe you can set a goal of getting you first unassisted chin-up and have a coach write a program for you to follow. For all you guys that love lifting but hate cardio, sign yourself up for a 5k with that crazy friend we all have that loves to run. This will give you some extra accountability to stay on track.
2.You’re grading yourself with the wrong tests…
I see this fairly often with clients and friends and with their training. Having done both contests I can tell you from experience that no one asks you how much you bench at a bodybuilding show and no one cares what you look like at a powerlifting meet.
The same is true for you and your goals. If you make a decision that you’d really like to train for your first marathon, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice in continuing to test your bench press and wondering why it is going down and your body fat percentage is creeping up slightly. Most people then quit their original goal of the marathon by saying things like “I decided I really wanted to focus on the bench instead.” or “ah I decided it wasn’t for me”. This cycle continues and you realize you never once stuck with something and saw it to the end.
An extremely well respected coach Dan John has been a tremendous inspiration to me as a coach and one of his best lines is… “Keep the goal the goal…”
Such a simple statement can really simplify a lot of things. You should only be grading yourself on things that directly relate the your progress. Don’t get distracted or discouraged if some other aspect of your fitness isn’t improving or even slightly declining. Once you accomplish the goal there’s always time to go work on another one! But one at a time!
3. You never started with “Why”
If you haven’t read “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek I can’t recommend it enough. As you can imagine the main point in this book is to truly discover and ask WHY are doing something. Examples include Apple deciding not to set out as a computer company, but to “change the technology world” and how this allowed it to range into markets such as the iPod and succeed where traditional computer companies like Dell failed.
When you sit down to write out a goal, be sure that you can answer this question for yourself. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your answer isn’t good enough either. Wanting to lose 10lbs simply to look and feel better in a bikini is not self centered or narcissistic if it is what will make YOU feel better. Hang that bikini up in your closet as a reminder every day if you need to.
No one can define the “why” for you but you, so take the extra time and try to figure out just exactly why it is that this goal came up and why it’s important to you.
Once you have your “Why” nailed down, it becomes very easy to answer the defeating questions of “what the heck am I doing this for?” that WILL arise.
You might sit down and realize that after some though that this goal really doesn’t mean anything to you at all and you’d be better off trying something else! But try and do this work on the front end and save yourself the wasted effort of quitting later!
The 30 second version.
- Clearly define a goal
- Keep the goal the goal
- Understand “WHY” this goal is important to you.
- Crush the goal.
As always, leave a comment good or bad. All feedback is appreciated!