Not excited to go to the gym? Are you dreading your next workout? Find yourself saying “maybe tomorrow” more than three days in a row?
Odds are, you’re experiencing some type of burnout.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ‘over’ the gym, either. Odds are, there’s something in your life that is exhausting you. Burnout comes in many different shapes and sizes.
What exactly does experiencing ‘burnout’ mean? We hear the phrase all the time, but have no idea how to see it coming and take the necessary steps to avoid it.
Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in an activity or work.
Lucky for you, I’m here to help you learn how to take a more proactive approach to avoiding burnout.
There are four common stages to be aware of.
Stage one is the honeymoon stage. A classic sign of this stage is being determined to fit into a size six by the time beach season comes around, so you never miss a workout. You’re super excited and eager to get back it!
Stage two is known as the disenchantment stage. This is when your excitement starts to fade when you don’t see results right away. You stop looking forward to the gym and start skipping workouts.
Stage three is the famous stalling stage. This is where you’ll find any and every excuse – family, work, friends, the weather- to skip the gym.
Stage four is frustration and surrender. This is when exercise slides from your priority list and you throw in the towel. There’s always next year!
So now that you know the stages, how can you avoid throwing in the towel and allowing it to win?
Lets bring it back to stage one, the honeymoon stage. Take the less-is-more approach. Burnout happens when we expect too much too soon. Learn to balance your excitement with your ultimate goal, whatever it may be. Even with the most effective workout programs, you can’t force your body to become stronger or slimmer faster than physiologically possible. It has taken you years to get to this point and it will take some time to get to where you need to be. Learn to be patient with yourself and celebrate the small victories.
Which leads me to tips on avoiding stage number two, the disenchantment stage. Set mini goals for yourself, and CELEBRATE them. Set short term goals that focus on the process such as time spent exercising, rather than outcome goals such as pounds lost. This is more likely to keep you motivated and, more importantly, consistent!
As for stage three, the stalling stage- the answer is simple. If you’re starting to get bored with your workout routine (we ALL do), switch it up! Tell your coach you need something different to keep you engaged. Try a new class. Incorporate mobility or lifting portions to your sessions. This will help keep you engaged and your mind fresh with new knowledge. Working out doesn’t have to be a robotic process. Have some fun with it!
And if you’ve made it to stage four, I have good news for you- you don’t have to stay here! There’s a way out! You just have to commit yourself and make a schedule right now. No you can’t put it off until later. See the cycle? Grab a pen and paper and write it down. Dedicate three hours per week at the gym for five weeks. Make the promise to yourself that this is your priority.
After all- if you promised your best friend that you would be there for them and they needed you, you would be there. Wouldn’t you?
Start treating yourself with the same respect, care and concern.
You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Stay healthy, stay happy.
All the best,