Has this ever happened to you?
You are on point with your diet for months, you exercise five days a week, looking forward to each workout, feeling so exhilarated and proud of yourself every time you come out of the gym. The energy and the sense of accomplishment is uplifting and energizing. Taking care of your body is a habit, it’s a lifestyle. You are motivated and disciplined most of the time: you make great food choices, your sleep is on point and the workouts get done. You actually look forward to go to the gym every day.
And then one day you just lose it. Maybe you hit a stressful patch at work, had some relationship problems, moved to a new city, got too busy… Or maybe the opposite happened – you had some positive changes in your life: met that perfect guy, had a wedding, a baby. Or maybe you finally lost those last 10 pounds you really wanted to lose for a while, you got rid of those nasty sugar cravings or fit into those pre-baby jeans. Bottom line, something triggered the loss of your motivation.
Where did it go?
Let me tell you something: it didn’t go anywhere, at least not the original motivation you relied on to achieve your previous results. It just doesn’t work any more.
Your motivation needs rebranding!
I’ll tell you a personal story. About 6 months ago I had a major change in my life. I completed a 11.5 year relationship, moved across the country to a new city, started a new job, changed my living situation drastically and had some other things happen which left me with, let’s put it mildly, increased stress levels.
As a result, I did not go to the gym for almost 4 months! Who, me? Me, who had been training, not just exercising, for over 8 years, who had never taken a break longer than 2 weeks, ever. Me, who truly loved this lifestyle and was addicted to the “pump”. Yes, it has happened to me – I fell off the wagon.
And here is what happened.
After my move, I did not join a commercial gym because I was still not sure I wanted to stay in this neighborhood long term, but there was a gym in my apartment complex which I found myself avoiding like the plague. At first I tried to blame it on stress, long commute and lack of time. I felt bad that my dogs already were home alone for 10 hours every day, so I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could…which , most of the time, was watching them snore with a smile of delight :). Basically, I came up with every excuse of why I couldn’t get back to my routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I was trying to stay active. I took my dogs on long walks, I hiked, taking in the nature I was finally surrounded by, thinking to myself that it was probably enough, while slowly watching my hard earned muscles shrink and get replaced by some fluff. Was this going to be my new normal?
And then one day, while I was sorting through a pile of mess formed by almost 2 years of personal development that now resides in my head, I realized the reason for my lost drive. My old motivation no longer fit.
You see, most of us will probably never admit it to the public, but we don’t exercise and watch what we eat to be healthy. Not really. Let’s be honest here: health is just not that exciting to most people. A lot of times we cover something different, sometimes even more superficial, by “I want to be healthy” spiel. And for the first time in over 8 years of living the lifestyle I realized what my real motivation was behind it all. Once I thought about it, it hit me: the reason I lost my motivation is that I also lost that one thing that kept me going for all these years.
So what was it for me? One word: sanctuary. The gym was my sanctuary. The huge, spacious, exceptionally equipped gym in my old city that had all the tools I could want or need to use, with mirrors on every wall, tall ceilings and good lighting. Yes, I loved feeling strong and seeing the results, both functional and aesthetic, that came from my hard work. But most of all I used my gym as a sanctuary for my “me” and “feel good about myself” time that I didn’t get outside of it. I could hide and do my thing if I wanted – the size of this gym allowed it. But I’ll be honest, the attention I always got from the squad of ripped guys who were my regular workout neighbors, although irritating at times, was also flattering.
When I moved across the country, I lost my sanctuary and my motivation with it. What I have instead now is a tiny 20’x20’ room with a few pieces of equipment jammed into it. Not very sanctuary-like. But what is my other option? Quit all together? Absolutely not! Yes, it’s not ideal, its not what I wanted, but I realize that not training at all will not get me closer to my “feel good ” place either.
So until I find a new sanctuary for myself, I decided to rebrand my motivation. My new reason to train is to keep my brain healthy, focused and more productive which will support me in my enterpreneurial journey as I build the life I was always meant to live.
What about you?
Did you work out because you wanted to be more attractive to potential suitors and now you finally found your match? Did you work hard to lose those last 10 pounds and 2 months ago you finally did it? Did you train because you thought you wanted to compete and after you’ve actually done it, you realized it wasn’t your thing?
I challenge you to be honest with yourself and dig deep to find the answer to this question.
What is your old motivation that no longer fits into your life and how are your going to rebrand it?
I’d love to hear from you.