Your best self, health, body and confidence require some sort of motivation to get you going. When you were younger that was easy, all you wanted to do was look ACE. As you get older your goals change and your responsibilities pile up to start tapping into your limited energy reserve.
As much as you want to get out of bed early to make the most of your day, getting your training in has just become hard. Hitting the snooze button and getting in the extra sleep may help you with your work and family commitments but at what cost?
Probably your results and health.
Here’s how to overcome health and fitness motivation struggles once and for all.
1. BE X DO = HAVE
I learnt this gem from my first trainer and mentor Mark Ottobre and it has stuck with me ever since, occasionally I repeat it over and over in my head every time I set a new goal. Most people focus too much on the HAVE; they want the 6-pack abs, the dream body, the unlimited strength, confidence and energy.
They focus so much on the HAVE that when the going gets tough they get upset and stop the most important things; the BEING and the DOING.
A shortcut to your results is to instead focus on the BEING and the DOING. How does someone with the goal that I want to achieve behave day in, day out everyday? What would they be doing in this very moment? What actions would they be taking?
Be the person that has 6-pack abs even if you don’t.
Behave as they would behave; do what they would do and the have will come naturally.
Note: It’s always best to model someone that has walked the path you are actually going through. A person born with abs and can get away with cup cakes everyday isn’t going to be your best source of information.
2. Set Goals That Are Your True North
This is about social influence, if all your friends have 6-pack abs and they’re fit AF that doesn’t mean you also need to have 6-pack abs. If your Instagram feed is making you anxious, shift your goals from needing to wanting.
I don’t personally need to be fit and healthy (there are a lot of coaches and personal trainers who are in a lot worse shape than me) but I want to be. I don’t need to write this article on a Sunday, but I want to.
The best piece of information I’ve ever picked up for finding your True North is from my meditation mentor Laura Poole who teaches a 4-Day Vedic Meditation course here in Melbourne.
Most people are too quick to trust their intuition, they’re in the wrong environment, they’re busy, have a million thoughts running through their mind, their health is causing them to be emotionally unstable and they go out and a make decision when they’re in this state. To set a goal or make an important decision in this state is risky and dumb.
Is it really your True North or is it a decision based on emotion?
It’s like having having a fight with your partner, telling them to go screw themselves and then you smashing down a bottle of wine to make things better. Is that really the best decision? If it’s a good bottle of wine, maybe. More importantly take a step back, clear the clutter, take a time-out from the busyness (Vedic Meditation has helped me), get your body into its best environment, even get your life back into balance and then set your goals/make decisions when you’re at poise.
You’re going to be a lot more aligned with them and in the long run you’re going to save time because you’re only taking action on goals that you want to do instead of need to do.
3. Create Your Own Certainty and Give It A Go
A lot of people keep doing the same thing over and over again and have little to show for it. They don’t want to experiment, invest and try something different because they’re not 100% certain that it’s going to work for them.
You don’t need to be 100% certain and there is no certainty.
The only things you can be certain about is the information in front of you (Is it true/not true?) and yourself. You can have the best nutrition and training program available to you but if you’re not certain in yourself or you don’t trust a system or person it’s never going to work.
Two years ago I was presented with an opportunity to take up business coaching with a mentor for 12-months. It sounded good but I wasn’t completely certain that it would work. In fact the amount I was asked to invest for it at the time for me was frightening ($25,000) of my own money, no help, no loan. Our PT service was also still small back then (we still are), so I guess you could say we were even smaller and probably in no position to make payments towards mentoring.
I knew for a fact that if I didn’t see results with my investment it was not going to be a good year for Flinders Street Athletic Club. After heavy research, complete trust in my coach and a level of certainty in myself (I told myself I’d find a way to make it work) I invested anyway (yes it was scary it the beginning) and from that year onwards both our clients and business have achieved outstanding results.
Here’s how to come up creating certainty.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is this information/person believable? (Have they achieved the results they say they have for themselves and others?)
