These are the doldrums of summer. Things are feeling hot and sticky, the kids are bouncing off the walls and you’re a little tired. OK, maybe more than a little tired. You probably have lost most of your motivation to be healthy. Ready to workout? Nah. How about those fitness goals? Pshh. Fall is just around the corner and you’ll be wearing big sweaters and puffy vests in no time, right?
Even as a trainer and nutrition coach, I am feeling my own motivation dwindle, too. At least at the beginning of the season we have pictures of swimsuits in mind, activities to conquer, and high hopes for the summer. However, in the last couple weeks I have skipped more workouts and eaten out far more than normal. It’s a little sad.
Is it that we just don’t care anymore? I don’t think that’s it. We do care. We truly want to be strong moms, fit and active women that are healthy and athletic.
I think we are all just breathing a collective sigh of complacency and missing inspiration.
This is not resolution season; this is not the beginning of something exciting or the changing of tides. These are just the boredoms of summer.
The last thing you want is a perky trainer yelling in your face to give her “FIVE MORE BURPEES!!” If the inspiration isn’t there, you’ll probably just flip a bird and walk off. I totally get it. I feel like doing the same right now.
We need a clean and refreshing vigor to revitalize us. Something new, something exciting, something truly motivating. Here are some ideas:
- Soak and Saturate. One of the best ways to feel inspired is to saturate yourself in the world of health and fitness for a little bit. Binge-read good fitness blogs and browse the health and fitness category on Pinterest. Start following some fitness-minded people on social media. The Olympics are almost here, which is a great opportunity to see some impressive athletes in action. Watch all the athlete profiles, see how they train and pick up on their attitudes. Seeing other women at the peak of performance is so inspiring!
Whenever I lack motivation, I scroll through my Instagram feed and see all the extremely fit coaches and yogis demonstrating moves. This instantly inspires me, and I bet it would inspire you, too!
- Think outside the box. Do you always turn to the exact same fitness methods? What is something you’ve always wanted to try? For years I focused solely on running and strength training. In the last 18 months I have incorporated far more yoga into my weekly routine. It’s different and it challenges my body in brand new ways. I genuinely look forward to my yoga days without a shred of dread.
Are you ready to try something new? Maybe it’s Stand Up Paddleboarding, weekly hikes, mountain biking, or even weight lifting. Switch it up!
- Set some new goals. Most likely your New Year’s Resolution feels as distant as Mars, so bag it and set some new goals. Don’t even look back to January right now.
Where are you at in this very moment and where would you like to be? Would you like to be able to push 20 pounds overhead? Do you want to learn to play tennis better and qualify for a team? Do you want to lose 15 pounds and build some significant muscles mass? Lay out some clear and definable goals, and then put a strategy in place to be able to reach them. Wandering around without goals is a sure way to lack motivation.
- Be social. Without the support and encouragement of other women, we’re far more likely to fall off the wagon. When you know that someone is counting on you to show up, asking if you’re staying on task, you will follow through.
Latch on to a friend, a new workout buddy or activity group. Commit together toward a common goal (which may just be showing up!) and rely on each other for support.
- Give yourself grace. We’re often way too hard on ourselves when we go through seasons of apathy. We feel guilty, worthless, and a little bit like a failure. When these attitudes persist, it’s like telling someone who is suffering from depression to just “snap out of it!” In fact, being in a place of zero motivation and desire often feels quite depressing.
You don’t need to try and pull yourself up out of this. Give yourself grace, surround yourself with good and inspiring people, and try the strategies listed above. Instead of forcing yourself into fitness, you will probably drift there without feeling pressured.
In the end, remember that you are a strong woman. This is your character and your identity. Inspiration will find its way to you again, especially if you go looking for it. Enjoy these final days of summer, soak in the stickiness and breathe in some grace. Lord knows we all need it!
(Need a good place to go for inspiration? Head over to www.strong-mommas.com and have a good binge-reading session. There is a wealth of knowledge waiting for you, covering many topics in nutrition and exercise specifically for moms.)