It can be the hardest thing about fitness: You’ve got your diet plan, you’ve got your training plan, you’ve got your supplements … and you just can’t get motivated to get that first foot out the door.
This is not uncommon for even intermediate-level athletes. Let’s face it, it is simply easier to not do something than to follow through. That’s why we wanted to started this blog — to keep a running list of tips throughout the week to help you stay focused and reach your goals.
Consistency is key in doing this, so finding excuses and reasons not to hit the gym or talking yourself into an extra cheat meal here or there will absolutely hinder your progress. To that end, let us suggest a few ways you can stay disciplined and motivated, so your goals become reality.
- Talk it out. One of the most powerful forms of motivation, we’ve found, is finding a community that you can relate to, that will share your goals and push you to accomplish yours. Sometimes, just putting them out in the open gives you something to strive for — after all, when it’s just you that you have to be accountable to, you know whether or not you’ll be able to handle your own judgment. We’d recommend finding a friend, a mentor, even a trainer if necessary, and sharing your thoughts and motivations so you can have a record of why you started this whole process in the first place. Then, if you find yourself tempted to stray off course, you’ll have a “fitness network,” so to speak, that you can be sure isn’t skipping their workouts. It makes it much tougher to skip yours.
- Write it down. Simple enough, and so few people do it. Keep a journal! Track your weight, your body fat percentage, your strength … track everything. Your own results can absolutely be a source of motivation. When you see that you’re getting stronger, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach a point where you think, “Well, that was OK, but I’m done now.” Success will breed confidence and, and having a visual record of it will keep the momentum going.
- Be mindful. Always, always remember the “why” behind fitness. Whether it’s to get your blood pressure to a safer level, to lose your belly, to impress your spouse or feel better throughout the work day, keep your eye on the prize. Sure, a donut is appealing, but it can’t compete with the 6-pack you set out to build.
- Don’t rationalize anything. You need to be stubborn when it comes time to getting your workouts in. “I can push it til tomorrow,” or “I ate clean today so missing this one won’t be the end of the world,” are examples of rationalizing to make yourself feel better about what you’re really ultimately doing — failing in your goal to be consistent. Write down your workout days, and make sure you get them in before your head hits the pillow at night.
- Keep your goals the same. Two weeks into your mission to cut body fat and get a 6-pack, you can’t decide that you want to bulk instead and expect to see the same kind of results you would if you’d remained consistent to your plan. Most people do this as a way to get around clean eating. This is how once-a-week cheat meals turn into cheat days, or why somebody would stop packing healthy lunches knowing they can get something fast and easy on the go. Remember from the tip mentioned above: Write it down, and when you do, follow it to the letter.
- Think of the future. There is a phrase a gym chain uses for its motto that we really like: “Nobody ever says, ‘I wish I hadn’t worked out today.” Think of this when you are on the fence about getting your workout in! Try to think of how you felt the last time you skipped the gym — it probably didn’t leave you overflowing with pride, right? That won’t change. It never feels good to display a lack of accountability, even to yourself. Instead, imagine how good you’ll feel when the workout is done and you have the knowledge that you set a goal for that day and accomplished it.
- Set smaller goals first. Know that the end goal will happen, but it is way more motivating to continue when you accomplish each small goal as it comes. – (from Nutrishop CDA Facebook fan Bret Spencer – thanks Bret!)