What do you do to get re-motivated?


Ever have times where you just can't focus on your workouts or eating healthy for a period of time. Times where you just don't have any motivation at all? If so how did you convince your mind that you needed to get back into the swing of things?
I'm in one of those funks and just don't even know if its worth the effort any more. Since the holidays I have had little desire to workout and even less to eat healthy. I read about how everyone is enjoying the new STS Cardio and I have barely even opened it, let alone tried very many. Usually January is the time of year where people get motivated, not me this year. January has instead brought me a why bother attitude. Maybe its winter depression, stress or something like that. In my mind I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I just can't convince myself otherwise. Any suggestions?


You are not alone. I live in northern MI where it is wicked cold and snowy in the winter. It brings me down every year. I am a runner and will be signing up for the Chicago Marathon on Monday. That gives me a HUGE boost of motivation. I do have a treadmill since I can't get outside due to living in the woods and ice covering most of the roads.

I also just sprung for STS strength. I sooooo did not want to do it today after my run, but I thought about how much money I had invested in it and how it will make me a stronger runner. Also, it will help with my bone density and boost my metabolism.

Hang in there! Maybe set yourself a goal to complete. Maybe walk/run a 5k in the spring, set up a rotation where you know what you need to do everyday, etc. Think about all the health benefits of exercise.

I have been where you are and it is frustrating.

Take care.


I'm struggling a bit with my weekend workouts. Today I considered not working out, and then I literally remembered how great my muscles feel after a strength workout (NOT the next day, though!) and went for it. I had a fantastic workout that lasted 2.5 hours. I mixed up the muscle groups, so a set of push ups, followed by a set of biceps curls, that kind of thing. Actually, in case anyone is interested this is what I did (the leg work is all about rehab for my ITBS; that's why it's kinda weird):

Warm Up


  • 367 Push Ups: 36-34-32-30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-10-15-10-10

  • 120 rear leg lifts each leg (10 AW)
  • 3 two-minute wall squat holds (pretty pathetic on this one today- was attempting 1 five minute hold; not happening)
  • 100 full deep squats (70BB)
  • 100 plie squats (70BB)
  • 100 moving side to side squats, counterbalanced (5DB)
  • 50 alternating front lunges
  • 50 alternating back lunges
  • 120 band crossovers
  • 50 one-legged squats
  • 50 calf raises (35 DB)
  • 75 Adductor raises (10 AW)

  • 2 sets of 16 two arm rows (90BB)
  • 2 sets of 16 pullovers (20DB warm up and 35DB)
  • 1 set of 16 one arm rows (40KB)
  • 12 pull up attempts (hah!)

  • 2 sets of 16 Bicep Curls (20DB)
  • 1 set of 16 hammer curls on the ball (20)
  • 1 set of 12 hammer curl 5-second holds (20 DB)

  • 2 sets of 36 Dips
  • 2 sets of 16 Skull Crushers (20-15 DB)
  • 1 set of 16 overhead extensions (20 DB) Note to self: go up next time

  • 1 set of 12 military presses (20-15 DB)
  • 1 set of 12 shoulder presses (20 DB)
  • 1 set of 16 Arnold presses (20 DB)
  • 24 rear delt flyes, with band
  • 36 shoulder shrugs (35 DB)

  • 100 crunches on the ball
  • 100 butterfly crunches
  • 100 woodchoppers, total
  • 50 side to side bends, weight over head (20 DB)

Foam Rollering



I have been in this very same funk for a few months now. My workouts are very sporadic and my eating not great. I'm either all in or all out and right now it's all out. Can't seem to find the motivation to get back in there. I'm looking forward to what other people do to find there way to working out after a hiatus. I've been there before. Usually an upcoming beach vacation will get me motivated but there's nothing like that in my future. Just a frigid winter in my brand new home in St. Louis. Ugh! I hope you get some good responses here.


I have no motivation either. I have lots of unopened DVDs and no interest in trying them out. I can't seem to talk myself in to getting back on the wagon again.


I'm right there with you. I'm going to start STS for the second time on Monday. Hope that does it. I'm anxious to see other peoples responses.


