When it comes to fitness, I struggle with motivation. Considering a majority of my goals are related to the physical things I want to do in life, I shouldn’t. It should come easy. I want to run marathons, compete in a body building competition, be a fitness model, a rep for my favorite brand. They all involve being in shape, so it should be relatively easy to find that motivation, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to put 100% of my focus into fitness right now. We’re adopting, chasing a 3 year old, constant fundraising, trying to run multiple businesses, blogging. It’s hard to find the balance.
I have also decided that I’m going to start preparing to get my personal trainer certification. I’m hoping to take the exam this summer to be officially certified. But as I was studying earlier, I read and reread the section dedicated to helping trainers help their clients with motivation. I realized that, while these are excellent strategies to help others, I could also use these same strategies to help myself. In realizing that, I knew that I could create a plan to help both my readers and myself when we’re in a slump. So I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks on how to find the motivation to meet your fullest potential.
While in the process of writing this, I realized that there is just too much information to give you all at once. So this is going to be in a series. Stay tuned.
The most important thing to realize when starting anything new, be it fitness, an eating plan, or even a new job or trying to maintain a friendship, is that setbacks will happen. It’s inevitable. It’s a fact of life that it isn’t going to be perfect or go the way you want it to 100% of the time. This isn’t to discourage you, this is just to help you know that when setbacks do happen, you’re not a failure. It’s life.
It doesn’t matter what happens to you, what matters is how you react to those things.
It’s important to have a plan and be prepared when those setbacks happen. If you go in blind, you won’t know how to handle yourself when your toddler gets sick or you get called into work on your day off. Sit down and make a list of everything that could possibly knock you off track. What will you do if your child is sick so you can’t take them to day care for your workout? What’s your back up plan if you have to work during your scheduled time at the gym? Maybe it’s making sure you bring your workout stuff with you in the car. Maybe you need to stock up on fitness DVDs and YouTube channels. The same goes for being invited to a work lunch where nothing is healthy. What will you do? How will you handle it?
I also want you to take it a step farther. How will you handle yourself when you screw up? While it’s important to stick to your program and not make screwing up a habit, it’s going to happen once in awhile. If you fall asleep before your nightly run, or sleep through your morning alarm to go lift, what are you going to do? What if you cave and grab ice cream on the way home?
Are you going to throw away all the work that you’ve done, say “screw it,” and end up eating the entirety of the frozen desserts section of the store? Or will you take a deep breath, and start over? I can tell you from first hand experience that it is so important to have a plan in place so you don’t absolutely lose your mind when things happen.
It is also super important to make sure that you’re realistic.
I have a terrible habit of deciding that I’m going to dedicate my life to a 4-hour a day workout program when in reality, I only have 30-60 minutes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t live up to unrealistic expectations. But setting yourself up for failure right away isn’t going to get you anywhere.
If you’re new to exercising, don’t plan on going on a 2 hour run every day for a month. If you’ve never lifted before, don’t plan on doing supersets and complicated programs before becoming familiar with the equipment. Just be smart, and make sure your program and goals match up to what you can realistically do.
Really, this is just the beginning. While it may not seem like it, this topic is one that can easily go on for hours. But this is a very good start to get you on the right path. The next post will be about your social support, and the lack thereof.
The most important part in all of this is just to give yourself some grace. Yes, push yourself. Yes, set hard to reach goals. Yes, fight for it. Yes, be disciplined. But make sure that at the end of the day, you give yourself the credit you deserve for what you did accomplish.
Does motivation come easy for you? Do you struggle with it? Share some strategies that have worked for you.