5 Reasons You Lose Motivation to Workout

If you find yourself asking, “Why can’t I stick with it?” you are not alone. The enthusiasm of a new workout routine is fabulous, but eventually, we all reach a point where motivation declines. Here are 5 reasons you may be losing motivation and how to avoid it.

Reason #1 You Lose Motivation to Workout: No measurable goals

Doing the mindset work up front is essential to long-term success and health. We recommend that you take time to consider your, “Why,” before you begin training. And the more specific, the better. “I want to lose weight for better health,” is NOT a specific and measurable goal. “I want to lose 25 lbs so my knees don’t hurt and I can get down on the floor with my grandkids,” is clear, measurable, meaningful, and motivating.

Read, Avoid These Mistakes When Creating a New Habit, for tips on setting clear goals. Especially, look at Mistake #5.

Using a habit tracker, fitness journal, or other measurement tool can help maintain motivation because you can see your progress: how it ebbs and flows, what factors generate the most progress for you, what your next goal should be, etc. Also, it is just plain fun to see how far you’ve come!

Get our free Healthful Habits Bundle with habit trackers, inspo and how-to guides here.

Reason #2 You Lose Motivation to Workout: No accountability

The absolute toughest way to make a big change, and KEEP IT GOING, is to go it alone. Get your support team in place BEFORE you need them, so that on those difficult days – those, “I don’t want to/have time to/have energy to workout today,” days, you have some external motivation to get going.

Join a Small Group, recruit a workout buddy, or hire a personal trainer. We cannot overstate the motivation of having a group who will miss you, a buddy who will call you, or a trainer you have paid in advance to meet with you.

The absolute toughest way to make a big change, and keep it going, is to go it alone.

At TrainMovePlay, we offer Small Group Fitness so that you have the energy of 5 other people to fuel you on those tough days. We also offer Personal Training, Buddy Training, and Trio Training.

Reason #3 You Lose Motivation to Workout: No progress

If you have not previously been training, or if you have been on a break for awhile, you will see big gains in the first month of your new fitness program. You feel better, sleep better, and notice the effects of body transformation. But these striking changes diminish as you continue and, eventually, you notice your progress slowing. Congratulations – you have reached Plateau.

This is part of the process. It doesn’t mean you will not make further progress or reach your goals. It means you have entered a new phase of the journey. And while it is completely normal, it can be frustrating. This is the point where many people become de-motivated and is the beginning of the end for many a fitness program.

When we life the same amount of weight, or move through the same exercises, session after session, the program eventually yields diminishing results. To keep making gains, we must require more and more work, and a variety of tasks from our bodies. A trainer can guide you through plateaus and help you understand why and how your body is adjusting to the work.

You can also read Strength: Defined to get a better idea about what happens as we train.

Reason #4 You Lose Motivation to Workout: No fun

Boredom and Burnout are the enemy, friends! In the beginning of a new fitness journey, it can be extremely helpful to set a program. You’ll learn a lot about your body, your limits, the ebbs and flows of your daily energy, how diet and sleep affects performance, and many more valuable lessons. Routine and commitment are generally good for consistency, which is key to long-term success. Health is, after all, a life-style, not a 6 week program.

But a stale routine can actually become de-motivating, so you have to find the right balance for you. Once in awhile it can be a good idea to mix it up! Try a new class or instructor. Visit a new area of the gym. Experiment with different equipment. Play around with weight, reps, and sets. Research various structures and programs. A trainer can help you design an interesting program – one that feels meaningful and fun for you, and can help you stay interested in your own workout.

See our article, Understanding Functional Fitness for tips on creating a training program that keeps you inspired.

We recently wrote a few articles on Mindfulness in Strength Training. We wrote about Strength Training specifically, but the principles we discuss apply no matter what type of training you are into – yoga, Pilates, running, swimming,… – mindfulness practice is a powerful tool to stay interested and curious about your workout.

Reason #5 You Lose Motivation to Workout: No big wins

There are big wins, and those are super fun! But they can be macroscopic and difficult to see from the vantage of the daily grind. So, Celebrate the small stuff – and not with a Snickers!

The small wins are arguably more important because they are so motivating when appreciated and celebrated. A good night’s sleep, a new dress size, a thumbs up from the doctor at your medical exam, a round of golf without back pain,… these little moments can go a long way toward keeping you invested in yourself.

Don’t forget to record your small wins in your habit tracker or journal so you can look back on them the next time you are feeling the discouragement of a plateau or the frustration of a hard day. And share them with your training buddy, small group, trainer, or on social media so that your support team can celebrate with you.


We commonly see 5 reasons people lose motivation to workout:

  1. No clear, measurable goals.
  2. No progress, aka, plateau.
  3. No accountability.
  4. No fun.
  5. No big wins.

Martin lifting a kettle bellSet these systems in place in order to maintain motivation to workout:

  1. Set clear, measurable, meaningful goals and track them.
  2. Learn about plateau and how to manage it.
  3. Recruit a buddy, group, or trainer.
  4. Mix it up.
  5. Celebrate the small stuff and Stay positive!

If you haven’t downloaded our free Healthful Habits Bundle, follow the link below to go get it. It includes several printable habit trackers, which are essential to seeing and appreciating your progress.

If you are interested in having a routine or program designed specifically for you and your needs, contact us at TrainMovePlayPT@gmail.com and let’s chat.

Train Smart. Move Well. Play Hard, friends.

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