Oh I hear you,

I tend to go back to my fav workouts. The ones I know by heart but have a grand fun factor for me. I threw in LIC step today because the DVD on my rotation was leaving me cold, I was so not into legs today. And it was fun. Grab the stuff you absolutely love.


First, find your strongest motivation: is it vanity or health (or both, which it could be).

Then, you can either:
1) find a NEGATIVE example of "what will happen if I don't eat right/exercise" (mine used to be our former department secretary, who was overweight and unwell), or look at parts of you in a mirror that are going south because of lack of exercise. This is negative motivation ("if I don't do X, there will be negative results"), which motivates some people.


2) find a POSITIVE example of "what I will look/feel like if I do keep up my good eating/exercising" (a picture of you at your peak shape; thinking of good medical test results you had after a period of 'right living'). This is positive motivation ("if I do X, there will be positive results") which motivates others.


You are not alone (as others have said)! I have a few suggestions.

1. Understand and accept that we all ups and downs of motivation. I used to think there was something wrong with me during times when I was not motivated--which led to giving up, but now I realize that it's ok. I deal with it and take care of myself and do something nice (ie. pedicure, bubble bath, massage, etc.)

2. I learned this from the Beck Diet Solution, she calls it the "Oh Well principle." It's really about having a good attitude. When you think, "I don't want to work out today," just say, "oh well, I'd rather be _______ (fit, thin, strong, healthy, etc.) and do it anyway (and end the conversation in your head). We usually think that we have to be motivated first, but sometimes ACTION comes before motivation. At least for me, I know that once I start I've never been sorry that I worked out. :) When you pick an activity you enjoy and work hard, it leads to a feeling of accomplishment and success, which in turn gets you motivated.

3. Find an immovable date for something that really motivates you. Family reunion, party, trip to Hawaii, 5K, triathlon, photo shoot? If there's nothing on your radar in the next two months that gets you moving, plan something.

4. Get involved in a cause--walk or run for breast cancer, heart disease, Leukemia/lymphoma society, etc.


I say be gentle with yourself. There's a reason for everything. I can relate to how you feel. I've been under unusual stress lately because there are things I have to do to move my career forward. Those things are my first priority, and I don't stress myself out further worrying about exercise or eating well. Instead, I realize that exercise and eating well are supportive of my career goals, and will help me get where I want to go by helping me to be more energetic and less tense. I don't have my usual robust appetite which causes me to enjoy my veggies and fruits, but I do the best I can, eating small fruits instead of large ones, for example. I don't have the energy right now for full-fledged work-outs, so I walk half a mile here and there or do whatever else I can, which helps me to start to regain my energy. I also highly recommend taking Vitamin D-3 supplements during this time of year. You may be feeling less energetic because your Vit D levels are low. In fact, I suggest having a full blood work-up to make sure all your levels are where they're supposed to be. Very important and so easy to do! :)


Great post, Nancy! :)

One thing I've learned over the years is that finding a specific event or date to motivate you usually backfires. For instance, you decide you want to get in shape for a vacation or a class reunion. You get all fired up and work hard to look good by that date. What happens when that date passes? You're done. You have lost your motivation instantly. I think it sets you up to fail in the long run.

What I find has worked well for me is to stop looking on the outside for motivation. Find that place inside you that keeps you constant. Make your working out and eating good a habit that doesn't take any extra thought process to make happen... kind of like brushing your teeth (an example used by many). Approach your working out as a part of what you do as routine, not as a goal to be reached or something that needs to be done by a certain date.

This is just what has kept me going for many years. Maybe it will help others to do the same!


Short FUN workouts (30 - 40 min) put me back on track if I'm feeling unmotivated. Most often, it's a new series or new instructor because that adds to the novelty.

