It’s easy to be well motivated when you first sign up for an event or when the weather is great. The trick is to keep this focus when life starts to pile it on.
Realistically, you can’t do it all. None of us can! But what we can do is realize when we are starting down that slippery slope of missing more and more workouts and remind ourselves why we are doing this in the first place.
There can be many reasons for working out, but first, and foremost should be that you enjoy it and enjoy the person you are when you consistently work out. If you are working out for health reasons, remind yourself of those reasons. Or if you have signed up for a goal event, take some time to learn more about the event and get excited (and maybe a little bit scared!) all over again.
Being honest with yourself about missing workouts and struggling with motivation is the first step. Again, remember you are not alone and even the best of us go through this. There are some simple ways to keep our brains engaged and motivated.
Schedule your workouts: Book your workouts on your calendar just like you would with any meeting or doctor’s appointments. Your workouts, which can help keep your mind and body healthy, matter just as much!
Reward: Are you motivated by the colors on TrainingPeaks or even by stickers on a paper calendar? Several athletes use both for motivation. Try printing a calendar and marking off workouts each day.
Make it Easier: Set up your workout gear the night before and set that alarm clock such that you have to get up. Once up, you might as well get the workout in! If you tend to workout in the evening, consider trying to schedule a couple workouts in the morning. Research shows people who workout in the AM often are more successful.
For many of us, the time we do our workouts is some of the only “me time” we may have in a day. No matter the demands of family, coworkers, friends or other things life is throwing at you, give yourself permission to take this time for you. You deserve this!
Instead of rushing through your workout, or worrying about all the other things you need to do, stay present and focused on your workout in the moment. Remind yourself how building your fitness takes time and you are building that fitness one mile or one strength move at a time!
Often you will find by getting your workout in, you will feel better and can be more efficient in all your other many tasks that need to be done. Taking that “me time” as a treat really can become a necessity.
There are a couple things to consider with staying accountable.
Maybe at this time, you really have bitten off more than you can chew. Sometimes athletes tell me that they can work out 6 days a week and want an aggressive schedule. But realistically, it can be too much for an athlete for various reasons. Once we start seeing all the red of missed workouts on TrainingPeaks or have been off track for a while it can start to feel overwhelming and guilt-inducing.
It’s time to talk to coach and hold yourself accountable about what you really can fit in. There is no judgement here, but an appreciation that you are being honest and realistic.
With a less aggressive schedule, suddenly four workouts rather than six workouts is doable, for instance. After a month at this successful schedule, motivation can build and lead to consistency which is crucial in developing an athlete.
If you feel that you do have a doable schedule, then it’s time to use your resources to stay on track. And you have a lot of resources!
Take a deep breath and don’t give up! This too will pass and soon you will be zooming right along!