How to Stay Motivated to Exercise When You Can’t See Progress?

There is a common expression among fitness subreddits and lifting forums: the day you start exercising is the day you become small forever. In other words, you may never feel satisfied after years of hard work or achieving your goals.

And when you don’t see progress — whether that means your ascents have stopped or you’re not satisfied with what you see in the mirror yet — it’s easy to give up everything. We’ve already written about how to stay motivated when you’re in a slump; sometimes you just need to admit that progress is not instantaneous and does not work in a linear fashion.

It can take months before you can see the progress you want, and even then you will run into times when things get tricky and lots of carbs are just that good and delicious, especially if eaten at midnight.

I am still struggling with my attitude towards progress and motivation. Some days I feel like I can get the car up if I try (I definitely can’t, but hey, goals are goals), and other days I feel like this is my first day at the gym over and over again. Naturally, my self-esteem suffers, and I unnecessarily criticize my body.

To avoid falling into self-loathing, I will rely on my training diary. It’s one thing to see my performance plateau within a few weeks, but the fact that I’ve made significant overall progress in a few months is a small reminder that I have bad days, but I also have a lot of good ones.

How do you stay motivated when you fall into a crisis? And how do you track your progress on a daily basis?


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