1. Find what Motivates you
This will be different for every person. Perhaps it’s seeing results. Getting compliments from others. Being able to do more than you could before. It’s important to find out what motivates you, personally, as if you’re working to someone else’s motivational goals it won’t last long.
Personally, I love to compare my running times per km and try to improve them, or track my heart rate and speed. Looking at the numbers motivates me. What motivates you? There is no right or wrong answer. Perhaps it’s to be able to get into a pair of jeans.
2. Set Clear, Specific and Realistic Goals
Making sure you set goals is very important. After all, if you don’t know where you are going how will you know you’re moving in the right direction? Just as important, however, is that the goal is clear and well defined.
For example, “getting fit” is not a clear goal. “Being able to run 5km without stopping in less than 30 minutes in the next 3 months” is a clear and specific goal. Whether it’s realistic or not will depend on each person.
3. Decide Before you do
Decide what you’re going to do before you are in the process of having to do it. For example, deciding to go to the gym in the morning or the night before work, rather than at 6pm when you’re knackered. If you decide at the time, there will always be options for getting out of it.
4. Partner Up
Buddy up with someone so that you would be letting them down if you don’t turn up. Perhaps join a club or have someone you regularly go to the gym with. You can motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
5. Train with Others
Similar to #4 above but join a club or go to a class regularly. Training with others is usually more motivating and easier. Classes at the gym are a great way to stay in shape and stay more motivated.
Tell people you’re going to do something and then you’ll have to do it because otherwise you’ll look like you can’t stick to your word. A very powerful tool to use on yourself.
7. Sign Up
Very similar to #6 but with additional financial costs…Sign up for an event, even if it’s a small one like a 5k run or something similar. It will give you something to aim for and a definite date in the diary by which time you will have to do what you set out to do.
Look back at where you started. It can be easy to get trapped into always looking ahead at your next goal but sometimes it’s important to take time to reflect on where you were so that you can see the progress you’ve made.
If you haven’t come as far as you expected to, try to understand what it was that held you back and how you can change it.
9. Find Your Baseline
Necessary for point 8, so let’s say that your goal was to try and lose some body fat. Hopefully your goal was something like “I want to lose 2% body fat in 2 months” or “I want to lose 2 inches off my waist in 2 months”. In order to determine if that was a success you need to know where you started which means taking the measurements in the beginning.
The same applies to whatever it is you are trying to improve. You need to know where you started to see how far you get.
10. Take a Picture
Taking progress shots of your body is a good way to see where you started, too. Remember to do it at the same time of day and in the same type of light from the same angles each time so it’s easy to compare.
11. Imagine Success
Keeping one of your before shots as your desktop background is a good way to keep you motivated to make progress so that you can update it when you’re looking ripped. Even if you keep it on your phone, it’ll help, but the best way is for it to be visible for you to see as a daily reminder of what you are working on.
Hopefully some (all?) of these points will help you to stay motivated or inspire you to become more motivated. Share this with someone who would benefit from reading it.