Motivation is the key to achieve anything in life. It’s particularly important to understand that different people are motivated by different things, in this instance we are going to talk about how to get motivated to become fitter and healthier.
Some might ask, ‘why should I exercise?’ or ‘Why should I be healthy?’ but a better way of looking at this is to ask, why wouldn’t you? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to have a good quality of life?
- Do you want to live a long, healthy life?
- Do you want to set a good example for your children?
The answer to all of those is YES for the majority of people. The fact that you are reading this blog means that you are motivated, you are at least thinking about the motivation to get started – that is AWESOME.
To help you progress, you can look at this in stages:
Not even thinking or considering being motivated.
The start of the process, a great place to be. You start thinking about trying to get yourself motivated and achieve your goals. Now that you are reading this blog you are in this phase.
Preparing to do something. This could involve planning how to eat better or what to eat as well as making a plan or thinking of what type of exercise to do.
This is when you put your plan into practice and start doing it!
Continuing the action process. During maintenance it’s important to understand you may well have a lapse which is just a momentary slip. For example, eating a takeaway or losing interest in exercise. It’s important that a small lapse doesn’t turn into a relapse where you undo all of the work you have done.
To help you to stay on track, stay positive and stay motivated, here are some tips that might help you.
This is key for not only staying motivated, but also for always seeing the good in things.
Accept that you must exercise and eat well
If you want to be healthy you need to exercise regularly and eat well. Once you accept that, you will do it as a matter of course.
Find something you enjoy about exercise
It could be that you are able to play football with your kids or being able to fit in to some clothes you used to 10 years ago or that you feel more energised. There will be something you will notice you find enjoyable because of your new lifestyle or because of exercise.
Remember the 6 P’s of planning. Poor Planning and Preparation leads to P*ss Poor Performance
Plan when you will exercise and what you will eat. Make is realistic, get your gym clothes ready the night before so you are ready to go. Make a list and plan your food for the week. Many people eat bad food because they aren’t prepared.
Realise that failure is good
If you regularly exercise you will fail and that is good! It helps you to realise that you are pushing yourself and makes it feel amazing when you achieve something. Assess where you have a lapse in your diet and ensure it doesn’t turn into a relapse.
Remember why you are doing it
If you think it through, you only have one body so why wouldn’t you look after it. You want to become healthy, fitter and to ultimately live longer.
You will have lapses in motivation from time to time but keep focused. Remember the big picture, you may not have the motivation for that big run but you can focus on doing something positive that day.
If a 5 minute walk is a start, it’s a start. It is better than doing nothing, sitting at home thinking about doing a 10k run. Starting small helps you to stay focussed and progress.
Tell people what you are doing and set yourself targets. Don’t let yourself down. If you don’t exercise or you eat bad food, this was your choice and no one else’s.
Music helps you to move and it can be very motivating. Use it to your advantage! If you have a favourite album or playlist that helps you, play it.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, some people love it and some don’t. Do what works for YOU. If having JUST DO IT as your phone background makes you do it, then use it.
People take things for granted. In the UK we are lucky to have running water and heating so that you can live comfortably. These are the things that people take for granted and are incredible. Contemplate how incredible the world is around you and it will help you to keep motivated and get out and be healthy.
Be positive when you stumble
Everyone stumbles, the important thing is that they don’t stay down. If you stumble get back up and keep moving towards your goals. Make sure you remember all the good things you have achieved, and you are going to achieve if you keep going.
Celebrate your success
Reward yourself, not with a bottle of wine or something bad, but something that will make you feel better. ‘One I hit a 30-minute 5km I will buy something’ or do something that keeps you motived.
You will never get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are going. Set a target and work towards it, when you get there you will be proud, and you can set a new target. Some examples of targets you might set:
- A month without drinking alcohol
- Running 5km in less than 30 minutes
- Being able to do a pull up
Use all of the tips above to get yourself motivated and improve your day to day mood. We all get the same 24 hours in a day so use them to your advantage.