Motivation is such a valuable tool when chasing your health and fitness dreams. When you’ve got plenty of it, sticking to your workout schedule and diet plan is a breeze. But, when your motivation levels are low, even thinking about exercise or eating healthily simply seems too hard.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a motivation supplement, and you can’t be immunised against the effects of losing motivation. However, there are several things you can do to turn your motivation thermostat up to the max! Today I want to reimagine motivation, and show you that it is a muscle that can be strengthened with consistency and practice. Take my tips for setting yourself up for success and watch your motivation follow!
Follow a workout plan
Following a workout plan will give your training sessions direction, structure, and purpose – all of which can lead to increased motivation. If you are going to the gym without a plan, you may find that you lose your training mojo and your motivation levels take a dive.
Instead, commit to a 4, 8 or 12 week training plan or even a challenge and follow it to the letter. As the workouts develop, so too will your fitness. When you reach the end of your chosen plan, just select another one and start over. My challenges and training programs come with 24/7 online support, which means you are just an email or message away from motivation to help keep you on track!
Why are you exercising or eating healthily? What do you want to achieve? Rather than just do these things with no discernible purpose, set targets for yourself and then take small steps each day towards achieving them. Knowing that each training session and healthy meal has a specific purpose makes sticking to your active lifestyle much easier. Good goals to strive for could be a fitness bench mark you’d like to reach – like doing ten pull-ups or running 5k. Uncovering meaningful reasons to train and eat well are key to unlocking unlimited motivation.
Track your progress
Nothing motivates like success. However, because body composition improvements tend to be slow and small, your successes can pass you by all-but unnoticed. But, if you take snapshots of your progress several weeks apart, those small changes will be much more noticeable and result in instant motivation. Remember that even if you are not seeing results or feel you are going backwards, you can turn this into powerful motivation!
Harness the power of these small but cumulative improvements by tracking your progress once a month. Good options include:
- Before and after photos
- Circumference measurements - hip, waist, thighs, biceps etc
- Body fat percentage
- Strength training
- Cardiovascular fitness testing
Don’t get too hung up on your scale weight though; that’s not always the best indicator of progress. You can lose fat, gain muscle, and look completely different while your scale weight remains virtually unchanged.
Create a fitness mood board – real or virtual. Simply gather together lots of motivating images and sayings, display them prominently, and look at them often! You might include an athlete or person you look up to, or motivational quotes that always get you fired up. Keep adding to your mood board as the more often you look at the same images and sayings, the less power they will have.
Train with someone better than you
If you have a competitive nature, training with someone better than you can give you a real motivational boost! If you skip a workout or don’t train at your best, they’ll get even further ahead of you. But, if you strive to match them - workout for workout and set for set - you will improve faster than you would alone.
Yes, you’ll be out of your comfort zone, but that’s the key to making progress!
Make workout appointments
One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your workout plan and stay motivated is to set workout appointments. Often people who say things like “I’ll train later”, or “I’ll train tomorrow”, end up missing their workouts. Set a day and time for your training sessions and treat them as non-negotiable, like any other appointment.
You wouldn’t break a doctor’s appointment or a date with a loved one without good reason, and your workouts should get the same respect. Consider your training sessions as an investment in yourself and your future, and make it a priority. The goal is to make your training sessions feel like ahabit, rather than a chore.
Keep it fun!
Your motivation levels will soon take a dive if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Humans are very good at procrastinating over the things we don’t like or want to do. If you don’t enjoy your workout or are dreading your next meal of steamed chicken and broccoli, find alternative methods that you WILL enjoy.
While your end goal is undeniably important, the PROCESS that gets you there, the everyday struggle, is equally important. After all, you’re on this fitness journey for the long haul, right? If you can’t STICK to your plan it doesn’t matter how good it is! Instead, do things you enjoy and can commit to religiously.
Motivation levels can fluctuate, but there are plenty of things you can do to keep your motivation on the up and up. Reaching your goals requires motivation but also relies on taking steps in the right direction each and every day, even when you don’t feel like it!