As we’re still closed until the government announce that gyms can re-open we thought we would share our top tips to staying motivated. As a personal trainer, a big part of my job, is to keep people motivated. One thing I want to acknowledge before we look some simple ways you can keep motivated, is that it’s natural for motivation levels to fluctuate….however, what’s important is that you recognise this and look at what you can do when you’re feeling unmotivated to get you fired up and back on track!
Motivation Tip 1 – Do It For Yourself
As a personal trainer, I’ve heard it time and time again……my partner/mum,/dad/the dog/the old lady down the road (insert as appropriate!) think I should run a 10k/lose weight/eat better (again insert as appropriate!)…..forget what ‘they’ say. DO IT FOR YOURSELF! If you are working towards a goal which is important to you, not someone else, then you will be more motivated to stick to a plan and achieve your goals.
Motivation Tip 2 – Be Realistic
If you do have a specific goal you’re working towards then be realistic about what you can achieve and when by. Goals need to be challenging, if they’re too easy then it’s likely you’ll not be as motivated to work towards them as you’ll think you can achieve the goal at any time. Set yourself a realistic but challenging goal and then use your plan of attack (see the point below) to go out and achieve it!
Your goal needs to be realistic for your lifestyle, work commitments, family life along without making yourself feel deprived. Once you start depriving yourself of things, when motivation levels begin to wane, the wheels are more likely to come off…..not just the hub cap….the full four wheels will come off good and proper so be realistic and don’t deprive yourself.
Motivation Tip 3 – Be A Boy Scout
Be prepared! Planning and preparation are important if you have a particular goal to work towards. Without a set plan you will drift and not know if you’re actually on your way to achieving your goals. Plans don’t have to be set in stone, review your progress on a regular basis and adjust as needed. Life often throws curveballs at us, so you can either take the ball at full throttle and let it knock you off course or you can duck under it, re-route and still achieve your goals.
Sometimes, you might not have a specific goal such as running a 10k to work towards, you may simply want to be healthier, be more active, eat better . This is cool, these are still goals, just maybe not as measurable as something as specific as running a 10k in 50 minutes. Just because they are a bit more ‘loose’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan. Being prepared doesn’t mean you have to have a rigid plan to stick to, it could simply be:
- Planning your meals for the day/week ahead
- Planning your workouts for the week ahead
- Making sure you drink 2 litres of water a day
- Starting each day with a healthy breakfast
- Reading each night before you go to bed as you know this gives you an amazing night’s sleep.
Motivation Tip 4 – Recruit A Support Network
From my experience as a personal trainer, having a support network really helps with motivation. Some examples that have worked really well with some of my personal training clients:
- Recruiting an exercise buddy or two. I’m a bit of a lone-wolf when I exercise but not everyone is like this. People love the social aspect of training with someone else and this helps to keep motivation levels high. It’s rare that you’ll both feel unmotivated on the same day, so the day you call your friend to say ‘I can’t be bothered today’, they will say….’Come on….let’s do this! And guess what….you’ll do the training session and feel AMAZING for it!
- Getting your family/partner on side. Tell everyone who means something to you about your goals and how important they are to you, and ask them to support you with whatever you need to get there. For example, if you know your partner loves chocolate but having chocolate in the house isn’t conducive to your goals then explain the importance of this to them and ask them not to buy any.
- Recruit a professional to help you. Of course, I’m biased here and I’m going to shout about how awesome personal trainers are for keeping you motivated and providing specialist support through workout plans and nutrition advise. But this could also be a life coach, nutritionist, physio….anyone who has the specialist skill set to help you achieve your goals.
Motivation Tip 5 – Enjoy The Ride….
For me, this is the most important tip……you must enjoy what you are doing.
If you don’t then working towards your goal is going to be a bit of a slog and when your motivation is low, you’ll probably find that’s when you say ‘to the hell with it!’ Make sure whatever food you are eating is tasty and enjoyable (who wants to eat bland food and the same meals each day?!) Make sure whatever mode of exercise you’re doing is something you enjoy, do both of these things and you’re more likely to stick to your plan in the long term.
Motivation Tip 6 – Make Whatever You Are Doing Part of Your Lifestyle
Try not to view your goals as ‘short term’…yes, you could argue that training for a 10k in 8 weeks time is a short term goal, and some people need multiple short term goals throughout the year to keep them on track with being healthy and active. But if you see your healthy, more active lifestyle as simply part of your life, something you do every day as part of your daily routine then it will become second nature.
We hope these tips help keep you on track until we can re-open the gym. Until then stay safe, and remember to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for regular workouts and recipes to help with your motivation.