I often get asked the question ‘how do you stay so motivated to train all the time?’ This got me thinking about what it is that enables me to retain such high levels of motivation.

The ability to be self-motivated has been instilled within me from a young age. As a child, I was encouraged to live an active lifestyle and to pursue my interests and goals. This is something that has followed me into adult life. Of course, I do still struggle with motivation, especially on hump day, but having a positive outlook and growth mindset of ‘I can do this’ and ‘I will get there’ is a source of endless mental strength and motivation. A large part of this would be down to being brought up by extremely driven parents who always had a ‘get up and go’ attitude. By this I mean that they would always be up early, have a positive mindset, eat a good breakfast, and then work hard all day. I have definitely subconsciously adopted this behavior from my upbringing. To this day, I struggle to lay in bed after I have had a sufficient amount of sleep as I know that there are things out there which I can achieve. For any parents who may be reading, if you wish your young ones to be self-motivated, be the walking example for them to follow; having an active role model will be profound in their self-development. If you can walk the walk, this will naturally allow them to model your behavior. Find an activity/hobby that your children love and can focus on and naturally the self-motivation should follow if it is something that they truly enjoy doing and are encouraged in!

Our bodies can do so much more than we think

My mindset

‘I will never feel bad after exercising’

I have the mindset that I can do anything and anything is possible. Our minds create boundaries and beliefs that we can’t or wouldn’t be able do things. There is nothing that I believe I can’t do. We were all born as blank canvases and we have been blessed with the beautiful ability to be able to learn, grow and develop. Life is a continuous journey where we are constantly evolving and learning new things, so what’s stopping you? We are all capable of anything that we set our mind to. We all have to start somewhere. We weren’t born with the ability to read, we practice, we learn and we succeed. If you can change your mindset into thinking that you are able to do it, it will be possible and the world is your oyster.

I believe an essential part of my motivation is the fact that I am training for myself and nobody else. I am simply doing it for me. Training offers me numerous benefits. It brings confidence, strength, feelings of accomplishment. It helps me to change my mental state and brings happiness, health and enjoyment. These will of course vary between individuals as we are all driven by different things. However, I am consciously aware of all the things exercise does for me personally and this is essential. In moments where I feel less motivated, I can take my mind to the benefits and they will carry me through. I believe that there is always something that we can improve. This doesn’t mean that I don’t give myself credit for my progress; it means that there is always motivation present as there is always something new to learn. I find that people set themselves goals which they work towards but then once they achieve them, the motivation is gone. I have goals which adjust themselves so in a way you could say that they are endless. The ability to constantly adjust means you have flexibility and it also means you always have something to work towards.

How to overcome the dreaded wall

A crucial element to me when working out is the fact that I am conscious that our bodies are capable of enduring almost 40% more than we think they can. Sometimes whilst training my mind may say ‘ok its time to stop’ however, your body will follow your mind, so if you can tell yourself to pursue, the body will follow. The mind is the largest of barriers. I internally talk to myself in moments of struggle and I will say ‘come on, you can do this, get it done’ and I will do it. Internal dialogue is a huge part of my motivation because I am able to talk myself through the moments where I feel like giving up. I am of course aware that there are times when we need to listen to our body as over training can result in adverse effects such as over fatigue etc. The key is knowing that sometimes its ok to challenge boundaries and in other times you may need to respect the signs that your body is showing you. These are down to you as an individual as only you will be able to know how you are feeling. By getting more in touch with your body through caring for it, it will become easy to define these barriers.

Behind the motivation

For me personally, motivation means driving myself in a positive direction and it is the process which enables me to achieve excellence. Behind this lies the ‘want’. I have to truly want to do something to be fully committed and motivated to accomplish my goal. The motivation has to come from yourself, if it is coming from others trying to force you to do something, it’s likely the motive won’t last as the internal drive won’t be there as the driving force is external. The more that something matters to you, the more you will be committed to making it happen. I guess this lies in the saying ‘it really depends how much it matters to you’. This could be something to think about… take some quiet time to write down what it is that you want to be motivated for and what are the benefits you will receive in the process to achieving this and those of when you have got there. This way you will be more conscious of why you want to achieve something and these can help in moments of weakness.

Moments of struggle

If I have had a bad day, my motivation levels will be lower. What gets me through these moments is knowing that if I exercise, it’ll be certain that I will feel better. You will never feel bad after a workout, (we can thank the endorphins for that) sometimes just going out and doing the best that I can do in the time I allow myself is enough. In addition, I have put great effort into training for all these years so if I have a period where my motivation drops, what gets me back to where I was is thinking that I can’t let all of my hard work be for nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I don’t feel like doing much and I do believe that we need a healthy balance. We need rest days but if you want to make it happen, you will. I know what my body’s limits are and I do listen when I need rest.

My tips:

1. Ask yourself how important it is for you to be motivated about …

2. Are you doing this for you?

3. Take note of why you want to do this and all the benefits it can offer you by doing this

4. Have an end goal but one that is adjustable. It does not have to necessarily have to be exactly defined as things will change. My goals are not necessarily specific – they are constantly adjusting.

5. Each day do a little more than you did the previous day so you are making progress and can benefit from feeling self-achievement, progression and satisfaction

6. Strongly believe in what you are doing and what you have set your mind to

7. Find enjoyment what you want to do

8. Try to value the satisfaction you gain along the way and not just what you feel from achieving the end goal

You are capable of anythingthat your mind makes possible

Of course, this may work for me, but it is in no way a set structure for motivation. We are all unique beings whom are driven by different things. All I can say is that if you have a genuine passion for something, and hold this in your heart and your mind, then you can and will achieve your goals. Its down to you, but anything really is possible.

I hope this may be of help, even if it is that you take one small ingredient from me.

Good luck and happy self-motivating!