Everyone has good intentions when it comes to being healthy and in shape.
The difference between those who look and feel fighting fit and those who are carrying the extra pounds and feeling of guilty is whether or not the good intentions have been put into action.
How to stay motivated
It is hard to stay motivated so here are key techniques to make sure you lace up your shoes and head out the door to do what you are meant to:
- Put your training in your diary. Set a reminder/alarm on your organiser if necessary. You won’t break an appointment at a specific time and place. A vague intention to do something is never likely to happen.
- Creep towards it. So you don’t feel like training. But just put your kit on anyway and get your gym/training bag out in case you change your mind. Now it’s all there you might as well just go, right?
- Do a short session. Don’t fancy a 30min walk/run? Do 15min instead. Better to do something than nothing and after 10min you often change your mind.
- You tell yourself, “So what? It’s only one session.” But one missed session turns into two, two becomes a habit. Before you know it all your hard work to date is wasted, your clothes don’t fit, you’re out of breath walking upstairs and when you look in the mirror it looks like you’ve been super-sized. Just because of ‘one session’. May be you should do it!
- Meet someone. Like putting a session in a diary, you are far more likely to train if you are going to meet someone. Even if it is that you usually both go to the same gym class the semi-commitment to that person makes you more likely to go. So find a training partner.
- Have a training schedule. If the schedule on the fridge says 20min swim and it is there in writing you are going to do it. It removes the thinking about what to do and whether to do it.
- Be accountable. It may mean having a coach. But just telling your husband/wife/colleague/friend that you are going to do certain training sessions means they are likely to ask whether you did them or how they went. That accountability is great. If you did it they’ll be impressed, if not they won’t be!
- Keep a training diary. This allows you to be accountable to yourself. It can also mean that you can see if it is reasonable that you feel drained. If you have done a lot of hard work then it is time for an easier session.
- Have a goal. If you have a specific reason for training in general and for what you are trying to achieve with any given session then when the doubts creep in you have an answer to your own negative thoughts.
- Miss the session. If you are feeling ill or injured DO miss the session. You could do yourself real harm by training forcing you to miss far more training. The bad experience will make it far harder to get into good habits again. It is important to know when NOT to train.
Above all, work to a plan. Check out our SMART plan here