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March 20, 2017
Finding motivation can often be far easier than staying motivated, especially when life starts to get in the way. Battling a hectic schedule, juggling work life balance, changes in weather and competing priorities can so easily unravel us on the journey to achieving a goal. So arm yourself with the next 7 tips to stay motivated.
Ever heard of attitude is everything? The way you see the world, including your goal or task has the ability to make or break you. When hitting a motivational slump, try viewing the pursuit of your goal as a privilege. Think about it – it really is a privilege to embark on a journey of personal growth. There are people out there in the world who would give anything to be in your position. Remind yourself this is a choice, but you’re lucky enough to even have this choice in the first place.
Tip 8: Connect to your big WHY
Remind yourself why you are doing this. If it’s a weight loss goal, it might be to remind yourself that you’re losing weight for health, to feel confident in a bikini or to have more energy to play with your children. If you give up or sabotage your efforts, you won’t be any closer to the big reason you started. Find the deepest reason inside yourself as to why you want this. This is your driving force. This is what makes you do things on purpose. When you connect to this driving force, it provides you with a unique form of energy and inner motivation.
Tip 9: Cut yourself some slack
But not too much slack. Learn when to give yourself a break and learn when you need to give yourself some tough love (or concrete to harden the f**k up).
Tip 10: Squash limiting beliefs
Seriously – human beings have such phenomenal potential and yet, we continually hold ourselves back in life. If there’s a will, there’s a way!
Tip 11: We’re emotional
Emotions and feelings play a major role in our motivation and we can’t ignore this. But try and use them to your advantage. Recognize when a bad mood or negativity can bring on procrastination and plan for the worst.
Tip 12: Learn the art of patience
Our modern world has hard wired us to want results now, now, now! And when we don’t see instant results, we give up. You need to understand that for most goals in life, there is no instant gratification, even after significant output. Sure, it’s only fair to want a result after all the effort you are putting in. And it will come in due time. Patience is key.
Tip 13: Never underestimate the power of reward
Have you noticed when you feel good, life seems so much easier? Rewards make us feel good too. It motivation is an issue for you, perhaps reward yourself when you accomplish one of your mini goals along the way. Ran 10km’s today instead of 8km’s? You could reward yourself with a massage. Lost 5 of the 10 kilo’s you were wanting to lose? You could reward yourself with a brand new gym outfit.
Our minds have a nasty habit of focusing on all the things we do wrong… and never letting us forget. Would we berate our friends like that? No! So, why is it acceptable for us to speak to ourselves that way? You are a human being doing the best you can. Next time your mind wants to point out how poorly they think you’re doing, try and focus on some of the great things you do well. It’s easier said then done, but give it a go and see what happens.
February 24, 2017
So I’ve been training for this marathon for a month now, and it still sucks so much. I’m up to 8 kilometre runs now, it takes me just over forty minutes. And I hate every second of those forty minutes.
Running is still awful. I’m hating it. Sure, there are some upsides, but they aways come with the inevitable downsides.
Upside: I can run for longer before I taste blood in my mouth.
Downside: I can taste blood in my mouth.
Upside: I’m not feeling an aching burn in my hip flexors constantly anymore.
Downside: I’m feeling an aching burn in my wallet because I’ve already worn out my runners and I need new ones.
Upside: I’d lost 2 kilos.
Downside: Husband bought me 2 kilos of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Currently wearing chocolate around my upper thighs.
Upside: I’m following my dream.
Downside: My dream sucks.
My motivation is running at the lowest it’s ever been. I’ll literally use ANY excuse not to run. Even now, I’m using this blog as an excuse not to run. Well, it’s not going to write itself, is it?
I’m well aware that my technique is useless, my stride is atrocious and I’m burning too much energy. I run like a teenage girl in one of those 1950’s horror movies. But instead of running AWAY from the Revolting Blob, I guess I AM the Revolting Blob.
I need some help and for that reason, I’ve reached out to this guy:
The Master Of Technique
Nathan Fenton is a life-long runner and endurance athlete, and he’s created Enfer Running – Running Technique Coaching. When I made contact with Nathan, I had no idea what I was in for. I had strange fantasies of a man with giant quads shouting at me through a bullhorn while I ran on a treadmill. I couldn’t have been further from the truth, even though he still had some pretty impressive quads.
Nathan explained that he was going to teach me the POSE running technique, which is all about guiding you into the ultimate body position to get you moving efficiently and so the potential for injury is reduced, and speed and endurance are improved.
First, so my humiliation could be compete, he took a video of me running down the backstreet behind the clinic. Through the glare from my moon-tanned legs, I could clearly see what he was getting at. My stride was too long, my front leg struck the ground hard inhibiting my impetus, and my back leg flicked up jerkily. It was all unnecessary movement, putting too much stress on my joints and overworking my hip flexors.
