I get this question all. the. time. How do you stay motivated? How do you have that huge motivation/consistency? Or really any variation of that question. So how do I do it? Well, let me tell you my top tips for staying motivated
1. Motivation isn’t always there – habit, routine, and lifestyle play a larger role than motivation
Know that it is a bit larger than the immediate moment when you’re talking about motivation. Motivation is what starts the journey, but it will come and go. When it goes, you need other strategies to help you remain consistent until it becomes part of your lifestyle or becomes a routine/habit.
2. Find something that you look forward to doing
On days when you’re not really feeling up to it, find something active that brings you joy! I don’t care if it is running around with your dog and playing, getting a couple friends to throw a ball around, having a dance party by yourself, or what. Get your body moving and don’t be afraid to schedule these kind of “sessions” in. This is why I make sure I either do some handstands, flip around, or do the salmon ladder on weekends…it’s not really a workout, but it is my play time and it’s still movement!
3. Know your why
What is your why behind what you do or why you want to get into working out, fitness, or whatever new habit you want to be motivated to do? Is it because you want to feel better about yourself, go up the stairs without being out of breath, or stand up from a chair when you’re older? Whatever it may be, your why needs to come from within and should be something that matters to you! It shouldn’t be just because it’s what you’re supposed to do or because someone told you to.
Let me tell you a little story about my dad. Growing up he was always working and when he wasn’t working he was doing something around the house or watching TV. He wasn’t really into health or fitness and over the years, he had gained a bit of weight. His doctor and my mom had mentioned to him a few times that for health reasons, he should lose a bit of weight. But that wasn’t enough for him to make the change. He was content and didn’t have an internal reason to change. It wasn’t until we went to Busch Gardens (an amusement park) as a family when I was in high school. We were getting on a roller coaster and he needed assistance putting the harness on because his stomach got in the way of it locking. He almost wasn’t able to ride the roller coaster because he nearly didn’t fit. He saw the family memories taken away, the ability to do things with his kids, and the things that were important to him had the real possibility of not happening if he continued down this path. The week after that trip, he started losing some weight and after a long slow journey of lifestyle changes, he has been able to keep a fair amount of that off for years. Again, after I finished physical therapy school, we wanted to take a family trip out to the grand canyon, full of hiking, walking, and outdoor activities. Again, my dad was healthier than he had previously been, but he hadn’t ever really worked out. He was worried about keeping up with the family, so months before the trip, he started walking more consistently and then started walking farther to be able to spend time with his family on the trip. Again, now, we are taking about a family ski trip as it was always his dream to spend the winters skiing in retirement, but again, he has to build up strength, endurance, and work capacity to be able to tolerate a few days of skiing. I just found out that he has started biking again (which he used to really enjoy biking with us as a kid and hadn’t for years) to help get him ready to be able to enjoy the trip with his family.
Long story short, you may not know your why yet, but take a look at your values (for my dad, it was family and quality time together), and decide what your why is!
4. Make small, achievable goals
Make small goals so you can build on that momentum. If your end goal is to drink 120 oz of water a day and you’re at 64, go for 75 or 80 oz. Once you get that consistently, go for 100oz. Building the momentum of hitting those wins will help keep you motivated to keep going.
5. Have accountability
I don’t care if it’s a training log, a check or X on a calendar that stares in your face, a coach, a friend, a family member, or people on social media; having some sort of accountability helps. Telling someone or writing down your goal so they can periodically check in, or you can periodically check in on yourself via your calendar/log/journal. You can even set a reminder on your phone for when you are supposed to have it done by to have another source of accountability!
Hope these 5 tips help you get and stay motivated to create some meaningful changes! If you need a coach for accountability or some guidance in workout programming, check out my individualized workout programs!
Just remember, no one is perfect, and that in itself, is perfect!