Today I would like to talk to you about motivation. I’m sure that all of us – me certainly included – feel unmotivated at times. Especially when it comes to your fitness goals you will eventually hit a rough patch of low level enthusiasm from time to time. Maybe you are still searching for the workout or workout routine that suits you best, or perhaps you are getting bored of the same workout day in and day out. Maybe you feel like the results are coming too slowly, or you feel like all those lofty goals you planned to achieve are crumbling in front of you because you went overboard with your binge yesterday and now think that you are utterly incapable to keep up your discipline for the long term.
I know it seems impossible to overcome such a motivational low at times, but I’ve learned a few ways to break out of this downward spiral of evil. So go on and read them and then get off your butt!
Think about what YOU would like to achieve | The most important thing in order to be able to achieve your goals is to make sure you are 100% committed. If you want to lose weight because your friends said so, or you only envy someone in the gym for his or her great body, make sure that you think about this – really hard. Only the goals you set for yourself and that ones that you feel 100% committed to can and will be achieved. Half-hearted attempts or pressure from someone else will never work out in the long run.
Build anticipation & get excited | I guess this tip sounds odd, but it worked really great for me. Don’t just jump head-first into your goals. Take your time, make some plans, get some inspiration and plan well ahead. Set a starting date in the future – a week or a month from now – and prepare for your big launch. Build up the excitement and focus on your goal. You will see: if you prepare for your goals in advance, you will stick to the process better.
Start small | Yes, I’m not joking – you should start small. To be precise, with really small goals. In most situations we don’t achieve our goals and lose motivation after a short period of time, because we are thinking too big. These goals are simply too overwhelming for the most of us. Set very small goals but with shorter deadlines and once you achieve them, plan ahead and get started on a more long-term goal. With each reached goal you will feel more successful and full of energy – eager to achieve more. Nothing can stop you from achieving everything you want to achieve.
Set one goal at a time | Don’t try to accomplish too many goals at once. Instead try to tackle one after another. If you try to give up smoking, lose some weight, visit your gym classes every day, AND don’t eat chocolate ever again in one combined effort - I promise you, you will be extremely unhappy, disappointed and totally unmotivated in no time. You cannot maintain your energy and focus if you are trying to tackle two or more goals at once. Take your time and focus on one goal after the other. Every little step counts.
Write your goals down | Whatever it is you would like to achieve, make sure you take the time to write it down. Write about how you see yourself after you achieved your goal. Maybe how you feel if you already lost weight the weight you plan to shed and how you imagine yourself showing off your results on the beach. Reading this will help you once you feel a bit low.
Keep an exercise diary | Successful workouts will get you going. Write down what exercises you did during each session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterwards. This way, you can track your progress and this will push you further and further. A training journal is one of the most productive tools used by Olympic athletes. Sounds like it’s worth a try.
Find inspiration | Find inspiration on the web, on Instagram, on blogs, in magazines and seek out other people who inspire you. Research everything about your goals, read blogs and you will find that your goal - even though it might seem far away - is indeed very achievable. Revisit these sources when you start to crumble and you will be able to focus on your goals anew. It is great to see how many inspiring people made the same or at least very similar goals come true.
Remind yourself about your goal daily | If you think about your goal every day it is much more likely to become reality. So go on, prepare some print-outs, desktop wallpapers, phone reminders, or post-its. This way your goal is always right in front of you and it is impossible to ignore.
Focus on the positive | Exercising sounds hard – straining and exhausting – especially when you are still sitting in the office and you don’t want to think about what awaits you at the gym. Just think about the great feeling after your workout, the feeling in the shower afterwards, or in the steam room (if you are lucky to have one). Just focus on the benefits of your training and the effects that it has on your goals. This way you will be much more energised and driven. Bring it on!
Realise that Motivation is not steady | Sadly Motivation is not a constant thing that is always present. You might feel times when you are all pumped up and eager to exercise, and also times when you have to force yourself. Just stick it out. The good feelings will come back, much sooner than you actually think.
Following through with your goals is not easy, but when you do – the feeling is not to be matched. So go on and chase your goals – believe me, you really can achieve anything you want.
What about your motivation tips? Do you have some great ones I should add to my list?