Motivation :7 Tips to survive the downtimes
Getting Back the On Track with Your Healthy Habits
||It’s easy to get into the gym and have productive workouts when things are going well. But just how do you get yourself to keep working toward your fitness goals when you aren’t motivated? That’s a real challenge.
One way or another, you need to find a way to get yourself through the difficult times. It’s your longevity, simply sticking with your program just a little longer in order to produce the results you want, that’s one of the most important factors toward your ultimate success.
If you do anything long enough, the chances that you’ll become very good at what you do increase significantly. It’s the continual stopping and starting of your exercise program that robs you of your progress. In order to do anything well, you need to do it consistently for a long enough period of time to see results. And, the results you will experience after your committed workouts will be a terrific source of motivation that will fuel your continued efforts.
The purpose of this article is to give you the motivation to hang in there just a little longer and stick with your healthy exercise and eating habits.
Here are seven tips to help you work your way through the slumps that we all experience at times:
First of all, you need to relax. It’s common for your level of motivation to go through cycles. The mental challenges that come your way are an inevitable part of the process. Almost everyone, even the people who are best examples of health and fitness who you have come to respect have gone through their own ups and downs.
Those people who have earned your respect have simply overcome those challenges. You
shouldn’t believe for a moment that they haven’t endured the same struggles and roadblocks as the ones you face.
Realize that you will have occasional lapses in motivation, accept them, and then take the steps necessary to gradually increase your desire to train.
2.Resist taking a prolonged break from training.
As I mentioned, there will be times when your drive to train is stronger than others. However, I don’t believe that taking a few weeks off because you don’t “feel” like training is a good idea. Unless you have some sort of physical injury or health problem, I wouldn’t recommend taking unscheduled time off. Who knows? You may never feel like coming back after your layoff. I have seen this happen to many once-dedicated people over the years.
Even if your motivation is lower than you would like, make the concerted effort to get into the gym and do your best to follow your training program. Put the pressure on yourself to get back on track instead of giving into your whims to take a prolonged break. Putting yourself through this discomfort now will spare you the intense pain of letting yourself down that you’ll probably suffer in the future. Trust me!
I often warn the people who I coach not to fall victim to their feelings. Feelings are not reliable indicators for what you should and should not do in any aspect of your life. Your feelings can change a dozen times throughout the course of a week.
Instead, take a scheduled week off from training every seven or eight weeks—even if you don’t feel like taking that time out of the gym.
I have found this strategy to be tremendously helpful in keeping my motivation level high and preventing me from mental burnout. At the end of my scheduled week off, I’m typically more ready than ever to get back on my program. My motivation and intensity are high and I’ve had plenty of time to let my mind and body rest.
3. Set Simple Training Goals.
Creating a short list of “training disciplines” can be extremely helpful. This list can include a few simple tasks that you’ll focus on during your workouts even when you’re not as motivated as you’d like to be.
Simply getting to the gym on time, completing every one of the exercises and sets that you planned to do when you stepped into the gym, making sure you really focus on the targeted muscle group during every repetition, and completing your training session in an hour are just a few examples of what you can include on your list of simple training goals.
You don’t need to be extremely detailed right off the bat, but create some structure to your workout so you feel like you are progressing. As you track to your goals, you will continually increase your level of focus and successfully take your efforts to the next level.
This is when discipline becomes important. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word discipline as control gained by enforcing obedience or order. In other words, you sometimes have to do things that you may not necessarily feel like doing for the greater good in the long run.
4. Appreciate what you’ve already accomplished.
Look back for a moment. Haven’t you really accomplished a lot more than you may have thought? Aren’t you a lot farther along than you were a year ago today? Wouldn’t it be great to look back in another year and see the continual progress you have made?
What if you wasted an entire year simply because you lost your motivation and strayed away from your plan? Wouldn’t that wasted time feel much worse than if you simply remained committed and worked through the times when your motivation is a bit lower than you would like?
The chances are pretty good that you’ve worked through times like these before. There probably aren’t any good reasons why you won’t successfully pull through these downtimes again.
5. Get in the presence of highly motivated people.
Associate with people who are like-minded and appreciate your health and fitness objectives. They should be motivated to succeed in life and understand the goals that you are striving towards. Heck! If you’re lucky enough to be invited into their groups, train with those people who are even more driven than you are to help ignite your desire.
6. Reevaluate your priorities.
Whether your training is going well or not, you are probably getting what you are focusing on. If you aren’t getting what you want out of your workouts, then you may need to re-evaluate your priorities in your life and dedicate the focus needed to get you where you want to go.
7. Don’t do anything differently.
Maybe you shouldn’t do anything differently during these times. Take responsibility for your success or failure. Maybe it’s not the training routine you are using that is the cause of your lack of success. Maybe your need to fortify your efforts with a little more mental muscle.
Just because you have failed in the past does not mean you will fail in the future. Sometimes you should do nothing—except work to increase your focus.
Don’t make rash decisions to change your routine, start a new diet or change gyms. Put the pressure on yourself to work through your problems and setbacks in the past—rather than run from them.
Keep working toward what you ultimately want from your health and fitness efforts during your more challenging times. I’m certain that one or more of these mental tips will be just what you need to survive the downtimes and get your healthy habits back on track.