You’re at the gym. You’re working out. Full of energy. You’re feeling great. You’re feeling accomplished. You want to scream to the world how happy you are.
All of a sudden the next day, your morning starts off rough. You’re sore. Unmotivated. Tired.
You don’t feel like doing anything more than sitting on the couch and watching the last episode of Game of Thrones.
Trust me when I tell you this. We have ALL been there. You are not alone.
“But Marshal, how do I maintain my motivation and drive to continue pushing forward?”
Let me introduce to you, the “The 5 Super-Mega-Ultra Important Methods to Maintaining Motivation”
Great title, I know 😉
Without further ado, this is how I have managed to not miss a workout in over a year and a half.
That’s over 300 consecutive workouts, if working out 4 days per week on average.
1. Mission. In order to achieve a goal, it is essential to set your mission and follow your vision. It is fundamental to your success to roadmap your goal(s) and how you are going to achieve them. This is basically the backbone of your motivation. Without it you wont even have a goal; without a goal, there will be no motivation. Write out on a piece of paper exactly how you are going to achieve your goal, then leave this page somewhere you see everyday. This way you are constantly reminded to continue working towards it.
2. Mindset. You need to be self-aware. Overpower your lazy, negative thoughts with active, good one’s. Realize that only you have the power to achieve this goal. No one else can do it for you. You are relying on YOU, to bring yourself to where you want to be. Don’t let yourself down. Anytime your mind says “I don’t feel like working out today”, step back, realize what you just said to yourself and politely tell your thought to “f**k off” while you go to the gym. Overpower your negative thoughts with thoughts that entertain your goals. This one may be hard, but it’s definitely necessary to keep your motivation alive.
3. Momentum. You know that initial motivation you feel when you finally decide to get to the gym? Then by next week it’s gone? The goal here is to build momentum off that initial motivation and KEEP it built, not let it go away. This is arguably the most important ‘M’ on this list. Momentum is what is going to drive thoughts like “wow, I can’t wait to go to the gym today.” Momentum all comes down to CONSISTENCY. Create or follow a workout schedule and after a mere 2 weeks even, you will have momentum to keep going to the gym. Once you start seeing and feeling progress, you won’t want to stop going. I find one of the best ways to maintain this momentum is to take a before photo on day 1 and continue to take them every 2-4 weeks. Look back, compare photos and see the results you’ve made. This will make you feel on top of the world. You will feel like a whole new person.
4. Mastery. You want to continuously improve your workout efficiency, diet quality, and everything in between. What I mean by this is, you should always continue learning anything related to fitness and health. Learn new exercises, new meals, new ways to workout, etc. This helps keep the gym fresh in your mind, not boring old routine, which makes you less likely to blow it off on a whim. You know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind”, the plan here is to keep the gym and your goal freshly in your mind at all times. This will make you more likely to continue going.
5. Must Keep Freakin’ Going Method. If all else on this list fails to motivate, then we use our last resort. The ‘MUST KEEP FREAKIN’ GOING’ method. This is when you remember reading this: It is EASIER to make yourself go to the gym when you’re unmotivated to at least maintain your progress, then it is to stop going and have to redo it all again. Just think, “I’ve gotten this far, I can’t waste my time and effort I’ve put in. I must keep going.” You will thank yourself. You will look in the mirror a week later, see more progress and think “wow, am I ever happy I kept freakin’ going.”
Remember, this list is like a chain. All of these points support each other in a way.
If all five are used and remembered, it is an effective strategy to help maintain motivation over the long term.
If one is ignored, your momentum could be in jeopardy of falling through your hands.
Hope this advice helps you on your journey!