How to Work Out When You Have No Motivation

Laercio Moreno
Laercio Moreno
· 3 min read
Personal trainer looking at sunset

Motivation is fleeting, and there are a lot of things that can chase it off. Highly stressful circumstances make motivation disappear for some people; for others, it gives them laser focus.

​Rather than relying on motivation, which is fickle and never around when you need it, looking to develop discipline may be a more effective long-term strategy. That way, you can make progress even when circumstances beyond your control try to take over your plans.

This article lays out some of the methods you can use to make working out part of your daily routine for your health. Building your workout habits to the degree of brushing your teeth will help you stay on track even when motivation disappears.

Do it First Thing in the Morning

Personal trainer walking in a park

Whatever you're choosing to do for your workout, one of the most powerful things you can do is get it done early in the day. Early morning workouts are great because your body is already in action before your mind has the chance to know what's happening. It's also when your discipline is highest as it hasn't been sapped by the million decisions you'll have made by the evening.

Running is great to improve your aerobic capacity. Still, it is not the only exercise you can do in the morning. You can go for a walk under the rising sun or join a yoga class to work on your mobility. You can even complete that morning routine your online coach has designed for your specific goals. 

You may need to wake up a little earlier than usual to get it done. But making the time – just for you – is an act of self-care when the rest of your day is so focused on what you can do for others.

Stick to a Schedule

A personal trainer's schedule

You wouldn't miss a dentist appointment or a business meeting added to your calendar, and your workout should be no different. By scheduling your workouts, you're blocking off that time for yourself. Put them into your week first before anything else gets added. 

Your health is not an afterthought; it's a priority. Let's call this act "booking yourself first" before anyone else gets a chance to take your time and energy. This way, you can indicate to yourself and the world around you that exercise is a priority in your life. 

Get an Expert to Design Your Plan

Personal trainer working with a client in a gym

The hardest thing about home workouts is knowing what movements you should do to make the session feel hard enough to be worth doing, but not so hard that it smashes you into the ground. 

Following a thoughtfully designed programme that is relevant to your goals can be a massive boost to motivation. By getting some help from an expert coach to develop a plan that is right for you, you'll know that you aren't wasting your time on things that don't matter and that you're moving safely. 

Accountability is also a factor to consider if you find it hard to stick to a plan scheduled by yourself. If you work with an expert to design a programme, you’ll be more likely to follow it as you'll have invested money, effort and time in making it exactly right for you.

Make it a Family Event

Personal trainer exercising with his family

Getting your family involved can help with one of the most significant issues people have with following a self-designed workout plan – finding time for yourself.

When the kids see you doing something that looks like playing, naturally they will want to join. Now, understand this can cause frustration if you take your workouts seriously and don't want to be disturbed.

Find a way to include them in some of your sessions without derailing your schedule. You will set an example to your family that regular exercise is a normal and healthy part of everyone's life while taking care of yourself too.

Ask for Help if You Are Struggling

Personal trainer helping someone in the gym

Using exercise to manage mental health is a considerable side benefit that no one expects when they first start working out. It quickly becomes one of the main reasons people stick to their schedule long term though. If you need more help, don't be afraid to ask. Reaching out to family, friends or even your doctor isn't a sign of weakness; it's a sign of massive strength. 

Exercise helps with mental health and can give us some much-needed perspective on coping with stressful situations. But sometimes you need a little extra support. That's okay, and it will be available if you need it. 

If motivation to train is low at the moment, be patient with yourself. When you've exercised for a long time, you'll see that it's normal for it to ebb and flow. You can rely on structure, discipline, accountability and outside support to overcome some of the mental barriers you might feel about exercising.

Where to find out more

Find out more about Laercio, a leading personal trainer in London, on his profile and website!