Markwell Fitness Motivation Hacks
So, this morning I feel like I’ve found myself at a bit of a loose end. I’ve got a nice long list of things that I could be getting on with. But, of course, I’m getting on with none of them. I’m feeling a little underwhelmed. Well, until that feeling gave me the idea for this post. Having come to the realisation that I’ve not exactly been my most productive self, I wanted to find out what gives other people the drive and determination, and how we can all harness that ability for times of need.
To start with, I wanted to get an understanding of what makes the people I know tick. What inspires my nearest and dearest to work hard and make the most of their lives? Some of my friends are super fit. What makes them get up in the morning to work hard and take care of themselves? Some are incredibly successful business-men and women. What drives them to put in the effort every single day? Some are simply incredibly happy (arguably the ultimate goal?). So where do they find that peace of mind?
So I asked a few of my friends that question: what inspires you? Either generally in day-to-day life, or in a work out / get fit sense. Some of their responses are below. I think some are things that we could all benefit from thinking about from time to time:
“Those who try their best in spite of their battles with illness or conditions which could easily make them give up. Children, in particular, who have disabilities that make life a struggle but still they smile.”
“Successful people have always inspired me to push myself to achieve. When I was young I wanted to be as successful as my father, later on it was elegant women like Coco Chanel and Estee Lauder. These days I look to strong successful business woman like Michelle Mone, who look great, keep going when the going gets tough and don’t give in to adversity.”
“Knowing that I CAN make a change, that the change is in my hands and the power is there – I just need to find a way to work out the details. If I think about all I’ve managed to do before to change myself/ my feelings towards myself, and knowing that I’ve overcome worse things and still made positive changes, then I can believe that anything else is reachable. Just knowing that it is possible can be inspiring, even if the how isn’t quite clear.”
“I’m motivated to work out because I enjoy food, but don't want to be overweight or unhealthy, so I make sure I work out to counterbalance it. Also, in order to gain more confidence in my body.”
“I believe in making the most of what you have been given. As you get older it is even more important to keep in shape, maintain flexibility, and keep your weight down. If you are healthy and can remain active you will have a better quality of life.”
“I have a desire to be as fit and healthy as possible - within the physical constraints of my busy work schedule! I like to make sure that I always find time to exercise my body wherever I am, no matter what.”
“Finishing whatever I set out to do, getting the result I wanted and the recognition that comes with it.”
It got me thinking about what exactly do I use for inspiration for the things I do? I like to think that I’ve worked hard, trained hard and earned the success that I’ve had so far. But what really fires me up and makes it all possible?
Firstly, when I’m training, I like competition: competing with myself – from how I was in the last session, to comparing my performance to my level last year. And yes, competing a little with others in the same class… I do think that comparison can be a bit of a tricky tool, as it can occasionally lead to negative feelings. But used in the right way, it can be a real driving force to improve a session. Maybe there’s someone in the class that will always be able to out run me. That’s fine. I’ll find something that I know that I can do better and challenge myself there. And in the mean time I’ll be working to make myself a faster runner.
Secondly, I’m inspired in life by those who seem to have less than I do, but are way more fulfilled. Proof to me that material things are just that. Material. Why do I need all the things in the world to be happy? I don’t, I just need a bit of love, a bit of fun and to understand and care for myself.
And finally, the niggling idea that I could potentially be inspiring others, like my two wonderful nieces.
Just because I’m a personal trainer, this blog isn’t just about how to make you keen to work out after a long day in the office (although that’s definitely a bonus!!!), but more how motivation transfers to all sorts of things in all areas of life. Simply, getting up in the morning and aspiring to be the best you that you can be. That’s positive. And isn’t that the healthiest mind frame to be in?
Some tips for getting motivated:
- Set yourself a goal. Whatever it is, whatever you want. Decide what it is and when you want it.
- Be realistic with your goals. Don’t set the bar impossibly high. Try setting yourself a series mini goals that will get you through that big one eventually.
- Envision how you will feel when that goal is met. No matter how big or small, how good will it feel when it’s done?
- Ask for help. Sometimes we put off tasks because they seem too big to do alone. Ask a friend and feel how different it is to be on the winning team against something that you previously thought was impossible.
- Be positive. Self-criticism won’t motivate you. Self-compassion will. Be proud of yourself, of what you’re doing, and of all the steps and achievements it takes to get there.
- Think about why you’re doing it, not why not to do it! Yes, it will probably be hard. Maybe time consuming, possibly expensive. But what are you getting out of it when it’s done?
- Find your own inspiration. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, but look for something, somewhere, or someone that brings out the best in you.
- Think about it. Whatever you want to achieve, think about it every day: how good it’s going to feel, what steps you’re taking to get there. Research it and read about it. Blogs, magazines, books…
- Create some excitement about it. You’re doing something! Or planning to do something! Whatever it is be excited for it, and for the feeling you’re going to have when it’s done.
- Create some social accountability. Tell people what you’re going to do. Really commit to it. It will make it harder to back down, as people will want to hear about your progress and how you’re getting on.
- Decide when you’re going to start. Decide on a date, write it down and tell someone. Work on building up some anticipation and excitement for the start date.
- Don’t worry if your enthusiasm suddenly wanes halfway through. Bad day? Don’t automatically think ‘ruined’. You just have to be disciplined with yourself and jump back on right where you fell off. Don’t stop thinking about the goal and hope it will go away. Try to re find your energy and your focus by reading about it some more, talking to your friends and family, and re creating some of that excitement that you had when you started.
So how do you get revved up? We would love to hear your own motivators, please share them below!