I’m assuming we all have moments where all we would like to do is rot in our beds. For some it could be just that, moments, but for others (myself included) - it could be easy to think about staying there and merging with the void we delicately lay ourselves into. I have spent years figuring out how to carry both comfort and discomfort. What I’ve learned from my personal trial and errors is that there needs to be room for both, but your desire for self preservation must exceed your desire to let yourself spiral. Don’t get me wrong - you can absolutely change your life at any moment, but breaking a once consistent habit takes an undesirable amount of effort to rebuild.
When I first applied to write for girlgains, I thought about how far fitness and routines in general have carried me through uncertain or difficult times. I thought about how consistency inspires confidence. I thought about how it might be fueling the fire and passion within the longest relationship I’ll ever have - the one with myself. Training has taught me I can do hard things and I can do them alone. Movement has physically and mentally molded all of us into the people we are today. Let’s start a conversation about doing the hard thing when you have no motivation or desire to, and how to keep your goals in sight.
The Illusion of Motivation
Starting a fitness journey is exhilarating. The initial surge of motivation to get our lives together propels us to set ambitious goals, hit the gym consistently, and eat to best fuel ourselves. We feel invincible, believing that nothing can deter us from achieving our goals. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the inceptive enthusiasm may wane. External factors, such as busy schedules, unexpected setbacks, and slow progress, can diminish our motivation. We find ourselves skipping workouts or indulging in unhealthy habits, questioning our commitment to the journey. Relying solely on motivation is a precarious path. Motivation is fleeting, and it cannot sustain the consistent effort required for long-term success. Discipline, on the other hand, is the unwavering commitment that keeps us on track even when motivation falters.
Discipline is the practice of showing up, regardless of whether we feel like it or not. Consistency breeds results, and small daily actions accumulate into significant progress over time. With discipline, we can establish a structured fitness routine. By making movement habitual, we reduce the need for constant motivation. It becomes as natural as brushing your teeth. A well-crafted routine becomes an automatic part of our daily life. Discipline encompasses commitment to the journey, not just the end goal. When we stay dedicated to the process and focus on the present, we cultivate patience and resilience, allowing us to walk down a fulfilling path.
Strength From Within
Intrinsic goals, rooted in personal motivations, have a profound impact on our fitness journey. Understanding our "why" - the reasons behind our desire to keep our bodies moving - keeps us connected to our core values and sustains our efforts even during difficult times. When we align our fitness goals with our passions, movement becomes a form of joyful release. Whether it's dancing, hiking, or weightlifting, finding activities that spark joy makes the journey more fulfilling and sustainable.
Overcoming the Desire to Rot
My bed is cozy and sometimes I want to be in it all day to escape from an overwhelming and overstimulating reality. Insecurities and self-doubt also tend to find their way into my thoughts, which makes me want to lay down forever also. So I started scheduling some time to rot as a way to balance my needs. There really is a sweet spot for everything - I find for myself, allowing two days of full rest works amazing for me, but also setting a bit of time aside for myself everyday really allows me to recharge and feel ready to take on each day. So, instead of getting discouraged, we must focus on our individual growth, celebrating every step forward, regardless of how small it may seem. Setbacks are inevitable, but they are not roadblocks. They are opportunities for growth and learning. Embracing the reality that not everything will go as expected as a natural part of the journey allows us to learn from our mistakes and use them as stepping stones toward improvement.
Oftentimes, failing is bringing you to where you need to be. I traveled this entire past month of July, and I’m running a half marathon at the end of August. While I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stick to my training plan, I was actually able to fit in a majority of my runs. But I also took an entire week off during this month! Today I went on my first run since getting back home and I felt better than I had this entire time of training. In the end, rest takes you far - so never feel a type of way about taking an extensive break. So rot away, ladies, if you need to! It is possible to come back even better after this. Alongside rest, resilience is a vital skill in the face of challenges. Building resilience means accepting that setbacks happen and embracing the strength to bounce back stronger, no matter what life throws our way.
Building a Supportive Fitness Community
Surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals who share our fitness goals can significantly impact our progress. Fitness buddies provide motivation, accountability, and a sense of camaraderie that keeps us going even when we feel demotivated. Mentors and experienced fitness enthusiasts can offer valuable guidance and insights. Learning from their successes and challenges can inspire and inform our own fitness journey. While support from others is essential, learning to be our own cheerleader is equally crucial. Developing self-encouragement and self-belief empowers us to push through tough times and recognize our worth beyond just physical accomplishments.
Progress Will Show Itself Eventually
Along the fitness journey, it's essential to celebrate every milestone, no matter how big or small. Acknowledging progress boosts morale and reinforces the belief that we are capable of achieving our goals. We can recognize the positive changes in our overall well-being, such as increased energy, improved mood, and better sleep. Embracing the process means finding fulfillment in the daily journey rather than obsessing over the destination. When we learn to enjoy the ride, we develop a sustainable and fulfilling relationship with fitness.
In the End
The illusion of motivation can lead us astray, but with discipline, intrinsic goals, and a supportive community, we can overcome challenges and embrace the transformative power of fitness. By celebrating progress, focusing on personal growth, and finding joy in the process, we can forge a lasting and rewarding fitness journey that goes beyond physical changes. So, let us embark on this journey, armed with the knowledge that true success lies in our dedication and determination to become the best version of ourselves.
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