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Overcoming Workout Slumps: 3 Strategies for Sustainable Motivation (VIDEO)

By Christine Kirkland February 05, 2024 Health and Fitness

Finding the motivation to stick to a consistent workout routine can be a challenge. Whether it’s life getting in the way, being sick or injured, or just lacking the energy or motivation, it can be tough to stick to a routine.

As a fitness instructor, I’ve experienced my fair share of workout slumps, but through trial and error, I’ve discovered strategies that have helped me stay committed to my fitness goals.

In this post, I’ll dive deeper into three powerful techniques for overcoming workout slumps and maintaining long-term motivation. Let’s go!

#1 Set the Stage the Night Before

One of the simplest yet most effective strategies for staying motivated to work out is to prepare in advance. By rolling out your workout mat the night before, you create a visual cue that serves as a reminder of your commitment to exercise.

Additionally, setting the stage the night before allows you to eliminate potential obstacles that might derail your workout plans. Whether it’s laying out your workout clothes, filling up your water bottle, or planning your workout playlist, taking these small steps makes it easier to get started when the time comes.

Moreover, this technique taps into the psychological principle of ‘priming’. By priming your environment with visual cues related to exercise, you’re signaling to your brain that working out is a priority, increasing the likelihood that you’ll follow through with your plans.

#2 Habit Stacking: Integrate Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Habit stacking is a powerful technique for building consistency in your workout routine by linking exercise to existing habits or routines. Instead of trying to find a separate time slot for exercise, you incorporate it seamlessly into activities you already do every day.

For example, I’ve incorporated my workouts into my morning routine. After breakfast, I take my dog for a walk, and then I dive straight into my Pilates session. By integrating exercise into something I already do daily, it becomes second nature.

Habit stacking allows you to leverage the power of momentum. Once you’ve completed one task in your routine, such as walking the dog, it’s easier to transition into the next task, like exercising. This sequential flow reduces decision fatigue and mental resistance, making it more likely that you’ll follow through with your workout plans.

#3 Reward Yourself: Cultivate Positive Reinforcement

When life gets busy or motivation wanes, having a system of rewards in place can provide the extra incentive needed to stay on track with your workouts. Rewarding yourself after completing a workout reinforces positive behavior and creates a sense of accomplishment that fuels further motivation. A win – win!

The key to effective rewards is to make them meaningful and aligned with your goals. Whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite coffee, indulging in a relaxing bath, or watching an episode of your favorite TV show, choose rewards that you genuinely enjoy and that enhance your overall well-being.

However, it’s essential to strike a balance and ensure that your rewards don’t undermine your progress. Avoid using junk food or unhealthy habits as rewards as this can lead to counterproductive behaviors.

Overcoming workout slumps and maintaining long-term motivation requires a combination of strategies tailored to your individual needs and preferences. By setting the stage the night before, habit stacking exercise into your daily routine, and rewarding yourself for your efforts, you can overcome obstacles and stay on track toward your fitness goals. Remember, consistency is key, so find what works for you and keep pushing forward.

Are you looking to start a daily low impact exercise routine? Be sure to check out this gentle Morning Pilates Flow. This gentle class is designed to help you feel refreshed and set your body up for success as you move about your day.

With dedication and perseverance, you too can achieve lasting success on your fitness journey.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

What have you found to be helpful to staying on track in your fitness journey? Do you find it more difficult to exercise in the winter months or in the summer? It may help others who need a little inspiration.

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Carol Anne Cole

I am wondering, as I live in a place where it is too cold and icy to take the dog for a daily walk, would it be good to get weights to attach to my ankles and wrists or arms while I am doing my housework? Or would this be an unhealthy strain? I have osteoarthritis and both hips replaced, but need exercise. I don’t drive and my husband doesn’t want to take me into the recreation centre, so am kind of stuck. It is hard to get motivated to do regular in house exercises and we have no room for equipment.

Shelly Little

I set out my exercise clothes and shoes beside my bed at night so no excuses in the morning. Even when I don’t feel like exercising I remind myself how good I feel after exercising.

Christine Kirkland

Thanks for your comment Shelly. That is such a great habit to get into and helps with motivation :)

Jacquelyn D Harris

I journal so I have my next day’s routine (determined by what I’ve already done such as, is it time for weights, etc.) set up with check boxes for the next day.

What a great idea! I also like to check things off my to-do list each day…

The Author

Christine Kirkland is a certified Pilates Instructor who has helped women worldwide reduce pain, tone their bodies, and improve full-body strength and balance. Replace ”no pain, no gain” workouts with gentle and effective online Pilates classes. Join her On Demand Pilates Studio today with a FREE 7-day trial.

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