how do i stay motivated?
aside from “how did you come up with the idea for fitbook,” this is the most common question i get, hands down. i’ve written umpteen blog posts on this because i’m on a personal mission to truly get to the root of what drives behavior and lights a fire under your (and my) fannies.
often times motivation wanes when you’re half-way there. you’re tired – maybe you haven’t seen the progress you want. and you still have half-way to go. whether it’s a 1-hour spin class, a 10-mile run, or a 12-week training program, you have to hunker down + power through.
be a goal getter.
speaking from experience, working out just for the sake of working out can get cumbersome. going to the gym day-in and day-out can wear on you when you aren’t really working toward anything. i mean, how are you going to know if you’ve reached your goal if you don’t have one? clearly defined goals are the #1 predictor of your success. identify a goal that has a clearly defined time-frame. having a beginning and end gives you a mental map of where you are now and where you’re headed. when i was training for my first figure competition, it was pretty clear: train for 12 weeks hard to sport a sparkly pink bikini on-stage in front of hundreds of people. don’t you think that motivated me on days i didn’t want to work out? (not to mention posting weekly pics on the blog baring all.) now, as i train for the nike women’s half-marathon in san francisco, you can bet your buns that i’m motivated. i’m uber-dedicated to getting in all my runs every single week – no excuses. i’ve tweaked my eating + supplements to be able to fuel my runs, rather than thinking of food as a way to maintain or lose weight. and why? because i have a very clearly defined goal: run a (hellaciously hilly) half in just 6 weeks in under 2 hours without dying. is that clear enough? if you’re not making progress, revisit that goal. train for an event (5k, half, triathlon, crossfit), start/finish a program (p90x, couch25k), set a stretch goal in the gym (pushups/pullups). point being: don’t just go through your workouts (and life) without knowing exactly where you’re headed.
identify your why.
if your goal right now is to lose weight, good luck having that be your motivating factor. ”i wanna lose weight” (while admirable) is oh-so-not-inspiring. it won’t get you outta bed and on the road running at 6am. but having a half-marathon lingering in your near future sure will. going to the gym after a long day of work isn’t enticing. but being in better shape so you can be active and play with your kiddos without breathing heavy will do the trick. the best way to find your motivation is to ask yourself “why”. here’s an example of a mental dialogue: “i want to lose 10lbs.” why? “i want to be able to fit in my cute skinny jeans.” why? “because i want to feel more confident and sexy.” (this could go on forever) but what you get to is that “WHY” – it’s not about the 10lbs, but taking care of yourself by working out and eating healthy will together positively contribute to improved self confidence. my why: i have the biggest motivating factor ever – someone i love. whether you know my story or not, i’m running this half-marathon in memory of my momma. and that, my blog friends, is what gets me out of bed each day. my running is therapy, both mental + physical, and thinking of her keeps me putting one foot in front of the other each and every day.
there’s a little red box each week in fitbook to set a reward for yourself for a reason – it works. and if you’re not setting small little rewards each week, ask yourself why. i admittedly wasn’t all that great at it because i’m so hard on myself – nothing was ever good enough. so i would just rather not set a reward than think of something that might motivate me and then not achieve it. sad, right? but training for this half has shifted my mindset because i’m achieving things that impress even me. and i’m finding that it’s not only a boost for my bod, but also the good ol’ self esteem too. before training for a half, i never had ran more than 5 miles. so logging 8, 9, 10 miles? i’m not gonna lie – that’s pretty awesome. but not easy. so as the miles got longer, i started rewarding myself. yes, they were things i needed anyway, but it made a positive connection in my mind: “you do this, you get this!” and it works. so a few weeks ago: my reward for running 10 miles: new running shoes. this past week: a (long over-due) shopping spree for a new pair of jeans after my 8-mile run. this week: i’m going on a 3-day vacay and my treat for running my 6-miler? enjoying a nice bottle of wine with the boyfriend! your rewards don’t need to cost a lot of money – they can be as small as a few new tunes on itunes or if you wanna treat yourself, get a massage. the value is in the actual process of setting a goal, achieving it, and then positively reinforcing yourself with rewards. you’re welcome.
still not motivated? take a gander at these:
and if those doesn’t motivate you, maybe this will:
what’s your goal?
what motivates you?
what’s your reward this week?