Today I want to write about a topic that I feel is quite important if you want to succeed at anything – motivation. Whether it’s a fitness plan, a new diet, being good at your job or anything else in life you need to be motivated to succeed. In my last post I discussed my fitness resolutions for 2009. What I failed to mention in that post is the need for motivation in all of them. Writing a list and saying you want to do this, this and this is easy. However, actually having the motivation to do the things on that list is not so simple. To explain this concept further I want to share with you a little story about this list…
My second resolution on that list was to do more bodyweight training. To keep up with this resolution I wanted to continue doing an outdoor bodyweight routine that I had put together whilst stopping over at my parent’s house (I will be discussing this workout in my next post). Now I really am not a fan of cold weather so exercising outdoors is not usually my first choice. However, there were two big factors that pushed me towards this type of workout. First, I did not have access to a gym and still wanted to do something to keep myself physically active. Secondly, I was on holiday from work during the Christmas period so I could get myself nice and warm in the house before stepping outside which made the whole routine a lot more bearable.
Next week I return to work full time which means I have two options when it comes to this workout:
1) Get up early and do this workout before work.
2) Do this workout in the evening straight after work.
I presently live in Salford, UK and anyone who has been there will know that it is not the kind of place you want to be jogging around in the evening. This leaves me with option 1 as my only realistic choice. Since I am starting work on Monday I decided that on Saturday morning I would get myself up nice and early and do this workout. I could then repeat this on Sunday and be ready to face the early morning workouts during the week ahead.
Come Saturday morning my alarm went off. I actually wasn’t that tired but it was very cold so I hit snooze to give myself 10 more minutes to warm up. The alarm went off again and I needed another 10 minutes. In the end I did not get out of bed early and had to do the workout in the afternoon. Since it was a Saturday this was not a massive deal because I had the whole day to workout. However, if I do this on Monday morning I will have to go to work and the opportunity to workout will be gone.
This got me thinking why I didn’t get out of bed when the alarm first went off? Sure it was cold but during this time of year it is going to be cold all day. When I cut out the excuses I realised that it came down to one basic thing – I wasn’t motivated enough. Once the alarm goes off I am awake and I choose whether to get out of bed or stay in it. I cannot control the weather and so should not be using it as an excuse but control whether I get out of bed.
Now that I had established I was not motivated enough to get out of bed I started thinking of ways I could motivate myself. Luckily for me a lot of the fitness blogs I read have been posting about this very topic. Today I would like to bring all this fantastic information together and share with you some of the best motivational ideas from around the fitness blogosphere:
1) LISTEN TO SOME INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC OR WATCH SOME INSPIRATIONAL SCENES:- Andrew Rubalcava did a really great post entitled songs to help you kick holiday sluggishness where he listed 10 highly inspirational songs. Some of these songs were from films such as Rocky and the Karate Kid so came with a kick ass training video. It may sound a little cheesy but just watching these videos before working out can really alter your frame of mind. The training videos from Rocky just make me want to get out there and emulate what he is doing – even if it is cold. So next time you need some motivation take five minutes to listen to a song that you find inspirational or watch a short video that motivates you. It could provide you with that little push that you needed.
My only problem with this post is that Andrew missed out one of my favourites – the training scene from Rocky 4 set to ‘Hearts on Fire’ (he had used it recently in a previous post) so I have included it here:
If Rocky can do it in the freezing Russian temperatures during the Christmas holidays then surely I can get out of bed an hour earlier in the morning :-)
2) LEARN TO PAY THE PRICE:- Vic Magary puts it perfectly in his post How to be a Real Man in 2009. You need to “determine the cost of what you want and then pay the price”. I already determined the cost of doing my new workout routine earlier in this post. The cost to me is getting up extra early in the morning. The reason I didn’t get up on Saturday is because I didn’t want it enough. As Vic says; “It all comes down to how much you want it”. If I really want to do these bodyweight workouts then I will spring out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off and not reach for the snooze button. You should develop a similar attitude when it comes to your own fitness goals. Determine the cost (whether it be joining a gym, missing out on a bar crawl or skipping take away Friday) and then learn to pay the price.
3) DEVELOP A WINNERS MINDSET:- Rusty’s post on developing the winner’s mindset expands upon the concept of learning to pay the price perfectly. He says that without hard work a goal is meaningless and explains how you can learn to look forward to hard work. I feel Rusty’s got it spot on here. If you can develop a winner’s mindset getting up early and training in the cold weather becomes a lot more bearable. Although you will still have to pay the price of getting fit you will be much more willing to do so. Next time I get up for my bodyweight workout I need to remember that every workout I do is going to make me stronger, leaner, fitter and healthier. If I keep it up for a month I’m going to realise massive improvements. Surely that is something to look forward to and enjoy.
4) TAKE ADVICE FROM THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY SUCCEEDED:- Athletes and sports stars usually know what it takes when it comes to staying motivated. They’ve been in situations where it would have been far easier to stay in bed or skip the workout but they didn’t. For this very reason they have excelled in their field and become the best at what they do. Sometimes listening to how these people have done so well can be extremely motivating. Eartha has put together a fantastic ebook entitled 100 Inspirational Fitness Quotes which you can download at absolutely no cost to yourself. It contains lots of great quotes and here is one of my favourites:
”I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” – Michael Phelps
This guy was a stand out performer at the 2008 Olympics. He got there by sacrificing a lot of time and putting a lot of work into his swimming. If I put the same amount of effort into my bodyweight workouts and you put it into achieving your fitness goals just imagine how far we could go.
Even the most positive people need to be motivated at times and I hope these tips have helped. On Monday morning I’m going get out of bed as soon as the alarm bells ring, make myself a hot coffee (hey even motivated people can do with a quick winter warmer), watch a short inspirational video (I think Rocky 4 is going to have it all the way…that training scene never gets old) and then start paying the price (i.e. going outside and working out). If I want to succeed with my fitness resolutions this year I’m going to need to develop a winner’s mindset. Lying in bed because it’s cold simply won’t cut it.