If you're like most people, from time to time you're going to find your motivational levels starting to wane, which can seriously derail your goals and overall belief capability in yourself. How much effort we regularly put into all the aspects of our lives helps us to form our own self-efficacy, which is essentially our belief in ourselves to get things done.
When you have low self-efficacy levels, you'll find that you have an overall lower self-confidence and experience less success in all aspects of your life. By making sure you can stay the course with not only your workouts but any other projects you set out to accomplish, you help boost your self-confidence in your ability. It's not only great for that particular aspect but will transfer over to others as well.
You've likely read motivational strategies before - write down your goals list, clip out some pictures of your ideal physique, find a gym partner to work with, and so on, but what happens when you've been there and done that?
When these are no longer working, then you have to turn to others means to motivate yourself. Usually the initial motivational strategies you are attempting tend to be more surface level approaches, which can wear off rather quickly.
By going a bit deeper, though, and trying some higher level approaches, you might just find you hit the bulls-eye and figure out exactly what will keep you pushing onwards. Here are 4 strategies that you may want to consider to help keep your motivation skyrocketing.
1 / Focus On The Feeling Of Strength
To start off with, it might be a good idea to start placing more of the focus of your workouts on the feeling of strength you get during them. Many people who are serious about training will primarily be thinking about how their workout is making them look on the outside, but switching it around and thinking about how good it feels to gain the feeling of strength with each and every workout you do can be very helpful at times.
For most individuals there is a strong feeling of power when they're pushing themselves maximally and lifting very heavy weights, so by recalling the feelings you get from skipping your workouts, it may help get you through.
2 / Journal
The most common approach to journaling is to write down what you're doing each workout and what your meal plan consists of. This allows you to carefully track what you're doing so that you can see where you may need to make improvements and what's working in your plan.
Here's a new journaling technique! If you can feel yourself wanting to skip a workout, you can stop and take the time to write down what you're feeling at that point.
Then, if you do in fact skip the workout, write down again two or three hours later what you feel. Don't let yourself hold anything back while doing this - you are supposed to write down what thoughts are running through your mind.
Then, do the same for days when you do proceed to do your workout so you can clearly see the difference between the two.
In some cases you may find out what triggers a certain frame of mind from this exercise and as an additional bonus, after you've done it for a week or two, the next time you are thinking of skipping a workout, if you read back to what you wrote after the last time you skipped it, that may bring back those feelings in yourself and prompt you to go.
3 / Envision Not Being Able To Workout
One slightly more dramatic technique that you can use is imagining that you were not able to actually work out. Think of the people out there who do have physical difficulties and are unable to make it to the gym every day, even if they wanted to.
Changing perspectives like this can sometimes go a long way towards helping you re-evaluate your not wanting to go.
Sometimes we take for granted how lucky we are just to be able to work out each day and when you think about this, it should serve as a very strong internal motivator to get up and go.
If you love fitness and are passionate about it, you know deep down that you'd really struggle to live without it.
4 / Switch Your Goals Entirely
Have you been trying to lose those same last 10 pounds for what seems like the last decade? If so, then it may be time for an overhaul to your goals.
As you get to those last ten, your body is going to fight you harder and harder to lose them. And since you are at the last ten, the chances are good too that you are lean enough that you could easily jump ship and move over to an entirely new goal set - building more lean muscle mass.
This change of focus could be just the thing you need to really jump start a lacking motivation level and as an added benefit, after you've built the lean muscle mass you'll notice that you will have a slightly easier time losing the weight since your metabolic rate will be higher. Plus, after a long time of dieting, most people will quite enjoy being able to eat more calories again.
So if you're really struggling to get yourself going and have tried other approaches, consider one of these instead. It does take continual effort to maintain sky-high motivational levels, but with the right attitude and a bit of effort on your part to find out what works and what doesn't; it is possible.