How to Get Motivated to Shape Up When You Don’t Want To

LazyWhat do you do when you have absolutely no motivation to eat healthy and exercise?

What • do • you • do?

First off, do you ever feel like this? No? Well then I need to talk to you. :)

Sure, I think that all of us have those days when we just don’t care, we just don’t feel like making those healthy choices, we just don’t want to get out for that walk or pick up those weights. I’m having one of those days myself and I’m sure I’ll have another one in the future.

Well you know what? This is no problem if you feel like this every once in awhile – we all have our ups and downs. It’s only a problem when that one day snowballs into another day, 4 days, a week, a month, and beyond. Then before you know it, you’re at New Year’s Eve and once again saying, “this will be the year I get in shape and get fit”.

So how can you make sure that you don’t get into that spiral of day after day, saying that tomorrow (or next Monday) will be different? Well there are a couple of things you can do to get yourself back on track and the simplest one is to get moving. That’s right, get moving.

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Get Walking

If there’s one thing that can spur you into action, it’s taking action, no matter how small it is. I know that can be hard to do, but you just have to put one foot in front of the other and get moving. Get out of the house and walk around the block. Or, go to the mall and walk it for 10 minutes without stopping. Another option is you can turn on one of those fitness shows on the TV and start moving with that. Just do something to get your body moving.

It’s better if you can sustain your movement for 30 minutes and really get those endorphins flowing, but if you’re not there yet then that’s no problem. I guarantee that you’ll notice a shift in your emotions and attitude even if you only walk to the corner and back (and be sure to give yourself credit for whatever it is that you accomplish).

What If Walking Hurts?

If you spend most of your time sitting because it hurts when you walk, then what you can do is lift your hands up in the air and push to the sky with your arms. Do this 10 times, do it for 5 minutes, just get the blood flowing.

Another excellent option is Richard Simmons’ workout video that you do in your chair – Sit Tight. The momentum of movement will get you energized and will create more motivation to move again. That motivation to move will spill over into your motivation to feed your body healthy foods, and before you know it you’ll be out of that zero motivation slump and in an upward spiral towards better health and fitness.

What About You?

Do you have some special techniques that you use on yourself to get yourself motivated when you don’t want to move? Or, have you tried my suggestion and had success? Tell us all about it in a comment – what you share just might motivate someone else to get out of their motivation slump today! :)

Let's Connect!

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  • Angie

    The way I stay motivated is by setting different goals. My current goal is to do 5 chin ups/pull ups unassisted! My goal is to do it my Memorial Day…so there’s no slacking, I just need to DO IT! Plus the feeling of getting stronger is enough motivation also!

  • JoLynn Braley

    Hi Angie,

    You sound very motivated to reach your chin up goal, I have no doubt that you’ll do it. Thanks for sharing how you stay motivated! :)

  • Franx

    It’s a great technic to motivate ourselft and focus on what we want

  • JoLynn Braley

    Thanks Franx!

  • AkiraSabine

    I join a dance class as I’ve always wanted to. Besides burning the calories, I learn a new skill and meeting new people. I do not go to the gym, it’s boring. I play sports. I swim and play racquet games. It’s more varied and fun. Whever I don’t play sports, I try to take public transport and walk more instead of driving.

    AkiraSabine’s last blog post..Blog and Make Extra $

  • Carrie

    Oh, I soooo can relate. Almost every day I have to force myself to exercise. I don’t enjoy it. Oddly enough, the days where I’m feeling more rebellious against my routine are the days that I say to myself, ‘I will exercise, and I’m going to do it Right Now!’ And then I just get on the treadmill.

    You’re totally right about getting that first step being the hardest. I find that even on my bad days, I can convince myself to walk just 5 more minutes, and by the time I’m done, I’ve usually got at least 30 minutes done.

    Carrie’s last blog your food labels

  • JoLynn Braley

    @AkiraSabine, a dance class sounds like lots of fun, great job you’re doing on keeping things interesting so you don’t get bored! :)

    @Carrie, I’ve felt the same way as you many times, I even felt like that tonight! I didn’t want to get on the treadmill but I did it anyway, put one foot in front of the other – felt a lot better when I was done. 😉

  • Alexa Cooper

    I used to run quite a bit and I noticed that the first five minutes of any run are the hardest. It seemed hard for my body to adjust to running, get the blood pumping, the muscles warmed up and all that. Once I got my body going everything was fine. What I learned from that is to always start out slow. I still do that. When I go walking I start out really slow and before I know I am going full speed. So, just take it easy on the body when it needs to adjust.

