Ah, it was a good holiday wasn’t it? But now, September is nearly here and it’s time to set aside those sun, sea and siesta memories and get properly back into your training. But if you’re struggling to drag your mind back from happy hour and your body back from the All You Can Eat buffet here are some tips to boost your motivation!
1- Follow a good example. A study tested students’ motivation in response to examples of either outstanding fitness, or poor fitness. More people were motivated by the example of outstanding fitness because this was something they believed they could achieve in the future, and this then inspired and motivated them to eat better and exercise more. Of course, it is important not to become too focused on someone else’s fitness success because we are all individuals, but as a short term motivation boost, seeking out healthy examples of people with good fitness habits can help- whether that’s following a PT online or having a chat with a friend who is into living healthily.
2- The future you. When we train, we often do it for short term reasons- like that holiday you just got back from! But the reality is that every time you train you are doing something good for your future self. But if that’s still not enough to motivate you, how about these startling stats from the NHS: Exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50%, and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
3- Your next goals. Goals help us to stay motivated because they give us something to focus on. So, if you’ve achieved one goal set yourself a new one. And don’t be wishy-washy with it. By setting a goal, we’re talking about a specific goal with a planned amount of time to do it in, and a clear way of achieving it. A good one would be something like, a goal to run a 30 minute 5k in 3 months through running twice a week and going to the gym once or starting a new class.
4- Get a PT. There’s no denying that bringing in a personal trainer will make your motivation levels rocket. They’ll work on a personalised training plan with you, look at your goals objectively and tell you honestly what you need to do to achieve it. Give it a session and see if it ups your motivation for training.
5- DIY motivation. At the risk of sounding like a Disney movie, it turns out you had the power to motivate yourself inside you all along! Deci and Ryan came up with something called self-determination theory which is all about how much of our behaviour is self-motivated and self-determined. The 3 factors that impact on self-determination are competence (feeling like you’re good at something), relatedness (to others) and autonomy (being in control of your own life). When you have all 3, then you’ll have that elusive motivation. And if you don’t, then working on one or more areas should improve your motivation. One 2017 study also found that self-determination theory was linked to higher exercise levels.