It is cold outside and just leaving the house at the moment is that little bit harder. The big jumpers are needed and at the end of the day you can just hide under them. So why bother making that little bit of effort to get up and go to the gym?
Social media and the press have put us in a position where we make millions of comparisons and judgements each day without even realising it. It shows us images on a daily basis that are often edited and completely unrealistic to reach. This itself causes a repetitive beating down of our own self-confidence and self-belief. We make comparisons to other people who are completely different to us in the first place, setting ourself with unrealistic or inaccurate goals that we will never be able to reach and when we predictably fail, it is easy to give up on it all.
This leads me to my first point – the only person that you should focus on is YOU. Be your own motivator, do not rely of other people for acceptance or reward. Intrinsic motivation (motivation from within yourself) has shown to be far more successful for long term goals than extrinsic motivation. It is also far more rewarding at the end when you hit your goals, the goals that you wanted to hit, not because someone else wanted you to. Choose a goal that is purely for your own benefit, something filled with importance and meaning.
The next motivator and one of my own biggest personal drivers, is the need to improve myself, the need to progress. There are a number of ways to improve yourself, for example you could improve adherence or accuracy to your nutrition plan week on week but for me, one of the biggest motivators is my log book. The log book is an incredible tool, a numerical and factual way to show change and improvement when used correctly. There is something so incredibly satisfying knowing that you hit a new PB, that you are getting stronger, that muscle tissue is growing. If you are not using a log book, start using one now and you will not regret it. Become your own competitor in the gym, make an enemy of your previous numbers.
This progression in itself is motivating, seeing numbers change, your body shape transform or just your attitude improve is a driver. The taste of that little bit of success is addictive, it is a feeling you want to feel more of and it can definitely help keep you turning up to the gym. If you aren’t seeing progress, you need to ask yourself why and make the necessary changes so that you do.
Something else that is addictive is that feeling you get after training, the feeling that causes you to walk out of the gym with that extra bounce in your step (maybe not if you’ve just trained legs) and your head held high. That is the adrenaline rush you experience while you train and the endorphins that run around your body. These feelings are something to think about when you’re at home, debating whether or not to make the journey to the gym. Can you be bothered? How good will you feel for going to the gym? Amazing. How good will you feel after you’ve decided you can’t be bothered to go to the gym and have sat on the sofa watching TV? “Alright”, at best, is my guess.
The only way that you stand a chance of reaching your goals is by doing something about them. It often results in having to make a sacrifice in the short term but in the long run, when you have the satisfaction of reaching them – this short term sacrifice will feel like a small price to pay.
Every time a new PB is hit, it will make you crave that feeling to hit another one. The more progression you see, the more you will prove to yourself that you CAN do it, each time building on your self-confidence and self-belief. Every new day that you experience the post-session high will make you want to feel it again…and again.
I often think that the first few sessions are the hardest but when you start seeing results, the process itself stops becoming such a task and you may just find that you actually enjoy it.
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.“Arnold Schwarzenegger