Whether you’ve just returned from holiday or you’re in a healthy regime rut, one things for certain, you can feel the excuses creeping in.
“Can’t be bothered to train today” or “There’s no time to cook, I’ll order something”
How do you stay on track when motivation is slipping through your fingers?
5 life hacks to keep you focused, smash your workouts every time and stick to your nutrition goals.
Maybe it’s the fact you know how hard it was last week? Or what has seemed like an eternity of endless effort for what in your mind seems like zero return? It is now making it harder to trust that another week of training, another week of avoiding Margret at work and her free cakes, or another week of heating up your tupperware of food whilst everyone around you keeps asking you “do you really like eating that stuff?” The cracks in your motivation are now starting to show and you desperately don’t want to cave in.
So this cheat sheet aims to give you all the resources possible to keep you on track not only for this week, but for all the times it gets tough, like getting back to training after a holiday. Put away the self-doubt and get ready keep up your consistencies.
With technology as advanced as it is now, you probably have a calendar in your pocket or handbag everywhere you go. This little pocket contraption has the power to take control of our lives. What power you give it, that’s up to you. It’s very easy to get lost in mindless scrolling, 100’s of games and hours socialising. You can take control of the week with one thing, the calendar app.
Tip: Schedule in all workouts you plan to do around your week on a Sunday.
Set up your week when you are in this relaxed mindset and can think more practically about your week ahead and where the gaps appear to fit in those sessions. Then as each one appears on your daily agenda, treat that just as you would a meeting at work, or an appointment at the Dr’s. Create that mindset of it just being what you have on your to-do-list that day.
2. The All or Nothing Mindset
Think about going to the gym after work, what does it do to your mindset? Are you excited about potentially hitting that new personal best tonight? Or more realistically, does the thought of trying to go in there make you remember how slowly time passed when you slogged away until you had either done an hour and a half or 2 classes back to back.
Tip: It doesn’t have to take an eternity to be a workout that counts. YouTube is filled with 1000’s of quick 15/20-minute workouts. Imagine getting to the gym knowing that walking through the doors you’ll be right back out again in under 30 minutes. Better yet you can even do it at home with minimal equipment; a bottle of water and towel will be enough. Still plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your evening or give you that extra half hour in bed before your pre-work training.
3. No Goal, No Destination
What are you trying to achieve? What drives you to work out? What is the point of being in this crowded gym, and seeing the red faced mouth breather who eyes you up every time you go?
If you don’t have a goal, an aspiration, or something to keep striving towards then motivation is going to waiver pretty quickly when times get tough. All of a sudden you realise you’re on a journey, with no captain and no real destination.
Tip: Write down your goal. Put it somewhere safe, use it as a background on your phone, a sticky note on the mirror where you brush your teeth every morning, (I used to take the VHS covers out from my favourite action movies as a kid and use them as posters in my bedroom, I don’t advise this much redecorating but you see my point?)
When you know your goal it’s easier to know what you plan to get out of each session, stepping foot in to a workout without a plan, is planning to fail eventually.
4. Find Your Fit-Fam
Going at it alone can be all well and good at first, you get in there, get shit done then carry on with your day. When it starts to feel like work, the unfortunate truth is no one is going to pay you at the end of each month because you did that extra set or improved your 5k time. You’re doing this for yourself and you are on your own… or are you?
Tip: Find a community of likeminded people, whether its Cross-Fit, yoga or group sessions. Sharing the hard moments together and turning up together will make those days feel more like a social event; it just so happens this social event is better for you and your health as opposed to typical socialising. Being a trainer I’ve seen many long-term friendships formed in gym boot camps, and to this day these people are all still helping each other keep active, motivated and headed towards their goal together, on the good days and the bad ones. I know of two very great friends who to this day will laugh more than they will sweat when in the gym, but they are getting the work done, just getting it done together.
5. Treat Your Self
The goal of where you want to get to may be far, however that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself along the way? Now this doesn’t mean I’m suggesting every weekend a binge on foods, try to disassociate yourself with the 'food as reward' mindset.
Tip: Reward small victories, another week or month and you’ll buy yourself that little gift from your wish list, treat yourself to a spa day, get a makeover to compliment all that hard work and show off the efforts of all your hard work. Associating another milestone in your training with feeling good about yourself and you will be an unstoppable person who motivates all those around you.