Five top tips to get in the zone
As a personal trainer I often get asked about motivation a lot. “How do you stay motivated?” “How can you be motivated to train so early in the morning?” “ I wish I was motivated enough to stick with an exercise programme.” In this blog, I dispel the myth that it is possible to be motivated 100% of the time and then give you five top tips for keeping you on course with your health and fitness goals.
One definition I found for motivation is “the energising of behavior in pursuit of a goal” and I really liked that definition because it contains one of my favourite words – ENERGY. A key component so many people are missing. Don’t you find when you have energy the motivation flows?
It is why sleep is one of the key factors to success when it comes to results. When we are charged and energised then we tend to throw more at our goals. You remember the days when you bounce out of bed and start ticking things off your to do list before you’ve even brushed your teeth? That feeling!
Now one thing I want to be super clear about is this;
“No one feels motivated 100% of the time”
Now read that again. NO ONE FEELS MOTIVATED 100% of the time. So please let yourself off the hook on that one.
That mum with a six pack you follow on instagram that seemingly has her perfect life together. That body builder. J-lo looking absolutely smashing in her 50’s. The Rock. NO ONE. Not one of them feels 100% motivated all the time.
So, we must not expect ourselves to be.
There are lots of studies on motivation and it is a huge and fascinating topic but one thing that is really interesting is that motivation is actually a natural primal instinct. We are wired to be motivated for food, water, shelter and sex. This means we all have motivation within but I think we forget we are motivated by reward ie the food we are looking for.
(Those who like further reading check out this PubMed article on motivation CLICK HERE )
Sometimes we expect ourselves to be motivated by looking at the mum with the six pack on instagram but actually there is no reward for us there so we just end up feeling inadequate, useless and like “her” life is unattainable to us. Sound familiar?
If we need reward to be motivated then goal setting needs to be used in a way where there is reward at the end. I see lots of goal setting of things like “I want to lose weight”. Where is the reward in that? Does that light you up and fill you with energy? Probably not.
So, what can we do to get motivated? Here are my top five tips and read the last one twice and then re-read the others and let me know what action you are going to take.
Five top tips to fire up your motivation
You’ve heard this before and you have probably heard of SMART goals too (goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time frame). This structure is still a good frame work to use. “I want to lose weight” is not a smart goal. It is far from specific. How much weight? How will you measure it? Your clothes, inches or the scales (that’s a whole other blog post). Is it attainable? And what is your realistic measure and time frame?
I love goal setting and find it really helpful but it has to be done in a way that suits your personality type and we are all different. Some people like tiny goals to tick off each day and others like huge blue-sky thinking goals.
Write something down. Say it out loud and see if it lights you up.
“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot”. Remember that!
This is of course one of the reasons personal trainers exist but what do you need to hold you accountable? A diary? A friend with shared passion? A tick list? A journal?
There are loads of ways to hold yourself accountable and as you get closer to your goal not only will you remind yourself how well you are doing but you will also stay focused and boost your confidence.
3. Meet up with someone who inspires your goal
I love this qutoe “You are the average of the people you spend the most time with”. It is so true. If you are not feeling inspired to exercise and you hang around with other people who watch lots of tv, are in active and slate people who go to the gym as “having no life” or “weirdos” then you’re much more likely to join in. If you are around people who are up and out every day doing all the things you want to do, you’re more likely to level up and join them.
So have a think. Who do you know that is super switched on and energised about the things you want to do? Why not text them right now and arrange to go for a coffee (or outdoor coffee or zoom meet depending on your COVID restrictions!!) You know when you chat through an idea with someone who gets it and you feel all buzzy and excited? Go and get that. Right now, send a text and make it happen.
4. Unfollow things that de-motivate you
This is kind of the opposite of point three. Social media accounts that (for whatever reason) make you feel rubbish about yourself or your goals. UNFOLLOW. Same with people in your life who don’t support or champion your goals. Don’t give them so much of your time or attention. Refer to point three and switch that time to a chat with someone who really wants you to succeed with this.
5. Take action
Always the most important. Your action might be a text right now to a friend or it might be you’re off to make a vision board, journal, goal set and sign up to a personal trainer. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small but before you close this window, I challenge you to do just one thing to push you in the right direction. Go on! You know you want to!
We need to stop looking for motivation and remember – it is already inside of us. We just need to harness it with the right reward and the best company!
Thank you for reading this blog post. If you think it would help a friend then please share it with them or share it on your social media and keep me posted on how you are getting on!
“When I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better” Harvey Mackay