It is the New Year. You are motivated and ready to go. THIS is the year you are going to get physically fit, take more classes and perhaps even compete at a higher level. All of this means committing time… but there is already so much competing for your time.
Soon the thought of training feels a bit overwhelming and all of your well- meaning pursuits are taking a back burner, along with your dreams to go to the next level. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 5 easy ways to recapture and reconnect with your motivation so you can realize those dreams.
- Review: Take a look at your goals. Have you written them down in very specific terms? Regardless of whether your goal is to move into competition for the first time, or you want to move up into an advanced class, write down what you want and WHY. What is the reason you want this?
Once you have a clear picture, visualize what it will feel like to achieve that goal. Create a desire you can feel deep down so when you lose motivation, you can conjure up that feeling to help get you going.
Then, break down what it will take to achieve that goal. Say you want to compete at a higher level. Do you need to work out once a day, several times a day? For how long? What else do you need to do to keep yourself physically fit? What classes do you need to take to improve? What is the logical first step? Take that step every day.
- Routine: You know what you want to achieve. You know what to do to achieve it and you have created a strong connection to why you want it. It is time to create some routines. Everybody does better with routines.
Positive routines become positive habits.
Almost everyone has a certain morning routine. An example of a routine that is conducive to high performance includes doing these things first thing in the morning: drinking a glass of water, moving your body, being mindful and setting intentions. And for most people, doing the most important things to achieve your goals should happen early in the morning. This allows you to begin your day with success before distractions (email, jobs, family etc.) begin to take away your time and focus.
Having a back-up plan keeps you motivated because you are in control.
Sometimes, life gets in the way of our routines. And we need the ability to shift strategies. One way to stay within your plans is to have a flexible routine. Create the primary routine – the one you do day in and day out, and then create a Plan B for those days when you have a conflict, weather is not cooperating or for whatever other reason Decide ahead of time what you are going to do. You could move training to another time of day or inside or perhaps it is a scheduled rest day.
3. Reflect: It is important to continually reflect upon the progress you are making and where you might be hitting a roadblock. I recommend daily reflection as the ideal but weekly as the minimum. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s working with my training? What’s the best thing that happened today/ this week?
- What is the reason that this is working or what made it the best thing? (understanding this will help you create more of these moments)
- What would be ideal for your sessions? (this helps you move more closely to your goals)
- What is not quite right yet? (opens up the possibilities to move beyond a roadblock or to change a technique to work even better)
- What resources or support do I need to create my ideal? (This allows you to take the first step toward creating your vision from question # 3).
4. Reward: Notice what is going well and acknowledge these small wins every day. Our brains are wired for success; when you celebrate mini-successes, your motivation is reinforced and you are creating a stronger connection to your end goal.Think of some ways to reward yourself now and make them fun!
5. Relax: Sometimes you just need to take a break and that is okay. If you feel like you are pushing too much it may be better to ease off and start again tomorrow. Define that this is “one day off”. Be in control and in choice and leave your guilt at the door. If you are taking the day off, then relax and truly enjoy it so that you can be energized and back to training the very next day.
Using these 5 easy ways will help you stay motivated so you can become/stay competitive. However, perhaps you are still experiencing some sabotage behaviors including procrastination. I will be writing more about that soon.