The aim, Nathan explained, was to get the big muscles to bear most of the burden – the glutes and the hammies. To do this, I was going to have to re-learn how to run again.
You start with the pose: Feet together, knees slightly bent, glutes turned on, core activated, elbows bent, shoulders back, head neutral. He said it so many times that I’ll never forget it – feet together, knees slightly bent, glutes on, core activated, elbows bent, shoulders back, head neutral.
Then you prance like a pony.
I must admit I felt quite silly, trotting down the backstreets of Port Melbourne, but it all made complete sense to me. The movement was smaller, the stride was tiny and I was leaning forward enough that gravity was doing all the work in propelling me forward. If I can master this technique… well, I’m pretty confident that running won’t wreck me anymore.
The downside is that I have to re-learn how to run again. I’m only allowed to run 100 metres at a time, so I can analyse and re-adjust my technique, then I can build the kilometres back up again.
I’ve been thrown off my path, straight onto a new one. Here’s hoping I find this path a bit easier to run on.
February 16, 2017
So, I’m going to use the dreaded ‘M’ word… we’ll say it together on the count of three, 1… 2… 3… Motivation!
To achieve anything in life, we need to have a goal. And to achieve that goal, we need to have a little something on our side called motivation. Ahh motivation – that elusive intention that seems to come and go as quickly as Christmas.
One minute you’re feeling like you can conquer the world. It feels like nothing can stand in your way…and the next, even the thought of doing something productive makes you want to roll over and take a big ol’ nap. Sound familiar?
Why does this happen? And why do we stray from our goals? Even if it’s something we so desperately want to achieve, why can’t we get motivated and why do we sabotage our efforts?
At one time or another, we have all experienced fear of failure. We set ourselves an important goal or task where the stakes are so high, the thought of failing is inconceivable. So to avoid failure, it’s easy to just not do it at all right?
We may have also chosen a goal that is mentally or physically challenging. It’s important to remind yourself that any challenging goal is obviously worth doing and means something to us – otherwise, we wouldn’t do it. But we tend to lose motivation if we believe we can’t get there. It’s tough being in the driver’s seat when you’re the only one pushing yourself along – so first and foremost, it’s important to connect with people who support you, encourage you and make you feel energised.
Here are 7 tips that may help you get on board the motivation train! Toot toot!
Tip 1: Routine!
The most important part of your goal is just starting. If the enormity of it is overwhelming, find a simple and achievable activity you can do to actually start your task. For example, if your goal is to write a book, perhaps your routine could begin with boiling the kettle and pouring yourself a tea or coffee. Or, if your goal is to run a marathon, start a generic warm up that you can repeat easily each time you’re about to embark on a run. Once you start going through the motions of the routine, you can take it from there.
Tip 2: Get Educated!
Learn everything about your chosen task or goal. More interest in the subject may actually excite you and spark some motivation to get started. Educating yourself may also help you avoid simple mistakes that could unravel you down the track.
Tip 3 Break It Down!
A great way to stay motivated is to break your big goal down into bite sized chunks that you can achieve. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon in 3 month’s time, break down how many km’s you need to run each week or even each day. That way, you stay focused on what’s directly in front of you and you only need to worry about achieving the mini-goal for the day or week. When you’re in a constant pattern of achieving, it will boost your belief system and make you want to keep forging ahead.
Tip 4: Start Small!
Small behaviours reinforce good habits. If you set a goal and completely turn your life 180 degrees to get there, you may not be able to sustain such drastic changes. But if you start making small, habitual changes, you’ll find it easier to stay on track.
The opposite of this is also true. Have you noticed it’s often the small, innocent things that lead to a motivational slump? Like skipping a workout to hang out with friends can suddenly start a pattern of always skipping workouts. When you give yourself the option of an out, it’s very easy to do – and even easier to keep doing it. Pretty soon you will be rationalising why you don’t need to do it at all.
Tip 5: Follow a Plan!
To achieve any goal, you need a ‘road map’ of how you are going to get yourself there. If you want to run a marathon, you need a running program. And you need to stick to it! Trust the process. Even if it feels like it’s not working, even if it feels hard, trust that by sticking to the program, you will get there. A great tip is to find a template or even someone who has done what you want to do and follow exactly what they did. Model their behaviour – that’s what successful people do. Find a mentor or someone who has achieved the goal you’ve set for yourself, reach out to them and learn their habits and tricks of the trade.
Tip 6: Track your progress!
This is paramount. Keep a progress log – for example, get some ‘before’ photos or look at fitness test results from when you started out so you can truly prove that you ARE making progress and giving up now would undo all the work up to this point. Tracking progress is also really handy for learning where you need to improve.
Tip 7: Accountability!
Tell people what you are doing so they can not only encourage you along the way and support your needs, but also keep you accountable and prevent you giving up when times get tough.
Keep your eyes peeled for 7 more tips to stay motivated once you’ve mastered finding that initial motivation.