HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED?
This is a question I recently heard a lot. Whether that is due to the current circumstances that we face as we all can´t go to the gym or do the sports that we are used to, or just in general. Most of us have a lot more free time and feel like, probably because of the enormous amount of at-home-workouts that suddenly turn up on social media, that we should move more. So this is a very good time to start being more active and take a step towards our fitness goals. However, motivation is not only required in sports, but all parts of our lives if we want to be successful and fulfil our whole potential.
For me this has never been a problem. “Get up and move” – easy, but “rest and recover” – not really my thing. You probably think : “I wish I had your problems” but I can tell you it is far worse for your body if you don´t know when to stop and rest because you always end up doing to much. But this is a completely different issue and to get back to the one you want to get rid of let me tell you as an athlete, who always trains alone, without a coach or someone that keeps me accountable, I can tell you that once you can motivate yourself to train alone and feel motivated to do so, you will benefit for the rest of your life in all imagenable aspects. Now I know how to work hard for my goals and don´t get sidetraked that easily because I know I can get things done alone, without someone pushing me, because I don´t need anyone else to tell me what to do or when. But this took time to develop and if you feel like you never end up doing the things you set yourself to do, than I will try to help you manifest that attitude of approaching things like I do, into your routine.
Let´s take the example of exercise. Regardless the reason why you want to get into exercising more, be that to loose fat, built more muscle or to stay in shape, we all face the same problem and the same question: Why should I do this home workout/ go for this run now if I could just as easily stay on this sofa and enjoy the time that I have at home? Do you always assure yourselves that you can do this tomorrow because now is not the right time, because you feel tired or simply not in the mood to get up?
Well in this case I have to tell you that THIS WILL NOT MIRACLIOUSLY GET EASIER ALL OF A SUDDON and that you will at some point get a magic motivation boost, but that you need to GET UP AND MOVE ! The question that you need to ask yourself is not Should I do this? but rather HOW am I going to do this? This might be different for everyone which is the reason why the question should be: How am I going to do this? and not How do all the other people approach this?. By asking yourself that particular question, you acknowledge that you decided on doing something. Now you just need to work out a technique that works for you and gets you to move away for you comfort zone and do that something .
If you now think “easier said than done” I agree but there are some things that can help you to get into the right mindset which will motivate you every time and will keep you motivated in the long term.
So how to be motivated to go for a run, do an at home workout or go to the gym:
- Set yourself the right goals. If you don´t know how to do that have a look at my blog post concerning this topic and believe me that it can change everything. If you know what you want to achieve and why exactly that is important to you (and only you) you will have a reason to get up every morning with a purpose.
- Secondly prepare yourself to go – By that I don´t mean merely thinking about what you might want to be doing as a type of movement tomorrow, because that is what got you into the downward spiral of wanting to go – rethinking that because tomorrow might be just as good- concluding that tomorrow would be even better- and then staying on that sofa- in the first place. So instead really get ready: put your running shoes out the night before, pack your gym bag and set an alarm at the time you want to start. Make the session part of your timetable as you would schedule a meeting and don´t postpone it because you wold not be able to do that with a work meeting as well. Or think of it as a group practise like you would have if you participate in a club or team sport, you couldn´t just miss that either or be late because that would make you coach angry and disappoint you team mates.
- That brings me to my next point. You are your own coach and your own consciousness! That means you need to expect from yourself to be disappointed if you don´t turn up and keep you to the promise that you made to yourself and that is to train. I know that this isn´t easy because it requires a lot of self-discipline, but I promise you it is worth it and it will help you in every other part of your life as well. Look at it like that, if you can push yourself and manage to be your own consciousness and judgment in this, you can be that in every part of your life. No matter if that is at work, in your social or family life, it will help you to get things done and stick to your plan, no matter what, because you taught yourself to do that in sport.
How to stay that way and not stop after the initial excitement
- it takes around 21 days to form a habit and 66 to build a routine that you can easily sustain on the long term. I recently read the book “miracle morning” by Hal Elrod and he describes the steps to built a habit (the habit of waking up earlier or starting to run every day) in 3 phases from unbearable to uncomfortable to unstoppable. Each of this phases takes 10 days and I think it describes really well that in the beginning it is really hard and you don´t want to do it but then it gets easier with every day until to reach a point where it has become second nature to you and you start enjoying the task.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.Jim Rohn
- reward yourself – set yourself mid-way goals or checkpoints like “I went to the gym twice for 4 weeks” or “I want for a run 5 times where I normally would have found excuses to to go” and take time in the beginning what you maybe always wanted to buy but were resistant because you didn´t want to spent that much money on yourself or wanted to wait for an occasion that felt right. Well now is the time to reward yourself with whatever that might be if you archived your set goal. That makes you even more motivated to carry on and work towards the next one.
- envision your goal – try to picture in your mind how you will feel as soon as you reach that goal of yours, as well as the journey towards it, see yourself having fun working towards your goal. Capture it in your mind, with all the senses (smell the surroundings, feel you feet on the floor, hear the voices around you). Elite athletes and successful people around the world (for example Bill Gates, Will Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Oprah) work with vision boards or general visualization because our actions follow our thoughts. Again this is explained really good in the book Miracle Morning and I recommend reading it if you don´t understand how to exactly visualize things to become successful.
- invest, because that motivates you – Interestingly studies have shown that the individuals were more likely to continue working towards their goals (e.g. going to the gym) when they had invested in something like a personal coach/ bought a monthly subscription of a gym membership or even a bus ticket. As soon as they invested a reasonable amount of money, they no longer wanted to make excuses because they knew that their money would be spend continuously on something thy didn´t use. But it had to be something that would be taken away not only once like if you bought yourself some pricey gym clothing or equipment, but rather something that would need to be payed every month for a longer period of time (after that a new habit would be established anyway so that the motivation of money loss is no longer necessary for some)
- remind yourself of the WHY – maybe set yourself an alarm to put your trainers out for the run in the morning or to prepare you gym bag and name the alarm after what you want to achieve or your motivation (“beach body”, “next competition“)
Please let me know if you found this article useful and give this post a like. Follow my blog if you don´t want to miss out on any other interesting posts around the topics of fitness, nutrition and living a healthier life. – If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly via social media.
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