- Do they understand what I’m going through and can they help me?
- Have others done it and achieved the results that I want?
- Am I certain in myself (What else have I achieved/overcome in difficult situations)?
Once you’ve gathered enough information go out there and give it a go, take action. Action inspires motivation and it helps to take the right action from very start.
I’ve had my own personal trainers for the last 4-5 years and I go through the same process when deciding if I’m going to trust them with my health and fitness. I do my research and once I know enough I hire them, advise them of my situation and goals then submit to their process. I let them do everything besides me going in their and lifting some weights. They tell me what to eat and how to train and I just do it; life is easier.
4. Get Educated on the Subject Matter and Go Deep
If you”re not learning or getting results you’re not growing. The key is to stay on top of your game and keep finding ways on how to move forward with your training goals, it’s even better to think of all your potential goals in advance that way you’re always in forward momentum.
Keep learning about training.
How can you get better? How can you do things more efficiently? What’s your next challenge? Even if you’re training for life (not take training too seriously) it’s still important to continue to push yourself even if it’s a little bit outside your comfort zone. If you’re not strategically pushing yourself you’re going to be de-trained, a lack of motivation can occur simply due to a change in your physiology.
It’s harder to get back into training if you’re unfit.
At the moment we’ve got some aspiring super-mums training to get fit AF leading into their pregnancy because they know they’re not going to be training as often. The fitter they are going into the process the easier it will be for them to stay in shape and get back into exercise after.
On going deep think of all the potential consequences of not training.
- Bad health
- Not a good role model to my children / future children
- Not performing at my best
- Not enjoying life the way that I want to
- Can’t eat gluten free pizza and get away with it
As someone who values health and physical fitness I really don’t want the above points. This is half a driver, push motivation. I’m consciously aware of it but I mainly like to use the other driver, pull motivation.
- Perform at my best
- Less likely to get sick
- Good role model for my family / future family
- Enjoy life being more energised and confident
- Get to eat pizza and get away with it
- Training is ME time and I get to build an awesome rig
Don’t wait until something catastrophic happens before you take action. I waited until I was heavily overweight, had a habit of going out every weekend and addicted to sugar before I started taking my health and fitness seriously. Some smokers wait until they get their first heart attack before they stop smoking. The longer you leave it the harder it is to get back to being at your best.
To effectively use PULL motivation to get you going I recommend listing 200-400 benefits as to why you should get into your best shape possible. I got this piece of advice from another mentor of mine who went through Dr John DeMartini’s breakthrough experience. By listing so many benefits you begin to shift your values.
If you continually say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, it wasn’t high enough on your values list anyway. Accept you don’t value it or shift them, there is no right or wrong.
5. Think of How You’d Celebrate and Keep Challenging Yourself
After you achieve your training goal of course you’re going to celebrate and so you should. Celebrating your achievement will allow you to reflect on all your efforts, discipline and obstacles you’ve overcome. You’ll also achieve a sense of reward. This will keep you going, figuring out what your next goal is and then challenging yourself once again.
- Go on a holiday
- Take a deserved nutrition and training break
- Wear the clothes you’ve always wanted
- Post up your PB lift on Instagram with no shame
- Be on point in every aspect of your life
Training can be hard, you’re continually pushing yourself; it’s all good to celebrate when you win.
6. Think of the Feeling Afterwards
Similar to knowing how you’re going to celebrate, imagine the feeling afterwards. After your training session, are you going to feel lethargic and unmotivated or you going to be more energised and feel good about yourself? If you’re under nourishing yourself you’re going to be feeling the latter.
Condition yourself to always think about the feeling afterwards.
If you don’t know what the feeling afterwards feels like, go out and experience it and then remember that feeling and all the benefits that come along with it.
It’s so important to have a testing phase and record data here so you have hard proof to refer back to.
