Motivation to exercise - how to find it after you've lost it

Motivation to exercise – how to find it after you’ve lost it

My initial motivator for joining the gym in 2009 was an upcoming trip to Thailand. I wanted to be fit enough to endure the hikes and physical exertion.

After that, while I did still exercise (I was always doing yoga and did some home workouts) it was pretty sporadic and I stopped going to the gym. I joined the gym again in 2015, inspired by my then-flatmate Emily and switched up my routine by going in the morning.

I realised I loved the way I felt when I went to the gym and wanted to make it, and exercise in general, a part of my life. For most of 2015 and 2016, I had my routine down and absolutely loved it.

For the last couple of months in 2016 I was back to sporadic yoga sessions and totally let go of any routine by Christmas (don’t we all?). After that, I really struggled to find motivation again in early 2017.

Getting out of a habit is easy. Getting back into a habit, even when you know it makes you feel good, is HARD.

For most of the year I’ve swung between having the odd week where I smash it at the gym, do yoga, do my strength training and feel amazing. And then there would be weeks where I thought ‘fuck it’ and did nothing, not even yoga. I was swinging from extremes.

But now…. now I feel like something’s switched. The last couple of months in particular, something’s changed and I’ve found my motivation.

How to find your motivation after you’ve lost it

Wearing my lovely Island Feather sports bra and leggings ❤

Change your mindset

You know how people say when you don’t try and force something, that’s when it’ll happen? This is true of working out too. I would feel guilty for not going to the gym and put pressure on myself.

As soon as I decided it was OK to say no to the gym and take off that pressure, guess what? I felt more like working out because I wasn’t doing it because I felt I ‘had to’, I was doing it because I wanted to.

Take off the pressure and rid yourself of gym guilt

Do it from a place of love, not punishment

This really came into effect after BeFit festival and hearing the Girl Gains talking about their attitude to exercise and doing it out of love, not punishment. I was already half-way there after taking the pressure off myself, but after hearing them talk I realised that I wanted to exercise because I loved my body and wanted to do things for it that felt good.


Since then I’ve genuinely been excited for the gym, without feeling bad if for whatever reason I don’t make it there.

Exercise because you love your body and want it to thrive. Don’t use exercise as a punishment for eating, it has to come from a place of love.

Mix it up

This is the next step for me. My routine is getting a little stagnant and I can sense myself getting bored. I did recently swap a gym workout for a morning walk and that was perfect for what my body and mind needed that day. I may switch up my at-home strength training routine and brave some new machines at the gym to keep me motivated.

Keep your body and mind engaged by switching up your routine every now and then – and don’t be afraid to try new things. 

As well as the above I follow people on social media and Youtube who have the same outlook to fitness so I can dip into their world occasionally and feel inspired. How do you find your motivation after losing it? Let me know in the comments!

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