Everybody struggles with staying focussed, committed and enthusiastic sometimes – but taking the following steps will help to spur you on…
Find your why
Ask yourself why exactly you want to stay fit/get strong/eat better/be healthier. Whatever the answer, ask why again. For example, someone says they want to do triathlon to get fit, but why? They want to keep up with their kids, but why? They want to spend more active time with their kids. So now they know they are doing a triathlon to be an energetic dad, and that’s a more motivating reason for training on a cold winter morning. Underneath every reason is a deeper reason, and it’s when we uncover the most meaningful reason that we’re most likely to remain committed.
Share your workouts
It’s all too easy to skip a session when you’re the only person who knows! Sharing workout goals with friends, family or on social media can help you stay on track when enthusiasm wanes. Research conducted at the University Of Aberdeen in 2016 found that having someone emotionally supportive to actually work out with also helps with maintaining the frequency of training.
Set goals, short and longer-term
Setting goals isn’t just about picking an achievement and going for it. You need to figure out how you’re going to get there. Break the goal down into weekly mini-goals and monthly macro-goals. Make sure you review things at regular intervals, commending yourself for progress and adjusting goals if they are obviously not attainable. There’s nothing more demotivating than regularly failing to meet your own standards, it’s better to ease off a bit and hit targets.
Timetable rest and holidays
This is crucial: plan workouts or meals ahead of time, and plan rest and breaks from your regime. It’s not just the old adage “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, but also it’s actually productive to factor time in for recuperation; trained muscles only get stronger with adequate rest and nutrition, and (think of your mind like a muscle) motivation works in a similar way.
Visualise the desired result
Whether it’s setting a PB in that marathon or dropping your body fat to sub 15 per cent, visualising the end result can really help. Close your eyes, take time to step into the scene… Where are you, what do you feel, hear, see, experience when you achieve your goal? Getting clear on the details makes it all the more real, and tantalisingly within reach.