Let’s be honest, exercise and training takes a lot of work, will power and motivation in order for it to become a way of life. As interested as I am in fitness and maintaining an athletic physique, even I find it can get hard trying to do the same routine on a consistent basis.
I’m sure you can relate to the above and I want to let you know that there are ways you can effectively make exercise and fitness a new healthy habit. From my own experience I’ve had some ups and downs, weeks where I’d be able to commit to a routine but then get so busy with other commitments that I forget, or lack the motivation to make exercise a priority within that day, however one thing I can say is I always feel better when I do manage to make it a priority.
Now I’m not just talking about my daily walks here, even though that does typically count as part of exercise and fitness but I’m focusing more on workouts to develop muscle, strength, flexibility and toning various areas of my body, so specific workouts with a goal in mind. These types of workouts are known as structured exercise where we do need to put time aside to start and complete them.
Motivation is something that does not happen in an instant. It clearly has to be worked at and the best advice I can give based on my own experience with this, is start SMALL! Yes, you heard me. Don’t over do it with high targets and long hours of ineffective workouts that just burn you out and you end up not going back to the gym for another week, then month, before you know it, years have pasted by.
It’s so easy for us to find motivation to do something quickly by getting all hyped up, however it’s just as easy to lose that motivation and that is why you need to try and psyche yourself once you get the momentum going and be held accountable either by your family members, friends, workout buddy or personal trainer.
Ok so, let me unfold some of the methods and ways to find the right motivation that actually works for me and I’m sure it will for you !
Drum roll please…
THE BIG WHY
The Root to having the right motivation for exercise and training comes from the very reason WHY you even started at all! Simple right? The big why.
For example, if you want to lose weight or build a great figure for yourself, then that would be your primary motivation to start and follow an exercise or training program that would help carry out the results that you want. Then all you need to do is to keep reminding yourself EVERY DAY why you are doing it and what you want to get from it. If there is no clear goal as to why you are doing something, then believe me you simply won’t do it or won’t be consistent in doing it because you don’t see the benefits and don’t have motivation. It all becomes meaningless. So let’s add some meaning to our new ways of change and remember our why.
The power of visualisation is beautiful. This is a great one for me personally when I’m toning a particular area of my body, for instance, my stomach. I literally look at how it is now and decide what it is I’m trying to achieve, is it a completing flat and petite look or a toned, defined, chilled abs look? From there I start looking at examples and save some pictures on my phone that help me focus on the task at hand.
Now all I would say is to be careful with how you visualise as everyone is different and never seek to achieve a look based on someone else’s image as your workout and your own genetics may not reach that result, make it personal for yourself and take it from there. If you’re trying to lose weight, visualise yourself at the desired weight your trying to achieve and what that would mean and do for you. Visualise the type of life you’d live, would you be able to do more? Would you wear the clothes that you desire and be more confident? visualise it and then get to it!
If you’re trying to improve your health visualise yourself as a healthier version of you, and what that means for you and your family. Would you be able to breathe better? workout more? would you be stronger, faster and flexible? By thinking about it you’re creating a mental visual cue that then triggers an emotional response to keep you motivated.
So go for it! Stick a poster of the outfit, figure, activity, life you want to have and achieve after completing that fitness programme and then make it a new lifestyle where you begin to love the improved version of yourself.
NOT DOING IT ALONE
It might be your goal and you’re personal big why, but it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. That’s the beauty of health and fitness and this is one of the methods I’ve used at times to really help motivate me, having someone hold me accountable in making sure I work out.
You can do this with a workout buddy, this can be a friend at the gym, a family member who wants to get fit or a close bestie and even hire a personal trainer if your really serious about achieving your goals and making the necessary changes.
Fitness is fun with a friend and can be something you look forward to doing with that person and helping each other out, this way you have someone who can push you enough to do better and vice versa, giving you the right motivation to keep going and strive for your fitness goals.
KEEPING TRACK & REWARD YOURSELF
Last but not least! this is a perfect way to keep up your motivation once you’ve started working out by simply keeping track of your progress.
Try to have a record of your previous weight or size and try to keep track of the changes on a weekly basis to give you an account of the pounds that you have lost and the inches that have melted away due to your hard work. Just by keeping track and being aware of the positive changes alone can motivate you to do better and push for more achievements.
Then the reward! The best part of working hard is reaping the rewards and giving yourself incentives for completing a workout programme. For example, I usually use a holiday as a reward at the end of reaching my goal as a way to keep me motivated, or treating myself to a relaxing spa time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re going through your transformational journey. Stay focused and make it fun, engaging and rewarding so you’re not wanting to quit or give up easily. The road is hard and every level will require a more motivated you that is able to break through and keep moving!