How Do You Stay Motivated?

Image of woman bending down and doing up shoe laces on trainers

Lack of Motivation is almost always something a new client tells me is an issue for them. Motivation is something that we are often waiting for to get started with a new fitness routine. Where do you get it from? Why do others seem to have it? Why do I have it for a little while but then it runs out? Here are some ideas that have worked for my clients and me, I hope these help you get started!!

What comes first, motivation or action?

It’s a bit of both but I do strongly believe that to get more motivated you need to take action.
Whether that is to plan your diary for the week ahead including your workout times and your meals
or booking to go to a new class with a friend who is picking you up – you cannot sit around waiting
for that magical feeling of motivation!

If you are reading this you may not know where to start, here are a few ideas for you, choose one for now and do everything in your power to get it done – no saying that you will try, say you will and do it:

1. Plan an activity for 30 minutes that will get your heart rate up and do it within 24 hours – this can be walking, jogging, a class, swimming…

2. Write down what you want to feel like. Imagine a fitter, healthier you in a few months time…what does that look like?

3. Pick a new recipe that includes a good balance of foods and decide on a day you will cook it. Deciding on doing something that will make you healthier, and then being able to tick that box, will give you a little boost – that’s a bit of motivation, a spark that you can grow.

OK so I’ve done one thing, now what?!
Planning and consistency are the two things you need to become an expert at. There is no sexy ‘Take
this pill and you will lose a shit load of fat’, or ‘Drink aloe juice and lose 5 dress sizes’ answer I’m
afraid. Anything and anyone that tells you that is not correct, to put it nicely. These things get you to
drop weight in the very short term but they do not last and they do not make you feel good.
Back to planning and consistency. If you want to get fitter/lose fat/get lean/feel amazing etc… you
are kidding yourself that this will happen without a plan. You will always be in a constant cycle of
starting next week unless you get serious and write down what you plan to do to take you closer to
where you want to be.

If you continue doing what you are doing right now, nothing will change. You need to make a
change/adaptions to get something different. So if you are unhappy, let’s change something. Now
follow these steps:

  1. Get your diary out and plan 3 workouts in for this coming week – it’s important to not go all in and say you will do 5, 6, 7 workouts because you will more than likely not and you will feel like you have failed – or you may do all of them and injure yourself!!
  2. Have a contingency plan. Maybe your childcare falls through or you get in late from work, what then? If you know these sorts of things happen in the evening, plan your workouts for the morning or lunch or during work – walking/jogging lunches? And have your workout gear ready, oldest excuse in the book – just get it out the night before.
  3. Tell someone you are doing this. Someone who will hold you accountable. If you aren’t comfortable with someone you know, message me, I’ll give you a nudge.
  4. Repeat each week – you may find you need changes to keep you interested. That’s ok,
    enjoying it means you will stick with it so try a few things first. I love exercise that doesn’t
    feel like formal exercise, Jiu Jitsu, wall climbing, sweeping the garden (vigorously!!) or hiking
    all forms of exercise but not facing a tv on a wall running on a treadmill, boring kind of exercise!!
  5. Remind yourself why you are doing this – what feeling do you want?

Staying motivated.
Here’s the bit that most people find hardest. They get bored, they drop a workout, maybe can’t fit it
in and then it’s almost the weekend and they say they will start again Monday – we are back there again!! This is where you need to be reminded of what you are trying to achieve. I’ve mentioned a couple of times now about knowing the feelings you want, rather than the stats (weight, size etc). That’s not because I think the other stuff isn’t important, but I have come to realise if you are happy/content/fulfilled/at peace the other stuff doesn’t matter as much. However, it has taken me years to get to that point and I don’t expect you to feel the same way right now at the beginning of your fitness journey so you are going to need to get some kind of measure of where you are right now, so every month for the next 6 months (less as time goes on) you can review. You can do all of these or just choose one:

  1. Measure yourself. If you don’t have a tape measure you can use your clothes or a piece of string and mark it. I usual have the ladies I train measure chest, hips, waist, around the belly and the gents chest and waist.
  2. Take photos – you don’t have to be in underwear or swimwear but it’ll need to be something you can actually see yourself in – no baggy jumpers. I have had so many people tell me they have regretted not doing this from the start as it’s so cool to see the changes.
  3. Write how you feel about yourself.
  4. Write how you feel after exercising, your performance, recovery, what your eating habits are like, anything you can think of to compare each time.
  5. Throw your scales away. They do not serve you. I had a client who lost 22cm in one month but all she could focus on was the extra 2lbs on the scales. Don’t let them ruin your day.

Finally I want to say that having support is a huge help so I would speak to as many people as you
can about what you are doing and ask as many questions as you can to those who either work in the
industry or friends who are regular exercisers, get ideas from them, be a sponge, stay open minded
and try different things. Don’t expect that every day you will hop out of bed feeling motivated, I don’t. But do know that if you stay consistent, you will feel like this is the new normal and you won’t remember what it was like before!

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