This is probably one of the most common phrases we hear as personal trainers. There is this myth that we should always feel motivated, and if we aren’t feeling “motivated” that it’s an adequate excuse to not do something. I’m here to tell you that motivation isn’t the key to success in the gym, or in life for that matter.
The definition of motivation is: desire to do; interest or drive. Can you recall a time when you were on fire for something? A time where you felt unstoppable in reaching a goal you had set? A time you felt like you could take on the world? That is a feeling of motivation. And sadly, that feeling is not constant. One day we can wake up with all the motivation in the world, and the next we can wake up and feel as though just getting out of bed is the hardest task you have ever faced. This can be so frustrating! Often people start their fitness journey with so much momentum and so much motivation. However, this feeling will fade, they will skip a workout here and there, start eating like they used to, and start to “fall of the wagon”. When they are asked “what’s going on?”…their response is often “I’m just not motivated”. This is defeating and this can cause us to fall into vicious cycles of on-again and off-again dieting and exercise.
The best way to combat this is to be honest with yourself. You will NOT always feel motivated. Recognize these feelings and realize that it’s human. However, don’t use this as your out. It’s not motivation that you need, it’s dedication. The definition of dedication is: being committed to a task or purpose. The act of being dedicated to something leaves feelings out of it. No matter how you feel, you will still do the task at hand if you are dedicated to it. This is the actual key to success: dedication. Don’t let yourself fall victim to being “unmotivated.” Remember why you started and remain committed to getting the job done. Suck it up even when you don’t want to, it will be worth it.