Were you bitten by the fitness bug? Awesome! Did that fitness bug's magical elixir wear off after a few weeks? Not so awesome. If it's been a month or two since you've made the commitment to live a healthier life, you may be having a rough time keeping a positive attitude and maintaining your fitness schedule and nutrition goals. Sound familiar? You may have a motivation problem on your hands.
Motivation is a constant battle, even for the most dedicated athletes. However, fitness models, bodybuilders, and pro athletes have good habits to keep them accountable. Your newfound love of fitness may not have been followed by a complete lifestyle change. That means you may have some leftover bad habits that keep you from hitting the gym or following your nutrition plan.
These habits may seem innocuous at first, but upon closer inspection, you may never reach your goals until you break them. These six bad habits are motivation killers. Find out how they suck your will to work!
1 / You don't plan your workouts
You have a million and one things to do: work, family, housework, school, homework, social time, and various other errands. With all that going on in your life, making it into the gym isn't easy. If you're in the habit of going to the gym "whenever you feel like it," or only when your friend goes, you probably skip days and days of gym time. The slope from skipping a few gym sessions to never going is slippery indeed. Keep your foothold in the gym.
In order to make the gym a regular feature in your life, you need to plan time to go. Sit down with a planner and pencil in time to train. Give yourself an hour at least five days per week. If you miss a day, then make it up later in the week. As soon as you get into the habit of going to the gym, you won't even have to think about traveling there. Somehow, your brain will just know where to go.
2 / You do the same things over and over
Even if you're in the habit of getting to the gym, you may just be going through the same routine over and over. This is a mistake. If you don't continually challenge your body, it's unlikely that you're going to see results. You need to use heavier weight, switch up reps and sets, and do different types of lifts and exercises. In order for your body to change, you need to give it a reason to be stronger, faster, and fitter.
Write down a workout program for the next month so you can see which changes you want to make and when. The same full-body workout three days per week will help at first, but your body will soon adapt. Make changes to see results.
3 / You have no fit social group
You are the sum of the five people closest to you. Who are you closest to? If you don't have any friends or acquaintances who are interested in health and fitness, you may struggle with motivation. I'm not saying drop all of your friends who aren't in the gym religiously, but you may want to re-evaluate who you choose to spend time with.
As long as your friends support your goals and want to help you, then your motivation should stay high. However, if you consistently hang around people who make fun of you, belittle you, or turn your healthy eating habits into a joke, you may have a difficult time staying the course.
Do yourself a favor and join BodySpace, our free fitness community. You'll be able to make friends, post progress pictures, track your workouts, stay accountable to your fitness goals, and get the right support. It'll do you a world of good.
4 / You keep unhealthy foods in the house
We all have trails through the grocery store. If yours goes through the candy or cookie aisle, you need to change your habit. You will get cravings for crap food. If you have it in the house, you might not be able to help yourself.
Skip those aisles and only buy healthy food. If you keep only good food in the house, you'll be less likely to blow your diet and more likely to keep your motivation at a high level.
5 / You run yourself into the ground
With everything going on in your life, it's easy to get overwhelmed. If your daily habits include jam-packing your day so you don't even have a moment to catch your breath, you may struggle to make fitness a positive influence of your life.
Maintaining motivation for workouts and healthy eating is a tough mental and physical process. If you're constantly exhausted, you won't be able to work on your fitness the way you should. Make sure you include rest in your busy schedule. Try to pencil in at least one day per week where you can have an hour or two to relax, unwind, and recharge.
6 / You starve yourself
How much motivation are you going to have to continue something that makes you miserable? If you starve yourself to "lose weight," you basically torture yourself.
Choose a moderate diet plan you can adhere to without feeling terrible every hour of the day. This will help you maintain a high motivation level, and you won't be in danger of succumbing to bad food and you will not skip workouts.