Humans are creatures of comfort. We crave habit and routine, and (for the most part) we thrive when we reduce the amount of decisions we have to make each day and can run on auto-pilot. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than when dieting for fat loss or muscle gain. You lay out your nutrition plan and training program and you stick to it day in, day out. So long as you work the plan, you’ll get the results you want.
However...as helpful as structure and routine can be at times it can be downright boring, and that once stalwart routine has become nothing more than a mundane rut. The end result is lack of drive, motivation, and ultimately results.
The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck in a rut. There are a number of ways to stay motivated and get out of a rut.
Realize What Keeps You Comfortable
To get out of a rut, you first need to understand what leads you to fall into it in the first place. Maybe it’s following the same training program for too long, and/or eating the same foods prepared the same way day after day.
No matter how effective your training program or how great your food tastes, if you constantly do everything the exact same way, then it will eventually become boring. Understanding what leads you to get comfortable will help you also understand what you need to do to become uncomfortable and break out of a rut.
Make Small Changes to Your Training Program
There’s nothing wrong with following the same workout program for several months. So long as you’re increasing weight & reps and getting the results you want, there’s no need to change things.
However, when your workouts start to feel stale or you’re finding it hard to get excited to go to the gym, then it may be time to freshen up your workouts.
Now, you don’t need to completely throw out your entire program, something as simple as changing up the order of the exercises or the set and rep scheme can be just enough change to help you break out of a training rut and reinvigorate your zeal for bringing it each and every workout.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Impulsive
At the start of this article, we said that by and large, humans thrive on consistency, structure, and routine. At the same time, it’s important to not be completely entrapped by that order, either.
There is upside to being a little impulsive or spontaneous every now and then and going off schedule.
This can be something as simple as going out for lunch instead of eating the meal you have stored in the fridge or saying “to hell with it” for one of your training sessions and just going off.
Making snap decisions can help boost confidence and provide a chance to explore new options that add variety to life -- helping you stay motivated and not getting too comfortable.
Pursue New Health & Fitness Goals
One other way to reinvigorate your health and fitness routine is to pursue new goals. Maybe you’ve been chasing some new strength PRs in your weight lifting workouts. After a time the constant heavy lifting can take a toll on your body both mentally and physically.
Instead of tapping out of training entirely, set new goals and/or take up some new activities, such as cross-training, yoga, hiking, or
Sometimes redirecting your focus to new endeavors can be just the thing you need to regain motivation and break out of a rut.