Just keep going…
“How do you stay motivated?” This is a question I get all the time regarding working out. When I’m training for a competition, it’s pretty easy to stay motivated… the thought of stepping on a stage in a teeny-tiny bikini… while being judged in front of hundreds, or even thousands, of people is enough to keep me going to the gym everyday, and eating my meals as planned. I want to know that I gave it everything I’ve got when I hit the stage, and I want to be proud of my physique despite the outcome of the judging.
However, I am human… Do I have days where I don’t want to go to the gym… or days where my diet isn’t up to par? Absolutely. Now, you can’t out-train a poor diet, but staying consistent with my workouts allows me to have an occasional treat, when I’m not competing, without completely sabotaging my efforts… and for me, when I exercise, I don’t feel like gorging on junk food daily. I feel happy and healthy, and I want to eat healthy. In the past when I have stopped working out (for whatever lame excuse I gave myself) I would start eating unhealthier. I would feel lazy, and eventually I wouldn’t care… it was a vicious cycle. Then before I knew it, a month or two had gone by and I was back to square one… Frustrating! Now, when I’m not training for a competition, I will admit that it is harder to make it to the gym everyday and pass up on goodies to eat, but I just keep going. It doesn’t matter if I feel like it or not… I go to the gym… EVERYDAY… as planned. I don’t even give myself the option of not going. I consider it just as important as going to my job. If I just decided to skip work one day, or two days, or three days etc… there would be consequences… just like skipping the gym. I continue to go, even when I have no motivation at all, because I know that eventually I will be motivated again… by another competition, or another challenge, or maybe because I’m starting to see results again from staying consistent. Motivation comes and goes, and no one give it to you.
My tips for motivation:
Make a SMART goal. This is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Now, I’m not a huge fan of using the scale as a measure of achievement in fitness and fatloss, but just for an example… Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” say “I want to lose 10 pounds… at a rate of 1-2 pounds/week. I will accomplish this by strength training for 30 min 3x/week and completing 30 min cardio 3x/week.” This changes it from a general wish/want to an actual goal to achieve. By changing the phrasing and making it more specific, you have created a measurable goal, and you have created a timeline to reach that goal. It is realistic to lose 1-2 pounds/week, and by listing how you will accomplish this goal indicates how it is attainable.
Create short term and long term goals. Maybe you want to lose 30 pounds… create the long-term SMART goal, but also create a mini, short-term goal of maybe completing a 5K race, or even something simple as increasing the amount of weight you lift each week by 10%.
Write down your goals and tell others about them. When you see them on paper and verbalize them to others, they become more “real”, because you are now suddenly accountable to someone else.
Create a reward for achieving your goal. I don’t recommend food as a reward… you are not a dog. 😉 So, maybe a new workout outfit, or new running shoes, or a pedicure… whatever. For short-term goals, choose something small to reward yourself, and for long-term goals choose a more substantial reward. Make it something that you would not otherwise have, so it does motivate you to continue towards your goal.
Change your workouts. Maybe go outside to run instead of hitting the treadmill. Or change the order of your weight lifting routine. Not only can this stimulate motivation, but it can stimulate your results… which is motivating in itself.
Ask others to come with you to the gym, or hire a personal trainer. (I could recommend a chick I know 😉 LOL) Knowing someone is meeting you there can help you feel accountable, but don’t rely on them to motivate you. If they bail on you, it cannot be your excuse to not go… you are the only person responsible for you… no one else.
Finally, just keep going… even if these ideas, goals, and rewards aren’t stimulating your motivation…. JUST KEEP GOING! Eventually the motivation will come back, and you’ll be thankful you stayed consistent.
Hopefully this little blog motivated you. 😉
As always… Eat Clean, Train Dirty!
Fit911Chick aka Stacie 🙂