Motivation. Don’t you love it when you just ooze this stuff?!
It is the driving force that helps create a path to achieving our goals, especially when it comes to fitness and health. I've been getting lots of questions from you guys about how I keep motivated to stay fit and active. To put it simply, I see it as a daily necessity, something that we need to work on EVERYDAY. Just like showering!
As some of you may know, I am a big fan of breaking things down into daily goals. Things that I can achieve each day that act as a stepping stone to my end goal. Motivation is something I create and act upon from the moment I wake up in the morning. Especially when it comes to my fitness and exercise routine.
We have all been through patches where the motivation to get up and get active is non-existent, I definitely have! And that’s totally ok! We are human, not machines, and we shouldn’t expect things to work perfectly all the time. We just need a little nudge, a little reminder to say ‘hey, remember that thing you wanted? Lets go get it!’
So, what are some things you can do to keep that motivation to stay on top of those fitness and health goals?
Your Number one step is to understand what you want. Make it clear, achievable and something you can measure.
‘Getting fit’ is not clear enough. What does ‘fit’ mean? How do you know when you have achieved this?
‘Doing something active and moving my body for at least 30min everyday’ or ‘jogging for 10 minutes without stopping’. This is clear and something you can keep a track of.
Remember when you write a goal down, it is not set in stone. We can change our goals at anytime depending on what happens along the way. Writing it down just gives us a clear picture of what we actually want. It is easier to be motivated toward something that we can picture in our minds.
Keep your goal visible too…Stick it on your bathroom mirror so you see it everyday!
What can you do each day that acts as a stepping stone toward that goal?
Again, this is something I strongly believe in and put into practice for my own motivation. If your goal is to jog non stop for 10 minutes, lets break it down into a daily jog where you might walk for 30 seconds then jog for 30seconds for a total of 10 minutes. You can then try to increase the time jogging into 45 second or 1 minute bursts. Soon you will spend more time jogging than walking and that 10 minute goal will be just around the corner.
It is really important to acknowledge your accomplishments at the end of the day. If you went out there and completed the training you set out to do, tell yourself ‘I killed it!’
You can never learn enough about your health.
Keep expanding your knowledge of your body, what you feed it and how you move it. The more we know about the awesome things our bodies can do and how much nutrition and exercise influences the way we look and feel, the more you will want to do things to look after yourself.
I try to learn something new each day. Even if it is as simple as a good stretch to help my posture, or finding out that celery contains silica, a nutrient that promotes healthy hair, skin and nails.
Having my workouts all written out gives me something to look back on and keep track of my progress.
I have kept a training diary for years! I usually plan out my week of workouts. Just a general idea of what I would like to do each day and where I can fit it into my schedule. I find if I have it written down, it is like an appointment I have made with myself, then I have no excuse of having ‘no time’ to workout! At the end of each day or sometimes at the end of each session, I write down what I did. I can see when I can start to increase the weight, reps, running distance etc. I also write how I feel at the end of the week which lets me know if I need an extra rest day the next week of if a can add in an extra session and work a little harder.
I love shopping for a new training diary! Remember to look for something that you can take around with you and something that you are proud to whip out at your session. Having a full day to a page also helps so you have enough room to write and keep it neat and readable. Except at the end of the year I usually look back and as the months go by, my writing has slowly become more messy with a lot more scribbles and little drawings on the side of the pages!
Set that workout date with yourself and don’t be late!
This is something you need to follow through with in your training diary. Set a time and place you need to be to do your workout. Even if it is being at home in your living room at 7am! Having a set time gives us motivation to actually get started on our training session before we find an excuse to tell ourselves we don’t have the time to do it now. I know I have been a culprit of ‘doing it later’ and then eventually run out of time because I got side tracked playing Candy Crush or looking for a top to wear in my wardrobe, then spending the next hour going through all the belongings and finding clothes I forgot I had!
Once a week, I try to organize a session with a friend where we are doing something fun and active together.
Having a friend or family member training with you can be some of the best motivation. They don’t need to be there at every session, but on occasion they can help you to not only commit to your workout (because someone else is relying on you to be there) but also inspire you to push that little bit harder during your session or bring you some creative ideas to add to your workout. You can use this as your catch up time instead of meeting for a meal or a movie.
I always pack my workout bag and even set out my clothes the night before.
Set up and organize the things you need for your workout. Having everything you need ready to go makes it that little bit easier to commit to your session. All you need to do is grab your stuff and go and there is no rushing around looking for that other shoe at 6am in the morning!
I love putting together outfits for the next day. It gets me excited for my session but also ensures I’m wearing the right things to match my workout. There’s nothing worse than that little zip at the back of your running tights digging into your back while you are is savasana at yoga!
There are so many things that can ignite our motivation. The tips above are just a few of the things that help me. I have a collection of things that I use and I am constantly adding new things including an inspiration board full of pictures on my wall that I see everyday and having a morning alarm on my phone that wakes me up and asks me ‘what will you do today to be the most awesome you?’ Remember, everyone is different, it is about finding what works for you!