How to stay motivated!

Girl on the beach holding out her arms.

I wish I had your motivation.

I just can’t get motivated.

I don’t know how you manage to eat so well and train so hard.

These are probably some of the most common statements that are made to me when I’m talking to friends, family and colleagues about fitness. But the thing is motivation is one of those things that are completely different to everyone and what motivates one person might not motivate another. Even those people that appear to be ‘smashing the gym’ every day or eating mega clean will probably be having a chocolate cake behind closed doors while laying out on the sofa when they don’t feel particularly motivated.

We all find it hard sometimes and being motivated to eat well and train hard every day/week/month of the year is pretty unrealistic for anyone to again – even those who are in the limelight a lot. There are certain things that can definitely help but if you wake up one morning and you just can’t get out of bed then don’t worry! If you find that you are in

need of some high carb meal and a bit of chocolate – have it! You work hard and you should be allowed to have the occasional day off. It’s okay! No-one is going to chastise you for it.

When I’m not in prep for a competition I’m very relaxed with regards to fitness, I still eat clean but I don’t count my calories or macro’s as I would in prep and I also don’t train half as hard as I would for the 24 week running up to a competition and I’m happy to admit that. When

we look at social media it’s easy to think that everyone upholds this body image all year round and are all waking up at 6am drinking a green tea doing fasted cardio but let’s face it – how much of that is all actually true? There is probably a large amount of these images that are taken weeks or even months before and the pictures are edited and

posting is well timed. So this is to remind you that it’s OK to have an off day/week and that we don’t all wake up full of the joys of spring and that too is pretty normal!

However this may be, but it is also massively frustrating when you find yourself stuck at a wall you can’t get over so here are a few pointers to help you climb that wall and bounce back on the other side:

Set yourself a definite goal

There is a term I use at work quite widely called SMART targets. This means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound targets. Set yourself a specific target that’s

achievable and time framed. Write this down, tell people or have it as your screen saver on your phone and remind yourself of this daily because you know how good you will feel once you achieve this goal – when have you ever left a workout feeling unmotivated if you achieve what you set out to do?

Change your form of motivation

Whatever it is that usually motivates you, change it! It could be your favourite blogger, Spotify track or you tuber, but change it because however good they are or how good it

may have been in the past they might not be working now. We all get complacent with the same thing over and over again and sometimes a change can be a massive motivator.

Use social media to your advantage

I know that I have explained that social media isn’t always the most reliable motivator and the images aren’t always ‘true’ but seeing other people working out, eating clean

and achieving the goals that you want to achieve can be a massive motivator and can give you the kick up the butt that you occasionally need. Just look for those that are positive and supportive, you don’t need negative influences in your life because this will have the opposite effect to motivation.

Actions are louder than words

Stop thinking about what you are going to do and get yourself out there and do it! Thinking about things means you can analyse what you are going to do and how you can get

out of the task before you have even started, if you just get up and go and do it then you find that you haven’t as much time to talk yourself out of doing it and by the time you have your already up and dressed so you might as well get on with it.

Reward your efforts

You have been working hard and you need to reward the effort and hard work that you have put in. If you have just reached that PB on your squat go and have a shopping trip and treat yourself to one new thing. If you have a treat to look forward to then

you immediately work harder to achieve that goal than what you might have done. I keep my cheat meals in my prep for as long as I possibly can so that all week I’m eating clean and following diet but on a Saturday evening I have my cheat meal and generally save whatever I

have been eyeing up all week for that meal – usually chocolate.

Always remember that you don’t need to be so hard on yourself, you are working hard and your body needs the rest – this is usually when you find that you are losing motivation because you’re tired and it’s your body’s way of telling you that you are ready for the rest so listen to it. Nobody is perfect and we all have days where we need to recuperate but so long as you are always working towards your goal then tomorrow is another day. Having an off day is not a massive loss, you are allowed them and you are normal!

By Kirsty Duffield, Sector Specialist for Business and Fitness