By Ted Moses, ITEC
Lack of motivation is something we all suffer from time to time. Certain times are worse than others, such as hot days, too much stress, too much work, lack of progress and so on. This article aims to identify the various factors and address them in an effective way, so you can make progress all the time.
This is probably the most important factor affecting your motivational levels. If you have not set a specific goal and decided to stick to it 100%, then you are likely to suffer from lack of motivation at some time.
Why do you want to go to the gym? What are your goals? What are the realistic time frames you have given yourself?
You need to have a clear idea of why you "need" to go to the gym. There needs to be a specific "need" and failure to see to that need is unacceptable. Decide it right now. Why? It doesn't matter what the actual need is, as each person is different. You may be carrying too much body-fat, have a concave chest with no muscle mass, be stressed or whatever. Identify your personal "need" and promise yourself that you will fulfil this need and work out on a set schedule without fail. No excuses. You WILL do it just as you will eat every day and sleep every night. You will have to go to the gym. Don't question it.
Once you have set a goal for yourself, you will have to achieve it. You just need to be specific in your goal-setting and adhere to it.
Some people who are stressed tend to stay away from working out and prefer other methods for relaxation. This is fine but working out is one of the best ways of beating stress. So really, working out should be your first stress buster.
Don't shy away from working out if you are stressed, go to the gym and get the aggression out; put stressful situations to good use by developing your body.
Sometimes you just can't be bothered! No matter how much you want to, you have no motivation to do something, such as working out. External factors such as heat can have a tremendous impact on your motivational levels. Many people prefer to sleep on hot days than going out to have a work out.
Put the heat to your advantage. Do work out on a hot day, sweat and drink lots of water. This is a fantastic cleansing opportunity for the body.
If your gym is too hot, join a gym with air-conditioning. Wear comfortable clothing and most importantly, remember your "goals". A hot day shouldn't get in the way of you working out.
Pay very close attention to what you eat and monitor your energy levels up to 20 hours following ingestion of certain foods. You will soon see that certain foods give you more energy than others.
Many people who have bad diets or lack certain essential ingredients in their diet, suffer from fatigue and lack of motivation. Make sure your diet is full of complex carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, rice and bread. Include one or two portions of a couple of the aforementioned into your meals at least twice a day.
Eat good quality protein so your muscles are fully recovered and ready to go. Make sure you eat lots of fresh vegetables of every colour to get a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals such as the B-Vitamins and Zinc are very good for energy levels.
What you eat the previous day and early in the current day will determine your energy and motivation levels. Make sure your diet is spot on and if you feel low on energy, increase your intake of carbohydrates.
Many people on diets such as the Atkins diet feel very low on energy and lack the motivation to go to the gym and in turn burn body-fat, so they go full-circle to being overweight after discontinuing Atkins!
Always, always plan your day. Don't take too much on. Plan every day from the night before and make sure you leave a reasonable slot for your work-out.
Very often people let every day events take over their life and leave working out as the last "non-essential" thing they can do.
Working out is essential to health and longevity. Never take this for granted. In our modern sedentary life, working out is all the more important. Make sure you plan your day/week to consist of a fixed amount of working out time and don't skip it. Skip other things, but not working out.
Many people stop working out or reduce their work-out days due to lack of progress. This is completely illogical. You need to stop and think why you are not making the desired progress and address the issue, instead of reducing your workouts. This will only give you even less progress.
Lack of progress can be due to many factors. Not spending enough time in the gym. Spending too much in the gym and thus breaking muscle tissue down. Not doing the right type of exercise: so if you are trying to burn fat, you need to be concentrating on cardio and not weight training. Not eating good food. Not having enough sleep.
Try and think why "you" are not making the progress and address the problem. Very often if you quiz yourself enough, you will get an answer!
Lack of progress should be a motivating factor for you to change things, not give up.
If you surround yourself with lazy, goal-less people, then you either go the same way as them or you will be completely motivated. Have a look at the people around you and if you think they are affecting your motivational levels, then do something about it.
Many people who don't feel good about themselves and lack motivation, try their best to put you off your workouts and goals. Stay away from negative people who affect your motivation.
You can also take mind-motivational supplements and physical energy boosters to increase your motivation for working out.
In conclusion, lacking motivation is not a "natural" state to be in. There will always be a factor which can be addressed by you. Find out why you lack motivation and tackle it – you will feel much better.
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