What motivates you? More importantly, how do you keep your motivation levels high? Do you sometimes struggle to stay motivated?
You are not the only one… we all have days where we think… “I really can’t be bothered today…”. If you are at this stage in your training then I have for you some things to do/think about in order to ensure that motivation remains high and you don’t slip out of your fitness routine and into bad habits.
So, lets start off with what motivates me! I love the feeling I have after smashing a workout. It makes me feel good, it makes me feel strong and I know that I am doing something good for myself. The mental benefits are great… elevated self esteem and confidence is something everyone should experience – that rush, knowing that you have just done something great for yourself. I wish that everyone could acknowledge and experience this benefit!
What motivates you will change over time however… when I first started exercising, it was all in an attempt to lose some baby weight! I didn’t exercise to get stronger or because I wanted to improve my mood etc… that just came as a bonus. It wasn’t easy to begin with, and it took time to see improvements and progress, but don’t let that stop you! So many people give up too early as they don’t see results straight away and then they will never achieve their goals. Don’t be impatient. Give your body the time it needs to make the necessary adjustments and you will see that over time, you will get to where you want to be.
So, think about what motivates you… it may give you that much needed push to keep you going! Fitting into your old jeans, a new dress? Being healthy and able to be active for your kids? Getting stronger? Getting that beach bod you have always wanted? Being the best at your sport? Regain strength you may have lost due to illness? That pizza that you had planned on having on Saturday… picture that piece of cake that is going to taste SOOOO much better after you have well and truly earned it after smashing a workout or a long distance run?
These may be reasons that you start to exercise, so… now how do we remain motivated?
There are loads of other things you can do to keep you motivation levels high for the long term… for example;
1. Write down your workouts (sets/reps etc). Being able to see progress made is a great motivational tool. It will also ensure that each individual workout has a clear start and end. Like a tick list… everyone loves to tick the final thing to do off of a ticklist. It will make you feel great when you get to the end.
2. Take progress pictures. Again, looking back at how far you have come is great way to stay motivated.
3. Set goals and make them SMART. To ensure that you achieve your goals, each goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and have a time frame. Don’t set your time frame too short as you will only be disappointed if you don’t reach it! Don’t just say… I want to be fitter… that’s that worst goal! Make it specific – I want to be able to run without stopping for 20 minutes. SMART goals are a great way to stay on track and keep motivation levels high.
4. Change your workout routine/when you train etc. You can get stuck in a ‘workout rut’ – when this happens you are in danger of stopping altogether as it can get to the stage where working out feels like a chore and you may start to resent it. I love changing my workouts! I will do the same exercises/on same days at same time ish for about 4 weeks, gradually increasing the reps and weights etc. Then I go straight into new exercises/days/workout lengths etc. It gets exciting again!
5. Have a week off! Be careful with this one though as you need to make sure you are back on it! Rest is so important, and we often don’t allow ourselves to rest enough. I notice my biggest improvements when I have had time away. You come back reenergized and ready to push yourself up to the next level
6. Get a personal trainer! Sometimes we need someone there to support and really get the best out of ourselves… having someone there not only makes working out more fun, but the time will fly by and you may even have a laugh!