Today, I want to talk again about the foundations of progress. Despite the fact that people have been arguing for years over what’s more important – one’s diet or their training – I believe that the foundation to accomplishing one’s goals is strong and solid motivation. But how can you get yourself motivated? Here are my 5 techniques:
1.Make a plan
Let’s assume you have just started training. No matter what your goal is, I’m sure that accomplishing it requires going through different stages. Trainers call them short-term and long-term goals. Are you eager to exercise with barbells? First of all, think about how controlling the weight of your body. Why? Because, how do you imagine making your first 100kg bench-press if you can’t even do 50 push-ups? Or 12 pull-ups? Of course, this is just a generalization, but you get the idea. Every project has its own plan. Exercising is no exception. Start by building a solid foundation, and the house you build on it will have strong walls and indestructible roof.
2. Work and rewards
We all like having nice active wear. I know I do! When I have new shoes, the problem of getting up early before work and going for a morning jog suddenly disappears. If I have a new T-shirt with “train hard, feel good!” written on it, I get a boost and go to the gym even after the hardest day at the office. To get yourself even more motivated, make a deal that a new training outfit will be your reward for working out, for sticking to your diet plan etc. It’s best to assign specific rewards after each milestone or each planned goal (look at point no. 1). This simple trick will make it easier to endure the hardships of your new training plan.
3. You and your idol
In the sociology of sports, there is a concept known as the Champion Model. It is a fictional model that is used to imitate the best, most important qualities of, i.e. a future champion of a certain sports discipline. The Champion Model consists of many features – sporting results, the age of achieving the best results, somatic structure, technical preparation, tactical activities, the use of various techniques, mental preparation, motivation, etc. For example, Robert Lewandowski would be a CM for a soccer player, Lance Armstrong for a cycling competitor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for a body builder. These are top-notch professionals, but it is worth noting how they managed to reach the level they’re at. Not to compare yourself with the unattainable results of a role model, but to seek inspiration. To discover that, at some stage, your Champion struggled with the same difficulties that you’re struggling with.
4. Two is always better
Working out at a fitness club (with the exception of group fitness classes or workout sessions with a personal trainer) is a lonely journey and a struggle with oneself. However, you don’t have to be alone in our pursuit for motivation. If you feel that you don’t put in enough work when alone, try building up the pressure by having someone else with you. My advice – find a partner who looks up to you. Follow the “learn best by teaching others” rule. Help others get motivated by trying to be their role model. It works!
5. Written down = remembered.
Do you remember what pushed you to buy your first gym membership and start working out? I’m sure, you do. But do you remember the excitement? The emotions? It’s THESE emotions – the twinkle in your eye, the smile – that prompted you to act. This moment is incredibly valuable, but it doesn’t last forever. Don’t let it slip away – make a note of it. Honestly. Take your phone, sit down in a room and record an interview with yourself. Answer these three simple questions:
Why do I work out?
How does this decision make me feel?
How important is this to me?
It seems childish, doesn’t it? But trust me – firstly, it is harder than it seems. Secondly, you don’t want to disappoint the person closest to you – yourself. I’m not saying that the above mentioned methods are the best. But they are proven. Many of the people I train with have had crises, moments of doubt and discouragement. I’ve had them as well! Once, when I was still a cyclist, I completely broke down and cried during a training session in the mountains. I threw my bike, cursing, and wanted to end my career. My coach was with me at that moment. He told me very calmly, that this was completely normal and that hundreds of competitors have been through the same thing. Today, I’m in his position. When I motivate others, I try to think of myself back then. When I say “I know how you feel” – I really do know. Chin up, trainers on and get to work!