Why Getting Motivated to Exercise Is so Hard

Group working out

2015 has begun and we are well into the third month. It is around this time when we begin to see whether the resolutions we made are going to hold up or whether we made promises to ourselves that we will not be able to keep. If you made a resolution to exercise once, twice or even five times per week and have not been able to maintain the motivation needed to do so, I may be able to tell you why.

Immediate results don’t exist.

Gaining and maintaining the motivation needed to exercise is one thing that can certainly hold you back from your goals. One of the most common reasons why people lose the motivation to exercise is because they do not see results. If you have been eating right and working out four times a week for the past month and the scale has not budged, know that you may be gaining muscle (which weighs more than fat).

Exercising is not something that will satisfy an inert desire for immediate gratification. Results can take weeks or even months. The key is to keep pushing until those results show and your body begins to develop into what you have been working for.

Lofty goals can demotivate anyone.

When setting goals for yourself, make sure that they are SMART. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If your goal was to lose 50 lbs. by the end of February, it is no surprise that your motivation has gone. The best way to set SMART goals is by doing your research.

Find out what your caloric intake should be and use an app or website to see how long it will take you to reach your goals with proper diet and exercise. Then, ensure that you stick to your regiment (whether you are seeing results or not) until that time. If you have reached your goals, congrats! If not, review your program and make adjustments so that the next goal is one that you can be proud of yourself for achieving.

Stop thinking of it as “exercise”.

Physical activity does not have to be in the form of riding a stationary bike or getting on a treadmill. Instead, do something that you enjoy. Whether it is walking your dog, playing with your kids or exploring a nearby forest preserve, the goal is to be active. Then, after you are comfortable with being active, step it up a notch. Also, exercise is NOT about doing the same routine every day. Exercise needs to be varied. So, get moving and get creative!