Do you find it difficult to stay motivated to go to the gym, eat healthy, quit smoking etc etc?! Well this post gives you ideas or tips on how to keep committed and determined!
Don’t change everything at once! At new year we are all guilty of setting many resolutions like drink more water, train more, stop smoking etc etc. But it can be overwhelming and maybe stressful trying to change everything! Focus on one thing and make it a habit then move onto a new goal (on average it takes 66 days to form a habit*)
Set a goal! Focus your mind on where you want to be and why, read my other post to find out how you do this. (https://uniquelytrained.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/goal-setting-and-weight-loss/)
Write down the positives! What are the benefits of you achieving your goal? Write as many as possible! For me when I have trained I can eat slightly more than normal, I’m more toned, I have more muscle mass and I have more energy.
Write down what you could lose if you don’t! I recently read a blog where the writer challenged his friend to write him a cheque of £100. This cheque would only be cashed at the end of the month if his friend missed one training session. As you may have guessed the cheque was never cashed as his friend didn’t miss any training session and has yet to do so! We are more fearful of losing things than gaining things (loss aversion theory). Add a consequence/something you will lose if you don’t achieve your goal (but knowing the benefits also help)!
Make it fun! Why would you want to make yourself do something you don’t want to do or that you don’t enjoy?! It becomes a chore and therefore you don’t feel positive or excited about it.
Reward yourself! I don’t agree with rewarding yourself with food (my personal opinion is that you gain a negative view towards food-i’ll discuss another time). But there’s nothing to say you can’t treat yourself to a clothing item, playstation game, book etc once you have achieved your goal!
Stop and feel proud! It’s great to achieve your goals but we don’t spend long enough looking back at what we have done and feeling proud of it. We dumb down our accomplishments or reject compliments etc out of trying to be ‘humble.’ We shouldn’t undervalue our talents and accomplishments; we should be aware of our strengths and qualities but be careful not to feel superior to another (this is true humility!) Why go to all the hassle of achieving something to just ignore it!?
Monitor your progress! As I showed in my ‘Goal setting and weight loss’ post, have something you can visualise and see on a daily basis that shows how close (or far away) you are at getting to the end!
Use motivation pictures! We all have the ‘fat’ and ‘skinny’ pictures of ourselves we either hate or love! Use them- put them in places that will help you bring a halt to binge eating! If you don’t fancy that, use encouraging pictures like the ones below.
Don’t compare yourself to others! We are all unique! I named my Personal Training business Uniquely Trained because not one of my clients are the same and therefore their training and eating regime is different too! The results we get and the time frames we can achieve vary between each individual. You could be comparing yourself with someone who has a faster metabolic rate, meaning that person will lose weight quicker than you. Or you could be comparing yourself with someone who has predominantly fast twitch muscle fibers, meaning that person will gain muscle quicker than you. Either way you could feel a ‘failure’ and give up altogether! (Post coming soon about comparing ourselves!)
Find a role model! Is there someone who trains hard? Is there someone who is always positive? Is there someone who always seems to eat well? GET TO KNOW THEM! Ask them what they do, get tips and learn from them. Not everyone starts off great we have to fall along the way, so get advice from their experiences. If there is a celebrity figure you would like (not saying we can look exactly like them-again we are all different) but use them as a motivation to drive you!
Ask why! What got you started, why do you want this so bad? Write it down as big as you can and stick it somewhere to remind you. When you don’t feel like you want it anymore again ask why! Why am I feeling down and with no motivation? Is there something deeper going on, am I under more stress etc etc etc. Find out why so you can find a reason to overcome!
Be prepared! Before jumping in, do some research-how will you get to your goal, where, when, how much. If it’s a new skill find out how to do it, watch videos, read about it! Also be aware of possible setbacks and plan for dealing with them (read my previous post overcoming exercise barriers).
Proclaim it on social media! I had a friend on Facebook write how she was planning on going the gym after work but didn’t feel up to it. The amount of comments and encouragement she got was amazing! Many people asked her if she had gone and she replied “YES AND I FEEL GREAT NOW!” Peer pressure is a great way to make sure you take action!
Set time limits! At times I ‘feel’ I prefer to watch T.V instead of training at times. Rather than force myself to train and seeing it as a chore, I can watch T.V before training but restrict it to an hour! By setting an alarm on certain activities it gives us more time to take action on our targets.
Image yourself achieving! In sport many professionals use mental imagery (imagine themselves performing their activity using all of their senses). It helps develop confidence, helps them focus or concentrate, helps them learn but it also promotes rest, recovery and removes stress. So visualise yourself carrying out each activity and getting that success you have planned!
See the glass as half full! Be positive, even when you are behind on your targets. Think of at least 3 things from your week you have achieved; whether its the fact you turned down a slice of cake, you reduced your portion size on a meal or drank more water. Every little helps! In this life we have so many things to moan about and criticise, so let’s be positive about ourselves at least (no one else will be for us!)
Review and analyse! Sit down once a week on your own and write down where you are at with your goal, keep a diary, write how far you have come, how far is left, what you can improve and what you have achieved! (post on how you can do this coming soon!)
Switch it up! Keep things exciting by changing your methods, have a new training regime, change the days or times you train, find a new class or activity! If you are scared to do this, ask a friend to come along for moral support!
One step at a time! If your goal is to run a marathon but you have never exercised before and hate running; start off power walking with a friend for 5 minutes! Yes 5 minutes! That doesn’t seem bad does it? As time goes on increase it to 10 minutes, walk faster, go further etc. If you enjoy running once you’re out doing it, but just cannot drag yourself from the settee; say to yourself ‘put your shoes on’. Once you’ve done that ‘open the door’, then onto ‘walk to the end of the drive’ to ‘walk to the next lamppost’ to ‘increase the pace a little.’ As you carry on focusing on little goals you go into autopilot and just get on with it! We tend to look at the bigger picture rather than the finer details that are easier! I remember we had to recreate Van gogh’s Starry night painting at school, which to me was daunting! I wasn’t good at painting and I didn’t have patience to finish it either! The teaching assistant at the time said to me “focus on the small dashes Leigh and how you paint it.” As I got going I began enjoying it so much and managed to finish it as well as making it look good (for a 7 year old painting that is!)
I’ve wrote this blog not only for my readers but for myself also! No one is perfect and our emotions change like the wind, especially when we have challenging circumstances in our lives. I know I should be training 3-4 times a week to keep a toned figure, to get a flatter stomach and to feel fitter, but at times i’ll be honest…I JUST CAN’T BE BOTHERED! My issue is that I would rather be home watching T.V, going out with friends or doing my sewing projects! But on the days that I push myself and actually train, I feel great! Also with my eating, I normally eat a well balanced diet but when I’m socialising I love to snack on things like doritos or pringles. Or when chilling at home with my husband I indulge on cheese and crackers (probably too much!) I think because I am happy with my figure (kind of!) I get complacent when I should be reminding myself it’s for my health and fitness not only for how I look.
Whatever your mentality is towards training I hope this blog helps in someway, please leave any comments you may have!