We all get initial jolts of motivation when we are excited to start a new project or goal, but for some reason rarely stay motivated to successfully see it through to the finish. The world of health and fitness is probably the most notorious for this inconsistent motivation. Being a fit and/or healthy individual is a never-ending project that you must continuously work toward your whole life. This is why so many of us work out consistently for a year before quitting for two. I have somehow managed to keep my streak going strong for many years now, so maybe some of my tricks will help you do the same.
Goal setting is a pretty well known motivation tactic. Where I think most people go wrong is failing to set short-term goals along the way to the big long-term goal. People set big goals, like lose 100 pounds or squat 300 pounds, but those goals will take a long time to accomplish. When the finish line is so far away it’s easy to get distracted and lose interest. If you set shorter- monthly, weekly, or even daily goals- it will keep you more excited and motivated during that time period.
Another way to keep yourself motivated over the long-haul is to switch up your training. One way to do this is completely change the type of training- like my continuous switching between sports. It could also just mean changing between phases of training, such as a bulking vs. a cutting phase. Switching up training helps to avoid the staleness that can come with years of training.
These tactics can be extremely helpful for keeping motivation up, but I honestly don’t think it’s possible to keep yourself motivated all the time. Even when you love training, and you do all the tricks out there, there will be days or even weeks that you just aren’t feeling it.
Knowing that slumps will happen at some point, the best defense is having a plan. I used to go into the gym and make up my workout as I went. This worked fine for me most days, but on my unmotivated days it turned into a useless workout. Now I have a structured training plan. On days I really don’t feel like going to the gym I don’t have to think, I just go get the work done. I may not put as much effort in as my best days, but at least I complete the task at hand. I highly recommend having a training plan as I think it can make all the difference when it comes to staying on track during the bad days.
Motivation will inevitably come and go, the real key to success is finding consistency throughout.
*Future blogs on how to successfully implement each of these coming soon*