As a coach, a common question I get is: “how do you stay so motivated all the time?!” My answer: “I don’t“.
I’ve suffered through countless injuries and pulled out of meets and put off doing my workouts until the very end of the week because I just didn’t feel like doing them. My motivation goes away often. But I still keep coming back. Which leads to the question I get often as an athlete: “WHY DO YOU KEEP GOING BACK?!”
WHY NOT? Why would I give up on something I love just because I’ve faced some hardships? I go back because I’m disciplined.
Achieving any goal requires bearing down with some hardship in one way or another.
Sacrifices are necessary to reach the next level.
Anyone who has been training for some time knows that their motivation to train isn’t always there. To be honest, it’s gone more often than not. It’s not always fun and it is hard work. This is why dedication and discipline are so important.
Anytime you set a goal, you’re trying to expand your current standing, which requires growth. And in case you’re disillusioned, growth is painful– it’s not intended to be comfortable and it’s not something that just happens easily (hence why I only grew to 5’3″).
But really… you can watch all the inspiring videos, listen to all the motivational speeches, imagine your ideal body all you want… but until you put in the work and commit even through the pain, discomfort, setbacks, challenges, etc., you’ll stay stuck where you’re at.
And this goes for all goals- not just fitness.
Watching documentaries about The CrossFit Games are great to get you hyped, or podcasts with motivational speeches in them, or even attending meets… but when that hype wears off, how motivated are you going to still be to work at your goals, day in and day out?
So, the question now begs, what do we do when motivation slips and the process becomes painful?
1.ASK YOURSELF WHY
Why should you care about your goal? Why do you want it? Why is it important to you? Once you ask yourself why, ask again. Then ask why again. And again and again. When you continue to ask yourself why, you get to the root of your desires. (Hint, most things boil down to either love or fear.)
Find your “why” by asking it at least 5 times.
This will change it from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ when you discover why you want this specific goal.
2. TURN IT INTO A PLAN
Since you simply can’t expect to have that same motivation as you had when you first started, set out a plan and steps to stick to when you’re feeling discouraged.
Example: you want to lose 10 pounds of fat. How are you going to do that- realistically? Well, a healthy amount to lose each week is 1-2 pounds. So, you say, “I want to keep the weight off, so I’m going to take 10 weeks to really ensure that I do it right”. The next step is to break it down into wat you will do each month to achieve that goal, and then each week, and then each day.
When you have something you need to do every day and you turn it into a habit, you rely on self-discipline rather than the fleeting motivation.
See the bigger picture when it gets difficult.
3. FIND SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE
It’s not the most comfortable thing to have someone watching you and making sure you’re always on track and having someone call you out for slipping up, and most people don’t want that because they think “that’s a lot of pressure…” EXACTLY. Don’t you want to reach your goal? Don’t you need some pressure to get there? Have you done it on your own thus far without that pressure and/or guidance?
A coach will be able to hold you accountable and maybe see aspects you can improve on that you may not be able to see as well. A coach will ensure that you stay on track even when you don’t want to. They’ll value your goals even when you’re too overwhelmed to remember why you started.
This isn’t intended to be some motivational post. I’m simply turning your focus from dreaming into logical planning.