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 Staying Motivated... 
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Post Staying Motivated...
Everyone struggles with motivation at some point in their life. Sometimes it is the lack of motivation to begin your fitness endeavor, sometimes it is the lack of motivation to continue your workout routine, sometimes outside life factors create stress and diversions and your motivation flags... whatever the reason for demotivation or lack of motivation, I believe there are some important things you can do to create or recapture your drive to excel.

1) Set clear-cut, realistic goals pertaining to your workouts.
Your goals could be physique based (bigger shoulders, fuller chest, smaller pants size, less bodyfat), performance based (personal best on a specific lift, higher vertical jump, longer endurance in an event), or health based (lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol), or whatever you choose as a meaningful goal in your life.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T.:
Time oriented

It is alright to have one really huge goal (100 pound weight loss) but you need to break it down into smaller goals that lead up to that ultimate goal. Breaking it down into realistic weekly or monthly (or even daily) goals will help you stay motivated and will make it seem less imtmidating. I know when I set a huge goal, if I don't break it into manageable bite-size goals, I can get lost in the middle of the process and lose motivation because it seems like I am not making progress towards the end goal. Being able to see where you started and how much farther you have to go will keep you from getting stuck in the doldrums in the middle.

2) Create a list of reasons why you are pursuing this goal.
List the pros of attaining your goal and the cons of not reaching your goal. Make your reasons personal and powerful. Figure out your core reasons and how your goals relate to your personal value system. The stronger your emotions are about your goals, the more fired up and motivated you will be. Make your goals important in your mind. you can reread your reasons list whenever you feel like your motivation is flagging.

3) Create some goal reminders
Goal reminders are visual cues that help you stay on track. Hang out a pair of jeans you want to fit into, cut out some pictures of physiques you admire and place them where you will see them, write out key phrases that get you motivated and place them on your dresser or bathroom mirror.

4) Have your goals become stale?
Sometimes as our lives change and our circumstances change, we need to readjust and reexamine our previous goals. You will lose motivation if your goal no longer fits into your big picture. if your main goal was to look good for a specific event and the event is cancelled, you will have to readjust and set new goals. Also, once you attain a goal, it is time to set some new ones.

5) Evaluate workout effectiveness. Are you are overtraining?
Overtraining leads to demotivation. Sometimes taking a week off can really help you rediscover your motivation to get back on a routine. Maybe you need a new routine that fits your new goal. Look around and find something that you haven't done before, a new style or method of training, a new rep scheme, a new split..all those factors can breath fresh air into your workouts and help you stay motivated. Add in things you haven't tried before..functional training, plyometrics, run intervals, boot camp style routines spur new growth and re-energize you.

6) Say no to negativity!
Cut negativity out of your life. Negativity drains your energy and demotivates you. As much as possible, cut out naysayers and people who tend to look at the downside of life. Find people who are upbeat, find motivational reading material, spend time focused on the positive aspects in life and you will find you are much more motivated to succeed. Create the type of life you want to live, that in itself is very motivating.

7) Feed the machine.
It sems like an odd thing to mention - but check your caloric intake and the quality of fuel you are giving your body. If your calories are too low you will be fatgued and hungry and not very motivated. if your food is non nutritious you will lack key nutrients that aide in energy production and metabolic processes and you won't have the get-up-and-go necessary to set goals and strive to achieve them. A healthy diet with a variety of fresh foods is a key ingredient in any endeavor.

8) Water, water everywhere.
Check your hydration levels. The slightest dehydration affects performance, both mental and physical. And if you aren't performing optimally, your motivation will suffer. 8-10 glasses of water per day is a good start, you will need more if you are exerting yourself and sweating a lot. For most athletic types water intake should meet or exceed a gallon per day.

9) Rest!
Sleep is important for recovery and for optimal performance. If your motivation is flagging and you have everything else lined up..check out your sleep habits. Getting on a regular sleep schedule and achieving full, deep sleep cycles will greatly improve your motivation levels! Changing your sleep routine on the weekends is said to give you a 'jet lag' effect into midweek.

Some good motivational materials I have enjoyed are:

The Biology of Success by Robert Arnot this is an excellent read on how we can set ourselves up physically and mentally for success.

The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven, PhD

Body for Life - I like this book because it really talks about goal setting and the mental aspects of body transformation. There is also a huge web community of people who have transformed and they are very suportive and motivating.

The web is full of great sites that have motivational reading, motivational quotes and motivational some searching and figure out what speaks to you and what motivates you and GET FIRED UP!!!!

I have flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them!

Listen here sonny, there aint no disaster.
There aint no shame in bein' beaten by a master!
~ Johnny Lang - Rack 'em up

Ash nazg durbatul√Ľk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatul√Ľk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:47 am
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