If I’m being brutally honest, I can say that I’m struggling for motivation to train at the moment. I’m still doing a few sessions a week, but the creative excuses are starting to flow thick and fast. Before this situation spirals out of control, I’m going back to the drawing board to work out how I’m going to pull myself out of this form slump. Here are 10 ways that I reckon will get anyone craving regular exercise:
1. Set short term goals
What do you want to achieve over the next few weeks and months? Maybe aiming to do 4 sessions per week, be able to run 5kms without stopping, losing 500 grams. Go for a blend of challenging and achievable, then write them down!
2. Set long term goals
Same idea as the short term goals, but obviously looking over the next 6-12 months or even the next few years. Scaling a particular mountain, walking the Kokoda Trail, doing a half ironman, fitting into size 10 jeans, hitting a 300m drive down the middle of the fairway. Write them down.
3. Train for an event
It might be a 5km run, a marathon, corporate team event, triathlon, rowing regatta or regular sporting fixtures. There are lots of opportunities out there, so find something that tickles your fancy. A friend is training to do her first marathon at the moment and is going to Paris to do it!
4. Make it fun
Fun is the key to absolutely everything in life. If you enjoy the exercise and training you’re doing, you’re going to do everything to be there. Look at exercise as an opportunity to have fun – it’s not a chore! John Lennon said all you need is love, well, I reckon all you need is fun!
5. Make it social
Incorporate your training or exercise with other people. Play a team sport, train with a group for an individual sport, attend group fitness classes or organise a group of friends, family or work mates to go for a walk together. Real social interaction beats social media hands down!
6. Set out a plan
Use your short and long term goals, then work out what you need to do each week and month to achieve these. Create a map and step it out bit by bit. Make sure you are challenging yourself, and celebrating when you achieve your goals!
7. Be accountable
Personal trainers are fantastic for this. At your weekly, fortnightly or monthly catch ups, you know you’ll need to show them what training you’ve been doing and they’ll be able to see through you if you go for the cover up. Having said this though, if you’ve taken short cuts or cheated somewhere, the most important person, the one in the mirror, will know.
If you are meeting someone, somewhere at a specific time, or playing a team sport, no matter what, you simply have to be there. I know I’ll struggle to pull myself out of bed in the morning to train by myself, but if I’ve committed to a friend or group, then there is no ignoring the alarm option.
9. Create a support network
Yeah, this sounds a little airy fairy lovey dovey, but if you can talk, text, email and interact with other people in a similar situation as yourself, it can be just the ticket to keep you going when it all seems too much. There’s over 7 billion people on this planet, so you’re not alone!
10. Make it fun
Oops, I’ve already said this one, but it is so ridiculously important, that I’m saying it again. Life certainly isn’t long enough for us not to have fun, so in the words of Wayne Bennett, don’t die with the music in you!
Now go forth and train the house down!