Sort out your health, nutrition and fitness for a solid 2-3 months, commit to it and get into a routine training 4-5 X per week. Over that course of time track and measure important indicators that are relevant to you.
- Am I getting body composition results with this routine?
- Am I getting training performance results with this routine?
- Am I healthier with this routine?
- Am I performing better at work and in life with this routine?
- Does this routine save me time?
- Am I happier, more confident and more relaxed with this routine?
All of this stuff you can measure and if you’re not getting what you want out of it you can and should stop it and change it. If you are getting the results you want you’re going to be motivated to keep going because you’ve got the data to back it up.
Experiment to find your best routine; keep finding ways to make it even better.
7. Take Advantage Of Your Highest Values
We all live in accordance to our highest values, a family man may value spending time with his children, a single man may value killing it at work or finding his one true love. Your everyday thoughts and actions will determine those values.
To bulletproof your training motivation even more you can tie your health and fitness goals to your highest values.
How will waking up early to eat healthy and train benefit (insert my highest value)?
List 200 benefits of how nutrition and training links to and benefits your highest value. Then when you take action, take a mental note of all the times it actually does start to benefit your highest value. The more real the proof in the pudding the better for your motivation.
8. The Hard Route Is Always Better Than The Easy Route
If it’s hard, challenging and scares you a little bit, it’s a good thing. In the fitness industry today there’s a lot of this “8-10 week challenge” thing going on. It’s usually promoted as group training, has incentives for completing the challenge (sometimes monetary which is the worst group of people you want to be around) and of course they’ll help you out with your nutrition as well.
Different studio, class, name, colours and exercises but same shit to be honest.
They sell the easy win, come here, train within a group so you can hide (even though the exercise you’re performing incorrectly is going to hurt you one day) and as trainers we’ll shout, scream and motivate you by telling you how much time you have left in the circuit and advise you on how good you’re doing at every session so you keep coming back.
Don’t get me wrong some people that get sucked into this get great results initially, in 8-10 weeks they’ve transformed. What’s more important though is what happens after the challenge ends?
Here’s what happens:
- They’re still unconfident with training on their own because they haven’t been given specific individual advice and they’re too use to training in a group environment. When it comes time to training on their own it scares the crap out of them.
- The nutrition advice they’d been given has stopped working or didn’t even work initially because it was generic advice tailored for the whole group.
- They get stuck in this challenge/group mindset, “I can only be in my best shape when I’m doing a challenge”. They haven’t been taught how to actually live a lifestyle that’s continually challenging, fit and healthy without having to rely on anyone else or challenges, so of course they have to keep going back.
- They don’t get challenged from a coaching perspective (always being told they’re doing well when they’re not) or learn anything new which stunts growth.
If what you’re doing at the moment is easy and you’re frustrated about your results, you need to go for what’s a little bit hard. It’s “through” to your goals and not “around the obstacle” to your goals. Learn what you need to learn most (what you most desire with training), get there as soon as possible and then move on with your next challenge.
We know this because the 8-10 week challenge guys, they come to us after 3-4 rounds doing the same stuff, getting the same results. If we choose to work with them they get quite a shock in the beginning because we overhaul their nutrition and training specifically for them and give them the hard data behind it all, where they’ve gone wrong, why and what to do moving forward. All of a sudden they’re learning how to train on their own and they’re not always being told how good they are. We only compliment and celebrate progress when they’re truly deserved.
For them in the beginning it’s hard. In the long run, it’s better. There’s no limitations to their results (they can go as slow, hard or fast as they want because they’re not reliant on anyone else) they know how to keep going next level and end up not needing us anymore if they choose.
If your lack of training motivation comes down to knowing that you can do more but you’re not sure to execute it professionally and specific to you, me and my trainers can definitely help. We regularly have clients from all walks of life getting fit AF whilst still being able to enjoy life outside of training.
If that’s you, you’d probably be a great fit and we’d love to help.
Book in a training consultation today.