I think we can all sit back and think of moments where we just don't have the motivation to do whatever it is we're supposed to be doing. As a Personal Trainer one of my key jobs is to help you by offering a little extra push in the right direction and the encouragement for you to maintain the level of focus you need to achieve your goals. This is one of things that is so enjoyable about my work as I can see the benefits of you pushing through that mental barrier!
As a human being however I can completely empathise with others on this right now as I struggle to maintain my focus on training for my next event, the t184 at the end of August - evidence perhaps of why a coach is important!!! This however is compounded slightly with the sore butt muscle I've developed putting paid to any running for a while, but that's another story for another time....
Back to the point - MOTIVATION! As a rough estimate I'd say the Personal Trainer/Client relationship to motivation is maybe 20%/80%. Heavily stacked in YOUR corner so how can you maintain your motivation to achieve our goals when I'm not around? Since I started my fitness journey from out of shape lazy bones to Ultramarathon Runner I've had to develop my own techniques and I wanted to share them with you.
Break it down in to smaller steps
I'll be honest, I love running but there's times when I wake up early on a Saturday morning for a 25-30 Mile run and think.... I REALLY don't want to do this. My mind is telling me NO, my body is telling me.... NO. It's cold and miserable outside, it's dark, missing one long run won't hurt. It's a horrible mental battle! The only way I can fight this is by breaking it down into a smaller battle.
First up pull the duvet off, ok that's good now swing your legs out of the bed, put the left sock on, put the right sock on, put your shorts on.... etc etc eventually you're by the front door and leaving the house. You've had so many victories before you've opened the door that by the time you start pounding the streets you're into a good mental position and into a natural flow. It may sound silly but it works!
Keep your gear out
Following on from that example above, if you lay out your workout gear ready for the following morning in close proximity of where you'll be or on the sofa as you walk in from work as you're brain will see the visual clues and you're more likely to get out and do what needs to be done. You can go one step further and do what I've done in the past which is to go to bed in my running gear so I've got even less hassle early in the morning....
During my tough training spells I focus on the finish line and the elation I feel I'll get from achieving my goal. This not only helps me refocus on the task at hand but also feeds positivity that I carry into race day.
For others you may have a weight loss goal or you want to fit into 'that' dress for a party. Visualising on how you'll feel when you reach that goal when you're faced with making lifestyle and exercise choices will aid your decision making process.
Read Motivational books/quotes or watch inspiring videos
There are some pretty inspiring stories out there and whilst these images and words won't last for ever, I've often watched youtube videos before a workout to give myself a boost of adrenaline. A natural 'pre-workout' shot! Secret be told I even have 5hrs worth of 'inspirational' speeches on my iphone I listen to when I'm out on a run and struggling!
Write your plan & stick to it!
Easier said then done right? I mean, life has a tendency to get in the way of best laid plans. But, if you have your exercise and diet plan written week by week then you can limit the changes needed. Write that plan down and pin it up somewhere you'll see it often. Of course you need to have some flexibility in the plan but if you make it part of your life then you're much more likely to achieve your goals for that week. Seeing things written down means you're far more likely to achieve it.
Tell people about your plan/goals!
I recently told people on my facebook page that I can't touch my toes (yet) and this is something I'm going to work on achieving. I'm now working on my flexibility daily (almost) so I'm heading toward succeeding. Telling other people about what you're working toward means that they automatically become part of your support team as they will offer support and encouragement. I also find this narrows your focus as in a way you don't want to let those people down, as well as yourself!
No... I don't mean have a doughnut as you've been done a 30 minute workout. I mean, have a specific target in mind during your training programme and reward yourself once you've achieved that 'mini-goal'. Let's say you're training for a Half Marathon and you've never run more than 6 miles before. Once you hit the 10 mile mark buy yourself a new pair of runners or a new ipod. Reward yourself with a positive action to reinforce why you're doing what you're doing.
So there's 7 tips for you. There's a tonne of others that I could include - entering races, running for a charity, using a variety of apps etc - but there's are the few that I've used in the past and that have really helped me achieve my goals.
You may have some of your own techniques to force yourself out of the door when it's cold, wet and miserable outside or you're slumped on the sofa and would simply prefer to veg infront of the TV with a glass of wine and I'd love to hear about them. Drop me a line or comment on the facebook post!
If you feel you need an extra little boost then get in touch for a 1-1 Personal Training session!