Lets face it, we don’t always jump out of bed with a smile on our face or get excited about doing the housework, going to work or the gym or getting that job done you promised your friend. Sometimes motivation, a spring in your step, a positive attitude or the willingness to just do it is hard to find. But at the end of the day, most of the things we find we need the motivation for still need to be done, so how do we overcome these slumps?
Sometimes, people think I am always motivated to do the things I do. The truth is I know that if I don’t get them done when I schedule them in they will get left for another week until I have the spare time again, so really its now or never. Sometimes being busy can be the best way to make sure you get everything done, to much free time can allow you to contemplate what you should be doing. But overdoing it can have detrimental affects as well.
But I don’t always find it easy to get out of bed at 5:30am and train with a high intensity, or finish a long day at work and want to go to the gym either. Sometimes the housework creeps up on you and all of a sudden its not just a few jobs that need doing the whole house need s a good shake. We don’t always want to leave the house and socialise on a rainy Friday night, but you know you should or you become that friend that just sits at home, and generally you enjoy yourself once you are there anyway. All of these things can require a little bit of self talk to entice you to make them happen.
For me, the gym can be difficult sometimes. Now I train with a partner, these sessions are in the evening, however when I am by myself or my brother they tend to be first thing. Here I need to make sure I get my sleep, that way I am fresh for either a morning session or an evening, I don’t want to be trying to train on minimal sleep because I choose to go to bed at 1am, that is neither smart or healthy. Sleep is also important to be regular, I try to start early most mornings and if I’m not training I’m still up within an hr of when I would have been – this ensures I don’t oversleep and my body clock is in sync daily.
Now, when I get to the gym, this is another sort of motivation. Here in Tassie, the whether can be cold, in the (-) degree Celsius in fact. This means mornings are frosty, cold and not very appealing to put your hands onto those cold weights bars. As for an evening session, motivation needs to be found after I have worked all day and all I would like to do is put my feet up at home. So, a number of things can help my motivation slumps;
- Looking around the gym and seeing everyone else working hard, I don’t want to be the one slacking off
- Knowing the quicker I get it started the quicker it is done – this is a huge motivator for me, just telling myself this gets me started! who wants to be there or doing anything longer then they need to?
- Having a training partner – I have a few different training partners, one where he helps me (Kieran), one where we can help each other (my brother) and one where I help them (my dad) – having different partners means the responsibility is changed. Sometimes its nice to be told what to do, sometimes you feel like taking charge. Having a different partner all the time means this is constantly changing and I am constantly stimulated. But be wary of who you pick as a partner. If you pick someone that whinges and moans the whole session, doesn’t turn up in time or at all sometimes then they wont help you and you will find yourself worn about by the effort it takes to motivate them, and its about you at the end of the day.
- Changing my training techniques- a huge contributing factor of lack of motivation can be doing the same old thing all the time. Not only will you not see much improvement but it gets boring. Having my other training partners means its not just me that is affected by my training ability it is my partner as well and I don’t want to let them down either. So creating new and challenging exercises is a must
- Having a goal and images that motivate you – I am always looking at fitness models from other countries, other federations and elsewhere as a source of motivation. I know they didn’t get to where they are sitting on their backside and that urges me forward. If looking at these types of images depresses you though and makes it seem impossible perhaps its not the motivation stimulus for you. I also suggest having, and I do have my own; goals. Goals give you a workable timeframe. But as we all know, S.M.A.R.T is what’s important here. Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timeframe. This means that your goal needs to be achievable for you, not your friend or the supermodel in the magazine but YOU, also either having a short time frame so that you do not loose sight of the big picture is important, and having constant check points where you can monitor your progress to the end result – all of these help to retain you motivation.
- Train with someone you want to impress – whether you get a hot PT, a friend you want to prove your worth to or your naturally competitive like me, having someone you want to impress will naturally encourage you to work harder to help prove your ability. But as you become comfortable with them, this motivation aid will weaken.
- Tell people – if your like me, and don’t want to let people down then this one is perfect. By telling people you are going to do something like meet them after work for a session, you are obligated otherwise you will be letting them down. This will ensure you to get the job done.
- Be organised and have routine – if your going to do a morning gym session have your lunch packed the night before so you wont have to come home and rush to do it, leave yourself plenty of time to get ready after your session and have your gym clothes ready for when you wake up. Tell yourself you are going to go in advance, don’t go to be thinking I might get up as chances are you wont. likewise for a weekend, know you are going to do what ever your goal is in advance, don’t wake up and not know what you have in store for yourself each day.
- Tell yourself you can – as silly as it may sound, I sit at a machine where I know what I am doing will be hard and I give myself positive talk, ‘common nicole, last set’, ‘you can do this, its only a little heavier then last time and you managed that’ this sort of talk is positive and encouraging, non of this ‘its to hard’,’I can’t’ talk. there is no place for this.
For me I feel I manage to get most of these. The one of recent struggle but out of my control has been routine. While I know well in advance when all my sessions are I am transitioning from morning and evening sessions regularly. Which is a person choice and one I manage by being extra organised and thinking a few days in advance about what needs to be done. The fact that I have the stimuli of training with someone that helps me, one where I am in control, being with people I want to impress, and having a defiant goal in place, all help to ensure my motivation is high.
Finally, I never like to let people think that I find it hard. People think I find the diet to get ready for competition easy, but I still crave sugar and want to overeat but there is a difference between wanting to and actually doing it. They think that I don’t get tired from my morning sessions, but there have been times at work at about 3pm when I would give anything to shut my office door and have a snooze, but these tired period pass. I only talk positive about what I do, which allows people to believe I don’t find it hard, I smile at other people at 6am and talk about my excitement leading up to stage. I always keep my goal in front of me, there is no other way.