It’s easy to fall into an exercise rut from time to time.

The all too familiar story goes something like this…

You’re exercising regularly, feeling great, and it’s all starting to feel effortless.
But then the holidays come around, or you go on a trip. Maybe your child gets sick, you have an important deadline at work, or a big exam in school.
Whatever the reason is for the disruption, life happens. But when it comes time to get back into the routine, it can feel difficult to muster the motivation.
Maybe you’ve thought, “Next Monday I’ll start exercising again.”Then something comes up and before you know it, a month has gone by. 

Motivation is just like a muscle. If you don’t use it, you feel like you lose it. The process of rebuilding your motivation muscle can feel a little painful

A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes on average 66 days, not the 21 we have been led to believe, to form a new habit. However, don’t worry. They also discovered that falling off the wagon does not impact your long-term habits.

So you can let go of that all-or-nothing mentality. Getting back into your exercise routine may take a little nudge, but the pathways in your brain have already been formed, and you don’t have to start over from scratch.

Here are three steps to help you get past that motivation slump and get back to feeling great: 

Step 1:  Read, listen, or watch a favorite health or motivational book, magazine, podcast, or show.

We all have certain people that without a doubt leave us feeling excited and motivated about life. Find those people and use them to get the inspiration flowing.

Here are some of mine: Chris Kresser, Peter Attia, Nourish Balance Thrive

Step 2:  Adopt a 15-minute routine, first thing in the morning, to encourage more healthy choices during the day.

For example: Drink 12 oz. water upon waking, do a 5-minute meditation, and then a 10-minute movement exercise, stretching, or yoga. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain, which lifts your mood, leaving you feeling more motivated.

For more info on the importance of creating a healthy morning routine, read this post.

Step 3:  Eat a healthy breakfast that “does a body good.”

When we feel good in our bodies, we naturally feel motivation to create healthy choices. Start your day with a delicious meal of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that turn into sugar quickly like baked goods, cereals, and dairy products, which all cause the inevitable afternoon crash.

Visit here for delicious grain-free dairy-free breakfast options. This is a growing resource! Be sure to check back often.

The best way to combat an exercise rut is to come up with your plan of action during a time of higher motivation

Who are the people that fill you with inspiration? 

What would your 15-minute morning routine look like? 

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

**Write these down and pull them out the next time you need a little motivational nudge. **

Here is one of my all time favorite motivational videos on the power of food to heal the body.

And this is the video that I watch when I need some motivation for movement in my day! One day I would like to move with this much strength and grace!

This post first appeared on Eat, Live, Life. One of my favorite sites for living a healthy life. Check it out here!

Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.

—Seth Godin

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