Posted on: August 29th, 2017
So many of us are all or nothing, we go through spurts of enthusiasm followed by periods of absence with regard to our health and fitness. First of all I think it is important to pinpoint when you do feel motivated what it is that’s driving you when you feel ‘switched on’.
1) Seasonal- get in shape when the sun comes out
2) At a low point with life
3) You have an event coming up
6) Social pressure
7) Health scare
I am sure you can relate to one of the above points, sadly even numbers 2 and 7 aren’t enough for long term change for many.
If any of this sounds like you then you might feel like your health and fitness is stop, go, stop, go.
I personally think that the main motivators to exercise and be fit and healthy should be:
4) Feeling part of something
Enjoyment- I get people coming in to me all the time saying they are unhappy with how they look and that they ‘hate their body’. The next sentence is usually that they also hate the gym. If you hate the process then you will become impatient with the outcome usually and motivation to work hard will most likely be low. It may sound counter intuitive for a PT to tell you that if you don’t like the gym don’t go but that is my honest opinion, do what you want to do, enjoy yourself and the results will be inevitable-You MUST be patient! With exercise these things take years not weeks. Find what you enjoy, get to work and look at your nutrition to underpin your physical exercises and get you the results you want.
Health- when you have it you take it for granted and when you don’t you wish that you had taken care of yourself. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. If you burn the candle at both ends things will catch up with you further down the line. You have one body to live in, take care of it!
Success- we all like being good at something even if we aren’t competitive. To know that you are better than average at something feels good. You need to find the crossover between what you enjoy (point 1) with what you are good at to get the best results. Success builds confidence, it makes you want to do something more and practice.
Feeling part of something- When you feel you are part of something and feel that you are in it with someone else it is amazing for motivation, when you don’t feel alone and can share how you feel along the journey it helps during those low points to know that someone else out there is going through the same things as you. Just having someone there with you can be so important. Anyone who has a training partner in the gym will know how this feels to be consistently pushed harder and make you work to a standard you would potentially let drop if left to your own devices. The voice talking at you can often talk louder than the one inside your head. As I said last week, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, make these people positive, motivated individuals who are hungry to succeed and your chances of staying on track just skyrocketed. Whatever way to get fit and healthy you pursue don’t do it alone. Get others involved or sign up to a team and keep that motivation sky high!
Rewards- We all want them, a level of validation whether it be internally knowing that we achieved something like setting a PB on the rower to externally like winning a trophy at an event. Rewards can be a powerful motivator so if there is something that you have your sights set on achieving then lock them in and get to it!
MY TOP 10 INSTANT MOTIVATORS
1) Make a new gym playlist NOW, choose all your favourite training tracks and clear out the same songs you have on repeat that do nothing to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up anymore.
2) Sign up to something NOW- an obstacle race, a strength and endurance event, a marathon, a triathlon anything! It instantly sets a deadline and gives your training urgency.
3) Make yourself accountable NOW, set a goal and make it public, once you have done this you can’t weasel your way out of it.
4) Ask for help- become part of a community, get a training partner or do something which is going to mean you won’t be doing it alone.
5) Wipe the slate clean, take some progress pictures and bodystats, today will be the first day towards your new goal.
6) Write everything down- get a new notepad and write everything down. Keeping a log of your training can be a really great motivator when in a few months you realise just how much you have progressed when you look back.
7) Ditch the stuff you hate- if you don’t like going to the gym cancel your membership. Invest the money into something you do enjoy and get your sanity and enjoyment of exercise back.
8) Buy some new training clothes. It’s amazing how motivational this can be, buy some new trainers, headphones and or clothing and feel good when you are working out.
9) Try something new, we often lose motivation because we do the tired same old things again and again, why not try a new class or something you usually wouldn’t do a go.
10) Book a holiday- probably one of the biggest reasons why people who lack motivation begin to train. It can be a powerful motivator even if it is only short lived… for some.