    Alexa Cooper’s last blog post..How Do I Eat Less – 33 Tips

  • Stacey

    I either find a fun activity to participate in, or I really tune in to figure out if I really am just plain exhausted. If that’s the case a little rest usually helps and I’m back at it the next day or I do some gentle yoga.

    I once heard someone say that most of the battle with exercise is simply putting your workout clothes on. Once you do that, there are no more excuses!

  • Raymond Chua

    Thanks for sharing the tips, Jolynn.

    I am too lazy to walk (sometimes) :)

    Raymond Chua’s last blog post..The World Earth Day

  • MizFit

    for ME it’s the cardio piece I loathe.


    Ive been known to dash out to the grocery LATENIGHT so I have some trash (read: US weekly) so that I will get on the stationary bike in the morning as Ive been known to skip the bike merely in the name of no good reading fodder.

    I know

    it’s ugly but it’s true

    MizFit’s last blog post..Link Love and a Friday FREEBIE!

  • Mark-Salinas-MN

    Excellent post! I am involved in a 6 am class 3 days a week that constantly changes up the format, which keeps it interesting…the accountability thing is also a huge motivating factor. For additional workouts I like to imagine/visualize how much better I will feel after a work out, walk etc. This tends get me off my rump! :)

    Mark Salinas, MN

  • Joe Cheray

    I got rid of my fat clothes I don’t keep anything extra large in my closet or dresser except t shirts for sleeping and well bra’s. This keeps me majorly motivated to keep moving and eat right.

  • Nadine

    I need this. I’ve been slack for a while. But walking is so easy. Wearing a pedometer forces me to up my steps. I hate to see the low number. Even if I have to walk my kitchen and hallways 50 times to up the number. You can start walking 10 minute at a time, and just increase it 5 mins each time.

    Nadine’s last blog post..Friday Faves

  • Cheryl

    I’m in one of those slumps now! Your suggestion to get out and walk is a very good one for me. Now that it’s not raining every day and it’s even warming up a little, I am getting back outside and it’s helping.

    Cheryl’s last blog post..Affiliate Marketing as a Retirement Income

  • Merry

    The best motivator I’ve found is music with a great beat. Once the toe starts tapping, it’s easier to get the rest of the body moving as well :)

    Merry’s last blog post..And the winnah is…

  • Mark Salinas

    I agree! Music is a huge motivator, put together a bunch of your favorite tunes and start going!

    Mark Salinas, MN

  • Robert A. Henru

    Hi Jolynn, thx for the idea. There are some point of time that I started my exercise session with walking, at least that take away my laziness to do it.
    One surprising point is abt sitting tight, thanks for the info.

    Robert A. Henru’s last blog post..The 5 simple things to appreciate your friend

  • JoLynn Braley

    Lots of great comments here, very cool! :)

  • JoLynn Braley

    @Alexa, I often feel the same – but after that first 5 minutes of walking, I’m game to keep going.

    @Raymond, hey, I don’t think you’re lazy, you just need to start out small. :)

    @Stacey, good point, that you might just be too tired. It depends on the type of workout too, because rest days are needed between strength training.

    @M, that’s funny, but if that’s what motivates you to do your cardio, then that’s what you need! :)

    @Merry, @Mark, very true, and simple to do! 😉

    @Robert, sure, np, the sit tight video is a great help to those who are obese and cannot move around much until they lose some weight – and it gives you no excuse for working out. 😉

  • Raymond Chua

    Thanks for the kind words. :)

    Raymond Chua’s last blog post..Fork Out More Time For Yourself

  • April

    I stay motivated, by changing it up. I used to be a hard-core gym person. I could only get inspired by going to the gym and being right in the middle of all of that energy. Now, I live in the middle of nowhere, where I can’t go to the gym. So, I have to be creative.

    Here are some excellent workouts, to get started: FitPack Videos

    It’s just a 20-minute workout. I’ve found it VERY helpful, on those days, when I don’t feel like doing anything. I usually pick the Beginner or Intermediate video.

    When I don’t feel like following along, it may sound ridiculous, but I put on some upbeat music that I enjoy and just dance or do kickboxing moves. Also, I’ve started hiking a little. (I never thought I would be a “hiker”!)

    The key, I think, is to find something – ANYTHING – that will keep your heart rate up and at a healthy level, for 20-30 minutes. I try to do this, as many days as possible. From just this little change, over the past few weeks, I’ve seen some MAJOR improvements.

  • JoLynn Braley

    @Robert, np, it’s true! :)

    @April, thank you for your inspiring comment! I’ve never been a gym goer but I recently found Fit TV on the hotel tv while out of town and had fun working out to something different. Thanks for the link to the online free videos – it does help to do something different sometimes, especially when you’re struggling to get moving. :)

  • April

    You’re very welcome!

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