How to stay motivated all year round
It’s the end of Feb and this is about the time when disillusionment sets in… We’ve all been there and maybe you’re there right now: everything feels a bit harder than before, it’s getting much harder to opt into vigorous activity of any kind, the couch beckons.
Now is a good time to stop the slide and get back in control. But how does it all go wrong in the first place?
Where it all goes wrong
Setting too many goals without priorities at the beginning of the year - in short, being unrealistic.
Your goal and timeline doesn’t match up. You think you will make it to the gym 4 times per week and should be able to reach that goal by the end of Feb. There’s more time in January than usual as everyone adjusts to being back at work and less social outings in your diary after the indulgence of the holidays, things like Dry January get you all excited, you’re going to the gym a lot. Then normal life kicks in and you start missing sessions and then getting discouraged to the point that it all feels a bit useless. Again, unrealistic.
Being too strict on nutrition goals or going on extreme diets that are unsustainable and can even cause blowouts - again, January isn’t a normal month, less going out, tighter on the wallet. Living on juice and walnuts all week is not realistic, effective or healthy.
Getting sucked into deals for gyms or classes that end up being too far away from home or work or that require 5 days a week or simliar which is just… unrealistic.
Setting weight or size goals rather than performance goals. They may be measure-able but often don’t leave you with the same sense of achievement and good vibes rush that beating a PB, finishing a race or finally nailing that chin up does. If you do get to your goal of losing a couple of pounds it can sometimes feel a bit anti-climactic, if you don’t, it is extremely discouraging and there are so many factors that can get in the way like not weighing yourself at the same time every day (and before or after you evacuate your bowls), your menstrual cycle, even the weather.
As you can see, anything that causes you to feel discouraged is a problem. One tiny bit is ok but when little incidents of discouragement happen throughout the week it ends up compounding into something much bigger. So let’s do all that we can stay avoid continued discouragement. Little set backs happen, it’s when they get out of hand and become a regular thing that we need to jump in and change things up.
How to stay motivated and set yourself up for success
BE REALISTIC. When you’re setting your goals for the year (or re-setting them), make sure you are as specific as possible but don’t over-commit. Set performance goals to keep you motivated - weight/size/gain will be a happy bi-product of all of the hard work you put in getting to that performance goal. Go for PB or, sign up for an event later in the year etc and make sure you set smaller goals along the way to build up. Make sure they are achievable - an unrealistic goal can leave you discouraged.
GET ORGANISED. Use the quieter months like Jan to actually organise your year ahead and plan when you’re going to train rather than assuming you will be able to train every day all year around. Look at your calendar across the year and set up training times that WILL work for you (be realistic!).
STAY CONSISTENT. Consistency helps you create good habits. Stick with something and it will become part of your normal routine. Again, be realistic and organised to ensure that you are able to stick to a schedule that works for you. To help you stay consistent (and stay motivated), add some form of accountability - get a trainer, train with a mate, ask a mate to check in on you weekly.
GAIN KNOWLEDGE. Use quieter months to invest in learning about what you are trying to achieve. Eg if you set yourself a goal like being able to do a handstand or chin ups by x date, do some research, learn what is involved. When you have more specific goals, it is easier to figure out what is required which then makes that goal more achievable. If you are trying new things like wanting to get into running, look into getting a running coach to help you do it correctly, or joining a running club - set yourself up for success! Make sure you are also constantly learning about yourself and listening to your body. It will tell you what it needs, and sometimes it just needs some more sleep.
What does it spell? Yes!! R.O.C.K. Those ROCK Principles at it again.
What goals are you working towards at the moment?