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How to stay motivated

Well January is over and amazingly despite our best intentions many of the New Year’s Resolutions we made will have already fallen by the wayside. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

The problem, with motivation is that it is a changing state. One day you can feel really inspired and determined and a day later, if not even hours later, it’s a whole different feeling. The basic problems are:

- Exercise to many people is a chore or an obligation, it’s not something that we enjoy.

- Added to this fact is any changes in fitness level, body shape, muscle gain etc are slow to manifest as in you have to complete a number of weeks of working out and let’s be honest sensible eating/drinking in order to see the change.

Motivation at the Pavilion
Motivation at the Pavilion

These two factors alone can make the new exerciser feel de motivated and daunted. A horrifying statistic is that by February 84% of people have abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions- albeit that they won’t all be about exercising!

Unless or until you can make working out a habit, it is a battle to keep on track. Here are a few tips that may help you keep your focus.

To begin with if you fail to plan you plan to fail. If you plan exactly what you will do, when you will do it, how long you will do it for, in detail you have a much better chance of success. Don’t make your workout decision based on your current mood and level of inspiration – base it on the plan and your goals.

It is important to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Short term, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Wanting to lose three stone is a goal but it’s too long term to matter on a daily/weekly basis. Setting a goal of losing 1-2lbs per week is something you can focus on with immediate effect.

Will power is like a gas tank and depletes over the course of the day. The earlier in the day you can exercise the greater the chances are that you will complete the session. A recent study showed that when participants managed to exercise in the morning they reported a 30% increase in their mood during the course of the day. One top tip is that if you can only exercise in the evening- take your kit to work with you as if you go home first you are much less likely to collect your kit and go back out.

Put your kit on. Sometimes if you just make the commitment to change into your workout clothing, it is surprising that you then feel more motivated to start. The variation on this is the 5 min rule – If you are really struggling try the ‘5 min rule’. Promise yourself that you will start exercising and if after 5 minutes you still feel as bad and hate it then you will stop.

Buddy Train

if you can find someone with a similar time available to exercise it certainly improves motivation. If you agree a time with a friend you have already made a commitment to meet and share the workout and you are much less likely to cancel.

Try a class

Group exercise has a much higher retention rate than people who exercise alone in the gym, the idea of meeting with a group and having a teacher to lead the session certainly appeals to many people if their time commitments allows them to attend classes.

Try a class
Try a class at the Pavilion

P.T. Another option is to personal train

having a qualified instructor to set varied and interesting sessions will not only allow you to have a set time and commitment to exercise but it will also help you set and reach a set goal.

Personal Training
breakfast like a king

Motivation can be roughly divided into two camps

Those of us who move towards pleasure – think of the person who did their homework as soon as they got in on a Friday night so they could enjoy the weekend as opposed to the person who throws their school bag on the floor as they walk in the door and then picks it up on the Sunday night at 8pm in a panic. If you are the latter then be pessimistic and be motivated by fear of the bad things that can happen if you don’t exercise –flabby skin, weight gain and out of breath walking up the stairs!

Visuals

Stick up a photo of yourself somewhere that you will see on a regular basis – fridge? It can be either how you want to look (a photo from the past) or how you look now to inspire you.

Music

if you find working out boring then make yourself a playlist of music that you find uplifting, inspiring and motivating. There are plenty of studies that show music can be a great motivator.

Pavilion music
Pavilion music

Get a gadget

Fitness trackers are now everywhere and are used by over 13 million people in the UK alone. Tracking the steps you take a day with a set target or even just monitoring how hard your heart is working can provide plenty of inspiration. There are also an abundance of apps you can download for a smart phone and some of these can even be used to help you stay on a nutrition plan and track your calories. You even have the opportunity to post it on social media and get your friends to support you.

The thing to remember is that you are not alone – everyone has times when they struggle to exercise but the more strategies you have to help you stick to the past, the greater the chances you have of succeeding. Good Luck and don’t forget – the gym team are here every day if you want advice or support.

Pavilion club
breakfast like a king