OK, so the summer months are just around the corner and you’ve made the decision that this is the year you’re going to look and feel the best you ever have!
You’re excited, full of energy, positive thoughts and renewed determination! But then what happens? After a few wakes this energy and determination begins to wane, the momentum you initially had is begins to grind to a halt, and before you know it the summer is over – sound familiar?
Exercise, nutrition, sleep, by now we all know that these are the key components to creating a healthy, better looking you, but we often overlook arguably the biggest challenge, staying motivated and committed to the process. Statistics show that 25% of new gym members stop going after the first 3 months! 52% stop after the first 6 months! So how do you make sure you don’t fall into the trap? Well, self determination is the key, but there are a few mental tricks that you can use to help you stay focussed:
1) Know what your goals are.
You want to get into shape, that’s a great start, but it’s a very vague term. It’s almost impossible to achieve something unless you know what exactly it is you are working towards.
Ask yourself, is your goal to lose weight? If so, how much weight? Is your goal to increase your bench press, or run further? Again, if so, by how much and how far? Only by knowing what your goals are can you begin to put in place a program that will ultimately get you there.
2) Understand why you want to achieve your goals.
In most circumstances achieving a goal requires putting a lot of hard work. Over time, the negative thoughts associated with this hard work can easily cloud the reasons behind your effort, and soon you find yourself asking the question “why am I doing this, is it even worth it?”.
A great, tried and tested way of ensuring you keep your reasons for start out at the forefront of your mind is to simply write them down. Write down your goals and the reasons you want to achieve them, be completely honest with yourself, this is an exercise for you and no one else. Keep these reasons close to hand so that any time you feel the negative thoughts creeping in, you can re-energise and refocus yourself.
3) Keep your goals realistic.
Challenging yourself is the only way to truly develop yourself, however this doesn’t mean making the challenge so great you can’t possibly achieve it. No matter how motivated you are, if the task at hand is too great, failure is the only outcome, and with failure comes a knock to your confidence and a strong likelihood you won’t attempt it again.
Set realistic goals, they should be challenging, but achievable. Winning improves confidence, it keeps you motivated and cultivates a desire to keep on winning.
4) Keep the challenge stimulating.
It’s very easy to become bored when doing the same thing day-in day-out. Exercise is no different, but the journey to a more healthy, better looking version of you doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be a boring one! Variety is the spice of life – right? There a hundreds of variations to each and every exercise, whether it be a chest press, back squat, high intensity cardio or low intensity cardio. Mix it up, enjoy yourself!
Remember, your body is an amazing piece of equipment. It’s also extremely good at finding the most efficient way to do something. By doing the same exercise over and over, your body will eventually realise how to best perform whilst giving as little energy as possible, this is going to ruins those gains you’re working so hard to get.
5) Bring a friend.
Working out with a friend adds a social element to your routine. Having someone else there to encourage and support you helps prevent boredom, improve motivation and enhance enjoyment. Also, you’re much more likely to stick to that 7.30am cardio session if you know your friend is waiting for you.
Friendly competition is also never a bad thing, it keeps you both focussed and determined to push yourself harder than you would if you were alone.
Remember, there are no short cuts to any place worth going. Stay motivated and determined, you will achieve your goals!
*The views and/or opinions expressed in the blogs are not necessarily those of Training Nation, but of the author