Today, I'm going to give some specific training tips that I see some people not…
We have to accept that motivation will come and go in intensity. We’re only human, however I believe we can maximise our ability to maintain motivation in the long run.
- Do fun stuff in the first place – Set up your diet and training protocols so that you genuinely enjoy them most of the time.
- Visualisation – Look at your long term goals. These should excite the hell out of you. Place these visuals strategically, so that you see them on a regular basis.
- Rest – We all need time off. Periods of hard work & focus need to be balanced with periods of relaxing. This is why diet breaks and deload weeks are so effective!
For me, the most exciting and motivating feelings come from visualising the long term results/goals.
This applies to anything in life, but it seems most appropriate to apply it to health and fitness here. So if your goal is to look a certain way in the long term, we need to be reminded of that image whenever motivation is falling.
But possibly even more importantly than this, is to do enjoyable stuff in the first place.
We all have finite willpower.
So, let’s prevent it from falling in the first place! Obviously, sometimes we will have low energy & motivation, particularly if you are trying to achieve multiple goals at the same time, have a job etc. Then we can use visualisation strategies. But firstly, we want to limit the amount our willpower falls.
To apply this to real life, doing anything too extreme (unless it’s the only thing going on in your life), will sap the shit out of your finite willpower, and consequently motivation. Examples include; zero carb diets, huge calorie deficits, huge training volumes on the big 3, huge amounts of boring cardio etc.
Another important note, is that the biggest source of internal motivation tends to come from unhappiness and discomfort. I’m not sure how I can translate this into a piece of advice or a “top-tip”, as I think it’s outside of our control. So I’ve left it off the list. But if something negative happens to you, or something in the past has happened that causes pain or discomfort, if you channel this the correct way it can be an extremely powerful source of motivation.
If you’re unhappy about a certain area of your life, and you believe in your ability to change it and feel as though you have something to prove, it can be life-changing. It completely re-channels your way of thinking.
Some people tend to play the victim role: “Why is it always me?” or something similar. Instead, turn it around and use some common sense. “This made me very unhappy, why has this happened, and how can I prevent it from happening again?”. If you figure out a system that works for you, through trial and error (and reading awesome blogs), apply it consistently over time, the results will come. You will be loving life.
There will always be set-backs, that’s inevitable. But you need the drive and motivation to push through them, consistently using a system that you believe in, and ideally have multiple different methods of achieving the desired outcome. This is outcome independence.
Finally, rest is crucial to renewing your motivation. We all need to re-charge at some point. On a similar note, holding yourself back to some degree when starting a new goal/project/program whatever, seems to be very effective at building and maintaining motivation. It leaves you wanting more.