During the fall and winter months, however, motivation lags for most people. The days get colder, shorter and darker, and the last thing you want to be doing is waking up early in freezing temperatures to go for a run or hitting up the gym after a dreary day of work.
Though your motivation will naturally change over time, they key is to find what really makes you tick when it comes to fitness, since that's how you stay on track—regardless of your energy levels that week. You have to always re-evaluate why you want to train so hard and why you want to improve. Your "why" is more important than anything.
Here are some tips to help you stay incredibly motivated to reach your fitness and sport performance goals, no matter what season it is.
Write down your goals.1 of 9
Get specific about what you want to accomplish, how much time each week you'll spend at the gym and your main motivators for staying committed to your personal fitness. Be as clear as possible with exactly what your goals are and why you want each of them.
For example, most people want to be "healthier," but go ahead and write down tangible ways you could measure that at the end of each week. Perhaps its better sleep, more energy or improved muscle tone. Decide how many workouts each week would get you there (and keep it reasonable to avoid burnout). This will help you keep pushing even on a week when you feel particularly unmotivated.
Share your intentions and schedule with those who can hold you accountable.2 of 9
Go tell someone, or even a lot of people, what you want to accomplish. Research shows that the more you tell others about your plans to make a change, the more likely you will stick with it. Tell people what you want to happen, what you expect out of yourself and ask them to check up on you.
If you can, form an online community, create a Facebook group or write a blog so that you have to check in with others on a regular basis.
Commit to a specific workout program.3 of 9
Try a new plan, sign up for a trial membership or join a fitness club or sports team. Do whatever you have to in order to get on a set and scheduled plan. All of these options will help you feel like you have a greater purpose and more accountability in your workouts, which will help on the days you're tempted to skip out.
Plus, it will help you take the guesswork out of what you're going to do each day, which can drain your energy before you even start the workout.
Hire a coach.4 of 9
If you're completely new to working out, or you're a gym rat ready for more guidance, seek someone who can help you with a proper assessment, program, modifications and progressions. This person will also challenge and encourage you to stay on track with your specific goals.
Vary your training.5 of 9
Try new things, go to new classes and be open to different methods of working out. Get creative and mix it up so that you can continue to be challenged, which will keep your motivation high.
If you're big on cardio, try a month or two of weight-focused workouts. Or if you usually do HIIT workouts, make a switch to relaxing and calming yoga classes. Not only will these changes keep you interested, but you'll also keep your muscles guessing, which will improve tone.
Change your language.6 of 9
You likely don't "have" to workout, but instead, you get to and are able to. Look at your workouts as a gift—an opportunity to take care of your body and push yourself so that you can be better in all areas of your life. Not everyone is as healthy or fortunate to be able to move their bodies when and however they want.
Keep your self-talk positive so that your inner dialogue is helping you instead of holding you back.
Surround yourself with amazing people.7 of 9
The people you workout with can have a huge influence on you. Make sure that they are encouraging, motivating, fun to be around and committed. Consider getting a regular workout buddy at your gym or in your neighborhood, who you can meet for a few runs or workout sessions each week.
Build in a rewards system.8 of 9
This is a great tool to have in your back pocket for days that feel particularly monotonous.
Figure out an enticing reward that will push you to the gym. It could be buying a new piece of clothing that shows off a muscle group you've been working on or it could be something as simple as a long and indulgent Epsom salt bath. Keep that image in your mind as you drive to the gym.