Embrace Your Grind: 5 Tips for Maintaining Long Term Motivation!
By: Cosmo Robinson
Winter is tough. The sun rarely makes an appearance, it’s cold and you don’t want to get out of bed. It’s in these moments that we find ourselves asking questions.
Questioning why we take action to do things, when inaction is so much easier.
Some questions – “Why work?”, for example, is easy to answer. We have to have money to sustain ourselves and others who depend on us. The motivation to keep on working is probably different for everybody. Some people are career oriented and have a constant drive to achieve the next level while others may work simply in order to pay bills. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how you answered the question, but simply the fact that you do answer it.
The same concept can be applied to your fitness journey. A while back, I realized, as a coach and fitness professional, that no matter how hard I try to help you reach your own goals, we cannot really succeed as a team until you want it for yourself.
[Enter stage left] Your Motivation
In the end, it doesn’t matter what your motivation is for completing your daily workout, just that you have done it with your goal in mind. Personally, I find my daily workout as an escape. A mini vacation. A time to calm the mind and put things in perspective.
For me, it is a reminder that all things can be improved upon. I enjoy the discipline of the mind and body. I would encourage everybody to find your motivation, and embrace the daily grind to achieve whatever you may want.
So, here is a list of 5 Key Areas that I consider necessary to confront when thinking about maintaining your motivation in the long run:
- A Grand Goal
- Willingness to Accept and Embrace Failure
- Strategies for Rebuilding
A Grand Goal
Some people exercise to lose weight. Some are predisposed to getting diabetes or high cholesterol because of genetics and workout in order to ensure good health for themselves. Others exercise to avoid life-threatening diseases such as heart disease or cancers. Some people want to get fit for a vacation to a beach spot where the shirt comes off. Ladies may want to lose post pregnancy baby weight. Still others may train for a race – triathalon, urbanathalon, 5k, 10k, marathon, Iron Man. And some may just wish to look good for the mirror. Hey, keeping “Number One” happy is important too! What is your motivation – your Grand Goal???
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu
The great Chinese philosopher said it best. The mind can be a very turbulent place. Discipline is what keeps everything in shape. It’s the bridge between your goals and your success. Once you have your Grand Goal, set the small steps that it will take to get there. Next is the discipline. Discipline of the mind to follow the small steps to find your Grand Goal. Discipline of the body to complete the workout.
A Willingness to Accept and Embrace Failure as Part of The Journey
“Experience is a hard teacher. It first gives the test. And the lessons after.” – Anonymous
Reality will teach harsh lessons. Not the least important of which is that we don’t always succeed. In fact, most of the time, we are failing. But, if it were not for failing, we would never learn. What happens if you fall short of your fitness goals? Do you fall apart? Give up? Say to yourself – “I’ll never lose the weight I want to because it didn’t happen this time”? I think not. You are worth the goals you want to achieve! When something goes wrong, first you should join the club. Because it happens to everybody. Then you need to analyze what went wrong and develop some strategies for rebuilding.
Strategies for Rebuilding
You need a Game Plan! A plan of attack! You are unlikely to succeed without one. Did you execute all of your small goals and steps? If not, that is a good place to start. The small steps add up to the big ones. Here is a tip for helping yourself rebuild: Get proactive not reactive. Let’s say you have a vacation coming up where you know there will be lots of booze, food, and other temptations that distract. Plan a REALISTIC time during the day where you can take some time and sweat. If there will be late nights, don’t plan a workout in the morning, as you will be less likely to do it. Afterward, if you reach your goals reward yourself with something positive!
Surround yourself with people who know what you want and maybe want the same thing. Some people will put down. That’s just what some do. Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re trying to work for. The only person who can hold you back is you!