January is my downer month (I think of it as the "Monday" of the year) because of the cold and I know winter still has 3 solid months to go. I've learned to have some new workouts dvds for this time of year and that makes a huge difference. :)


What oftens helps me is to pick up a health/fitness/nutrition book I found inspirational in the past - or buy a new one - so when I feel like parking my butt in the lazyboy I park with that book and start reading. Some books (like BFFM) I have read many, many times, but it still helps. Even re-reading gets me going. I had read the Eat Clean Diet and just last week bought Eat Clean Diet Recharged, and I am now reading that. This has already helped me clean up my diet and get back on track with working out. I suspect it sounds goofy, re-reading the same or similar books, but I do find if it helped me once, it will help me again. I also buy new books, and just read one recommended by someone here, Younger Next Year, and also just bought the new book by Jack LaLanne, Live Young Forever. I probably buy about one book a month and plow through it; they keep me going and I figure it is well worth the investment. Many times while I'm reading I will suddenly feel like I NEED to work out, and jump out of my chair and go do it. Also I like magazines like Oxygen, Fitness, etc. Sometimes it takes a while for this to work for me, but eventually it does.


My check-in buddies keep me motivated.
Some one is always willing to kick my butt :p plus I don't want to leave them down.


I keep a notebook that tracks my food, workouts and weight loss. When I start to feel unmotivated, I look at how much I have lost over the months and how I have kept at it. It makes me want to keep going.

I will then tell myself 10 minutes. If after ten minutes I still feel that I just don't have it in me, I will quit the workout. It never happens though. Once I get through the warm up and into the first step cycle or set of weights, I am hooked and keep going.

I also look at pictures of myself from before I lost the weight. Never going back there! That's my motto ;)



I simply pop in a w/o DVD while I am feeling unmotivated...and the guilt from not moving my body usually motivates me :).


Great post, Nancy! :)

One thing I've learned over the years is that finding a specific event or date to motivate you usually backfires. For instance, you decide you want to get in shape for a vacation or a class reunion. You get all fired up and work hard to look good by that date. What happens when that date passes? You're done. You have lost your motivation instantly. I think it sets you up to fail in the long run.

That's exactly where I'm at. We went on a cruise in December. Before the cruise I worked out hard to try make a difference. Once home from the cruise, I was done, no motivation to get started again. The first couple weeks only added to my lack of exercise because I ate what I wanted and didn't gain a pound. This only reinforced the question in my head of "why to I try to workout so hard if I can maintain with no effort". Even things like watching Biggest Loser wasn't enough to get me going. Instead I sit there watching it while eating a bowl of potato chips and realize the irony of doing so.

Thank you all for your responses. I realize I have to decide what I can live with. If I want a better/healthier body, I'm going to have to work for it. If I don't mind the extra pounds that are starting to creep on after 4 weeks of not working out, then keep doing nothing. I'm pretty sure I know which one I want more so I need to just jump back in and get moving. I love the idea of just doing something for 10 minutes. After 10 I'll probably keep going and if not at least I got in 10 minutes of something.



I also find it motivating to create my own workout from scratch, using a different style or way of lifting. Like adding in explosive movements, pulses, holds, changing rep speeds, plyo, circuits, drop sets, super sets, etc. I love creating workouts. For cardio, I love creating new playlists and HiiT workouts, and have created a bunch of CardioCoach premixes. Creating your own workout adds a creative element to it that you can take ownership of - you are the captain of your own fitness destiny and you get to decide how hard you are going to work. Most often, I push myself way harder than an instructor pushes me and I tend to add on to my own set workouts as I'm doing them, which I don't do for DVD workouts. I like to go to the DVDs now when I want just a simple quick comprehensive workout, or want the instructor to push me in a way I don't usually push myself. For instance, I can do a lot of sets of push ups, but those slow sets and changing rep speeds for the push ups in Muscle Max get me every time! And squat thrusts are brutal - I'd never do those on my own!


Oh I soooooo needed this thread!!!

I have been terrible with my eating and workout habits. I was feeling so upset about it. BUT, I had some very major stressors in my life over the past 6 months and just realized that I was depressed. Went to the doc to talk about it and while he recommended exercise, he also told me to give my body some time to recover.

Being emotionally drained was very tiring. Wanted to sleep way too much. So I started changing my diet first. That was much easier than doing IMAX 2!!!
Now tomorrow is my start date to return to exercise and i am planning on going slowly at first (30 min) to get used to it and not hurt myself.

Good Luck and get going.


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