Setting yourself a goal is a very noble and powerful moment.
The few weeks after you decide upon that target is the most motivated you’re ever going to be.
Most people will slowly become less and less enthused by their original motivations as they get further into their fitness journey- which is why the gym is so packed in January, and desolate by March.
No, setting the right goal is paramount to success, but once that’s said and done, how can you stay motivated?
We’ll examine exactly that within this blog post.
But Firstly- How Can You Set A Worthwhile Goal?
To have the correct attitude to hit a goal, you must first ensure it’s a goal you are actually motivated to hit.
So, firstly, ask yourself what it is you want to achieve.
Now “weight loss” or “having nice legs” aren’t going to cut it as answers here.
You’ll need to be specific, and pick a goal that’s measurable. For example “being able to fit into my old size 12 jeans” or “to complete a full 70 minute game of field hockey without getting exhausted and having a stitch”.
Now you’ll need to dig a little deeper and ask yourself why. Why do you want to fit into those jeans? Why do you want to be able to last the whole hockey game?
If the answers to this is due to external input then you’ll need to rethink the goal, or your true motivation. For example “because my husband wants me to fit those pants again” or “so my coach doesn’t yell at me” aren’t your motivations, they’re somebody else’s.
However “because I want to feel confident, and I want to prove to my kids that you can achieve anything” or “because I was bad at sports in school and I finally want to take my performance into my own hands, and impress myself while playing well for my team”? Those are great motivators.
And the latter are far more likely to keep you grinding towards your target, instead of giving up because the motivation isn’t your own.
Because You Will Have To Grind Sometimes.
You might have an awesome goal right now, and you may be super motivated for your own personal reasons. Hell you could be giddy with the anticipation of getting to the gym on Monday.
But you won’t always feel that way.
You’re going to wake up some days and just not feel like training, and craving yourself a Maccy D breakfast.
And that’s totally normal.
You can’t beat yourself up for not wanting to bust your ass in the gym every day.
There’s a reason all of the world’s top athletes have coaches- because staying motivated to train is hard.
Which is why I’d like you to do the following:
- Got through the steps to set your goal (take your time with this- remember it has to be YOUR motivations, no one else’s).
- Write that goal down on a Post-It note.
- Stick that note to your fridge, mirror, and take a photo of it to put as your phone’s screensaver.
- Whenever you don’t feel like training- look at that goal, picture how you’ll feel once you’ve achieved that target, then make a decision.
Most of the time, you’ll find you can grind out a session, or are motivated to meal prep/ not get yourself an Egg Mcmuffin.
Although The Truth Is- It’s A Marathon- Not A Sprint
The above statement is vital for your long term success.
We all know (or maybe we are) someone with the all or nothing attitude.
This may be ego driven, pride related, or just being misinformed by 30 second Instagram videos that show people going ‘Beast-Mode’ that plague our social media feeds.
But I’m here to let you know- you aren’t going to get awesome results by training till you puke every session.
You’ll get injuries, stalled progression, and possibly the nickname ‘Pukey McVomVom’.
The ideal attitude is recognising that you don’t have to get all your results in a single session- the joy is in the process. Which actually bings me nicely to the next point I wanted to make:
Celebrate The Little Victories
Whenever I take on a new client, and we sit down to set our goals (going through the entire “why do you want this” process in enough detail that we can both be sure the motivation is real), we’ll then set mini landmarks.
For example if someone wants to drop 6 pant sizes, it would be fairly obvious for every size dropped along the way, we’ll high five and do a happy dance.
Because progress on the path to a worthwhile goal should be acknowledged.
Getting a push up rep PR, lifting 1.25lbs more on a back squat, making it to half time in hockey without a stitch and even resisted the urge to buy that breakfast muffin should all be acknowledged and appreciated.
Because you’re doing something awesome by choosing to improve your health and fitness. Hell, give yourself a quick pat on the back and a mini happy dance just for reading this blog!
There Is No Wagon
If I were to have pancakes for breakfast, a muffin mid-morning, and burger with french fries for lunch, an afternoon chocolate sundae, and then finish my day with a salad, will I suddenly be in incredible shape?
Then why is it people can eat perfectly well all week, then ‘Fall off the wagon’ and eat a single chip off their friend’s plate, and suddenly feel like all the hard work they’ve put in has gone to waste?
One ‘bad’ food choice isn’t going to undo all the good you’ve done- the same way a single ‘good’ food choice won’t get your shredded.
Remember earlier when we talked about this being a marathon, not a sprint?
Well scroll up for a second, I’ll wait.
Ok, is it refreshed in your mind now?
If we were trying to get from 12 to 6% bodyfat for a physique contest in 4 weeks, then yes, we’d probably go with 100% adherence to a strict diet and training routine.
However if we’re trying to lose a little holiday weight so we look epic for our summer holiday in 8 weeks? We can probably relax a little with eating like we have a photoshoot coming up.
Eating ‘clean’ (as outlined in this blog) is the best method for dropping bodyfat and building an enviable physique.
However acting like you’re going to jump on stage in sequinned underpants any minute isn’t a sustainable route to a goal you’d like to maintain.
No, instead allow yourself to adopt the attitude that you’re a human (because news-flash: you are).
If you’re eating well for 80-90% of your meals? Then don’t beat yourself up for having a slice of cake at a friend’s birthday party, or a few nachos at the awesome Mexican restaurant you and your friends all love.
Sticking with a rigid and strict diet 24/7 is a recipe for a two week ‘health stint’ before falling back into your old ways. Instead, allow yourself to approach your goals in a sensible and sustained manner, and accept you aren’t going to be ‘perfect’ all the time.
Above all else- enjoy the damn process: as corny as it may sound; the journey to a goal really is where all the fun lies- allow yourself to cherish it, celebrate the little victories and don’t be too hard on yourself.
And if you’d like help getting your goals set, and then guidance on exactly how to hit them (without it taking over your life), then contact me today to book in your free consultation.