What To Do When Motivation Runs Low

At some point in your life, you’ve probably felt unmotivated. We all go through phases of being bored with our training or falling into a tailspin of just eating whatever the hell we want. (MAYBE YOU’RE THERE NOW) Let’s face it; you are not going to do everything right all the time. You’re going to fall off the wagon from time to time.

If you are going through a phase of low motivation, maybe you feel burnt out, or are struggling to get back into a healthy lifestyle, stop beating yourself up. You’re not a failure. We can tell you from repeated, personal experience that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

You don’t have to give up because you had one bad week or one bad month of eating poorly. You don’t have to give up because you are only going to the gym once a week. All you have to do is remind yourself of why you signed up for the gym in the first place. Why did you join the gym? Why did you start measuring and tracking your food? Why did you start getting more hours of quality sleep?

We all have a “why”

You made healthier lifestyle choices for a reason.

Imagine having a toxic relationship with a significant other (not working out, poor nutrition, 4 hours of sleep, zero flexibility, etc). One day, you decide you are sick and tired of not being treated the way you are supposed to. So you leave that person. (deciding you are tired of current health, how you feel, how you look, etc. and deciding it’s time to change). You then find this great person that respects you and makes you feel appreciated (working out, eating well, feeling energized, leaning out, etc).

Why would you leave a person who treats you so well to go back to your toxic ex?!

Don’t let yourself back track. You know exactly how you would feel if you lost all the progress you’ve made.


Why are you going to the gym?

Why are you eating healthier?

Here are some ideas to help you stay motivated:

1. Set up your goal setting and progress meeting

There’s a reason why counseling is set up into each of our CrossFit memberships. To sit down with you to reevaluate your goals and create short/long term plans. Remember, we’re on your team. We want to know what you want to accomplish as well as what you’re struggling with. So we can make a plan together.

2. Set specific goals. Short term and long term.

It’s great to have goals such as:

  • Get toned
  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle
  • Just be fitter and healthier

But how do you measure that? How do you know when you’ve achieved “getting toned”? How do you know that you are now fitter?

To help you, think about what you would be able to do now that you’ve accomplished your goal?

If you’re goal is to become fitter or leaner, how will you measure that? Will it be when you get your first pull up? Will it be when you fit back in to your old college jeans? Will it be when you shave 10 seconds off your mile time? Etc.

Once you create your measures of success, you can work backwards from there to create your game plan.

These short term wins, help keep you motivated to keep going. For example, if you goal is to lose 10% body fat in 12 weeks, we need to lose over 3% body fat per month. This is better than saying, “I need to lose 10% body fat”.

3. Add variety into your meals

Some people like routine while others may get bored of eating the same thing three days in a row.

  • Try going to a farmers market to pick up new, seasonal items
  • Share recipes with fellow gym members
  • Create a menu for the week instead of having to guess each day
  • Try a prepared meal service
  • Try our nutrition counseling program where we create meals based on your taste preferences and lifestyle

Being excited about your meals is a great way to stick to your nutrition plan.

4. Create a buddy system.

It helps to workout with a friend. You can help each other by being accountable to the other person. Plus it’s more fun to workout with a friend.

5. Baby steps

An “all or nothing” strategy is not the best course of action. Ease your way into eating healthier, ease your way into working out consistently, ease your way into getting better sleep.

Start by limiting your poor nutritional choices (i.e. instead of eating 4 slices of pizza, have 2)

Focus on having a healthy lunch for one week. Then try adding two days healthy breakfasts as well as a healthy lunch the following week.

Keep the intensity level at the gym moderate the first week and possibly the second. Maybe try to increase the intensity by a few seconds every 3-4 minutes. Instead of having to be intense the whole time you’re there.

6 . Build in reward days

This is a very effective strategy for eating clean that I use pretty much weekly. It can be very hard to say no to foods that you love when trying to clean up your diet. However, if you allow yourself 1-2 planned meals throughout the week where you get to indulge in your favorite “cheat foods”, it becomes much easier to eat your chicken and broccoli, because you know that you get a burger and fries soon.

7. Track your progress

How do you know if you’re going in the right direction? You need to be measuring!

  • Track your workouts (weights, times, reps, etc)
  • Take body measurements every week or every other week. (i.e. around the chest, waist and hips)
  • Track your food
  • InBody scan to measure current muscle mass and body fat percentage
  • Take progress pictures (you don’t notice small changes when you see yourself everyday)

Tracking your information allows you to make better decisions about your training and nutrition. Like is it working or do I need to adjust something.

8. Enjoy and use your fitness

Go outdoors, go for a hike, go rafting, try a new sport, sign up for your first marathon race, etc. It’s good to change up your environment so you aren’t feeling stuck in the same routine.

Plus signing up for an event (i.e. marathon, 5k, CrossFit competition, triathlon, Spartan race, etc) gives you a short, immediate goal. It helps keep you focused.

9. Reflect

Hopefully you are taking pictures of yourself every few weeks! That way you can look back to see where you started.

  • How are you today compared to when you first started?
  • Is your body composition different?
  • Are your lifestyle habits better than before?
  • Has your mindset changed over the past few months/years?

Sometimes we get caught up and forget how much we’ve accomplished!

10. Don’t avoid your weaknesses

No one likes to feel inadequate, and being forced to confront their fears. Of course, part of CrossFit is accepting the fact that you are not going to be great at some things (or a lot of things), at first. But part of that acceptance is acknowledging that if you want to get better at CrossFit, you have to work to develop your weaknesses—not avoid them.

This can be applied to anything!

  • Hate burpees? Practice becoming more efficient at them and improving your endurance
  • Have a nagging injury? Stop ignoring it and start treating it with corrective/strengthening movements.
  • Hate (inset movement here)? Break down the movements and practice with intent. Don’t just go through the motions to say you did it.

Enjoy being a forever student of fitness!

We’ll leave you with this quote:

“Do anything, but let it produce joy” Walt Whitman