How to motivate yourself and stay on track
First of all I would like to contradict the statement that you must train all year around. This all-or-nothing way of thinking is exactly what lays the ground to an inactive winter as it is so easy to lose against that kind of uncompromising approach. We should instead consider the summer break as a well-deserved breather which allows us to physically recover as well as mentally prepare for the upcoming challenges.
When resuming physical activity it is important to be determined and to set a concrete goal. Ask yourself the question what your main purpose of going to the gym is, what once motivated you to buy those expensive running shoes or that equipment which is now hidden in the closet. Where do you find yourself these days in relation to your goal and what is required of you to actually achieve it? Write these answers down, preferably on a piece of paper, and clearly define how the reward looks like at the end of the road. Remind yourself about this on a regular basis to make sure that you never lose sight of the main goal.
Your main focus should be quality and not quantity. The cliché “less is more” is applicable even in this context. Instead of lazing around the gym and licking the clock until it all feels justified, you should engage yourself in a pre-planned program. This does not only ensure your efficiency, but it also makes it easier for you to organize your time and therefore even facilitate everyday life. If you lack the structure you get from knowing what, when and how to do your workouts, I guarantee you that the next step is that you lose your inspiration and immediately start seeking excuses not to.
The gym is not for everyone. If you know yourself as a person who prefers fresh air or just minding your own business, that is probably not the right environment for you. Get out in the woods or stay at home with good conscience and adjust your training to these conditions instead.
Make sure your workouts are progressive and that they are leading to actual results. If this is achieved by getting a training partner, logging your lifting in a workout log, signing up for a big event, or just taking your body measurements is completely up to you. The main thing here is that you both recognize and value your own progress. This will keep you hungry and therefore also ensure continuity.
Avoid going out too hard in the beginning and be responsive to the body’s signals. If you notice that you no longer throw yourself out of bed with the same sense of commitment to your workouts, it may be beneficial to replace one of them with rest. In this context, one missed workout is unimportant and may even be better than a completed one. Especially if it means that you recharge your batteries in favour to the next training session. If the uninspired condition seems persistent, adjustments in the routine are probably necessary. This may be done through new activities, new exercises or simply changing the environment and replacing your company.
Physical activity should be a natural part of life and something that you wholeheartedly enjoy or at least see the purpose with.