While the world persists in combating the coronavirus pandemic, you may be having great difficulty maintaining your regular training routine or even feeling motivated to work out. If you’re struggling to stick with your training program, read on to find out where the fire has been put off and how to light it back up!
Losing weight or getting fit and strong are the most compelling reasons why people decide to work out. Many know that exercising regularly will be highly beneficial for their physical health and mental wellbeing in the long run. However, many stop working out when they get bored, or they don’t take pleasure in it when results come too slowly. Here are some tips to keep you motivated.
First, let’s look back at your previous efforts at exercising. What were the reasons that made you quit? If you’re caught up in a pattern and you haven’t realized it before, you should break it down by finding out what went wrong before. Here are some common possibilities:
- Being busy with life, work and not sure where to find the time to workout
- A diet that is hard to follow
- The body feels fatigued from workouts
- Progress is slow
- Confusion with how to exercise the correct way
- The body is low on energy and you crave your favorite food
Acknowledging your weaknesses is not the same as surrendering to them. It’s the first step to overcoming them. If your workout is causing you serious muscle soreness, or your diet is too hard to follow, make tiny amendments to your routines so that you can be consistent on your fitness journey. Keep making changes until it functions well!
Set Clear Goals
In order to achieve something that you want, you’ll need to have a clear picture of the end result. This is why setting clear and realistic goals for yourself is a crucial step to starting and staying motivated to keep showing up to your sessions even when things are not going the way you want them to be. It is easy to get disappointed and quit if your goals are highly ambitious.
Write down your goals on a piece of paper or somewhere that is visible so you can see them every day. According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California, writing down your goals is associated with 62% in all likelihood of you achieving them. Identify and don’t tolerate the problems that stand in the way of you achieving those goals.
Setting goals for yourself could be, for instance, your goal is to lose weight but haven’t exercised in a while. Set yourself a realistic number, for example, you want to lose 45 pounds in total. Then you want to take baby steps: lose 5 pounds in 4 weeks, 25 pounds in 3 months, and 45 pounds in 8 months, and so forth.
Another goal could be to perform 10 diamond pushups without breaking. You should plan a rough estimate of when you want to achieve this by, for example in 3 weeks. Now that you know your goal, your priority is to be able to do 10 standard pushups comfortably, followed by doing 3 diamond pushups, then 5, then 10. Setting micro-goals is more trackable and they’ll help you to celebrate smaller victories along the way.
Condition Your Mind
The secret to staying motivated is to learn how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you! If you do just that, you will have control of your motivation. If you don’t, life will control you and you’ll be stuck in a continuous pattern.
To condition your mind, you must form a neural association to what will cause pain and pleasure in your life, and what you link pain and pleasure to will shape your physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s how to start…
Write down three pleasures of working out. One could be to feel a sense of accomplishment for completing a workout. Next, write down three costs of not following through with your workout. For instance, you will waste a session of progress towards being able to do a muscle-up, and link massive pain to it! This is called neuro-associative conditioning. Every time you feel like you’re about to slip up, remind yourself of these pains and pleasures.
Associate Yourself With Likeminded Community
You are not traveling down this road on your own. Many others are on the same path as you, which is to become a better version of themselves. As the saying goes, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. This also applies to keeping yourself motivated to work out.
Reach out to like-minded people in the fitness community. This could be a person you see regularly training at your local park or the gym. Seek out these people, introduce yourself and try to learn from them. You can also do this online, for example by following your fitness heroes, and learning from them as much as you can by watching or reading their fitness content.
The Takeaway: Don’t Do It Alone
Now you have three powerful tools at your disposal to combat low motivation levels: community, conditioning, and goal-setting. I hope you will utilize these tips and take action whenever you feel like giving up.
Still, need an extra push? Our expert coaches at Gymless Fitness can help you master your mindset and take control of your fitness at an even deeper level to find an expert training partner, simply book a consultation today.
I’m Pat Chadwick, a qualified Level 2 and Level 3 calisthenics coach and athlete from London, England, with six years of experience. I’ve competed in various UK competitions, including the Kalos Stenos Championships, where I achieved third place in the lightweight category. My passion is highlighting the beauty of calisthenics as an authentic and pure form of body expression. I believe that everyone has the potential to become a champion of their body and mind, and that calisthenics opens the door to personal empowerment.