Motivation, Focus and Keeping It Up
Motivation, or lack of it, can be a major problem for the majority of gym users. It is very easy to find excuses not to exercise when you’re not feeling motivated.
Nick Rose, one of our Personal Trainers shares some motivation tips to get you started in the new year. These tips are sure to keep you focussed on working out and get you hitting your goals!
This one sounds a bit wishy-washy, but believe me it works. This focussing tool helps us by imagining what you will be doing, keeping your mind on the exercise. For instance, if I know that I’m going to be running on a treadmill, before the exercise I will be thinking of what my legs will be doing: the extension and flexion at my knee, my feet crashing down on the treadmill. This will not only keep me focussed on the exercise but will also take away the pain of it too!
2. Self Talking.
You may see a lot of professional sportsmen and women doing this a lot of the time. Self talking is what it says on the tin – talking to yourself to keep you focussed on the task. This tool can be used before or during the exercise. Start by talking to yourself before the exercise, telling you what you’re going to be doing and why. When you start the exercise this could change: instead of telling yourself what you’re doing, tell yourself that you can do it…that you will do it! Not all self talking, however, is helpful or constructive. Remember to keep the self talking positive – leading to a higher self confidence and motivation – as negative self talking can lead to anxiety and a focus on the wrong things.
3. Goal Setting.
This should go without saying. If you don’t have goals to reach then the only thing pushing you on is the enthusiasm for exercise itself. If there are no goals to be had, once the enthusiasm dips you will find it much easier to quit and give up. Goal setting is usually done with a short term and a long term goal in mind. The short term goal can vary in time. The short term goal can be a planned session or what you want to achieve over a few weeks’ exercise. Long term goal setting is where you want to finish – obviously this is likely to change the more exercise you do. If your long term goal is to be able to run 10k in 45 minutes and after 8 months you feel close to it, then you will adjust your long term goal accordingly and look another year ahead. Goal setting should always change to make it more challenging and to keep your brain engaged.
Cues are usually written down notes. Visual notes are the hardest to ignore, thus making them the best weapon against giving up. If tasks are hard and challenging it can be easy to give up or don’t give your best; this is where cues help. Writing something down can keep you focussed on the task at hand, even if is something trivial such as ‘stay focussed’ or ‘keep going’! Cues can prevent a situation described by The Catastrophe Theory. The Catastrophe Theory is where stress and anxiety effects the individual, causing them to lose the ability to perform basic functions. Cues can act in a way to refocus the individual away from the stress and anxiety and back onto the task at hand.
Hopefully these four mental strategies will keep you on track, get the most out of your gym membership and, most importantly, get the most out of you: you can do it!