Motivation Adherence - The Secret To Long Term Progress
Motivation isn’t something that comes effortlessly, you have to work towards it. It’s also not a permanent state, motivation fluctuates like the weather!
No athlete or fitness fanatic is motivated 24/7. We are all human and all have days where the only thing you want to do is wrap up in bed, binge crime dramas and devour everything that isn’t a vegetable.
Motivation is just one part of the adherence journey, it certainly isn’t the final destination, and it's not quite as simple as you may think.
Read on to discover how to reach the goals you want and keep maintaining motivation.
The first destination on our whistle-stop tour is inspiration.
Inspiration normally comes in the form of desire or jealousy. You may see an old photo of yourself in better condition. You might notice you can no longer keep up with the kids. It may be that post break up bod you’re craving. Whatever has sparked the idea to get Flamin’ fit in your head, you’ve been inspired.
A lot of inspiration comes through social media. Where people’s best selves are shown off. Now we need to be aware of the illusion of social media. That fitness influencer with washboard abs probably only looks like that for around 1/3 of the year. And no one posts when they aren’t looking or feeling their greatest, that doesn’t mean it never happens. However, social media can be an excellent resource for finding inspiration, just make sure whatever inspires you is real and healthy.
Now most people’s inspirations are based on aesthetics rather than bettering their health or their mental wellbeing. Having the motivation to purely look better, maybe a bit of a weak ride to carry you through the ups and downs of any fitness journey. Try to find inspiration somewhere a little deeper. Something a tad more meaningful, like bettering your health, improving fitness to perform better in a sport or improving self-confidence.
The second stop on our journey to a newfound lifestyle.
After the inspiration has been rushing around your mind for a couple of days, you may actually start contemplating making changes.
You may begin by determining what it is you actually want to achieve. A certain weight or dress size. Hit a PB in a lift. Lower your BMI or resting heart rate to a healthy level. Read our goal-setting blog for more information on creating the right goal for you.
In this stage, you’re also going to plan exactly how you’re going to achieve the goal. Maybe set a deadline and work your way backwards. You may start looking at different nutrition or workout plans. See what needs to be achieved every week, then every day.
Once you have a measurable goal and a time frame that you want to achieve it in. You’re ready to move into the paradise that is, MOTIVATION.
Probably the nicest place to be in on the adherence journey, motivation is the highlight of this tour.
This phase normally comes within your first few weeks of a fitness pursuit or other goal. Your energy is high, you’re enjoying the burn, you feel refreshed and enlightened. Surely nothing can go wrong when you’re feeling this good.
WRONG. Unfortunately, as we stated above, motivation isn’t a permanent state. There’s a reason why New Year's resolutions never make it past February. The novelty wears off. This newfound sense of fulfilment is short-lived, so enjoy it whilst it lasts.
When motivation dips, a lot of people will fall back into old habits. Gym memberships become just another useless direct debit. Those 5 am runs turn into 7 am lay-ins. And that extortionate matching gym set you bought to parade the gym in has become Netflix and takeaway attire.
But stay focused. Now you know that this dip in motivation is normal and you're not weak. Fitness IS meant for you, you just have to transition into the next phase of our adherence journey.
This is where the hard graft really starts. When motivation goes, self-discipline steps up.
This is also where those goals you set up in the contemplation stage are crucial. We need to be accountable to our goals. We need to be constantly looking toward that deadline and making choices accordingly.
Self-Discipline isn’t fun and it definitely isn’t sexy. It’s repetitive and dull, but great satisfaction can be achieved as we edge nearer to those goals.
It’s the setting up of a routine, a meal plan and a workout routine. It’s completing those tasks because you said you would, it's knowing that sometimes you have to do what you don’t necessarily want to do in order to achieve. It’s looking toward an end goal rather than the instant gratification that that entire packet of biscuits can bring you. Being disciplined is being a DOER, not a SAYER.
There are plenty of tricks and tips to stay on track with eating and training. Whether that be meal prepping, training with a pal or using our online coaching for that added accountability.
Once you’ve mastered a routine and you’re doing the things you need to do to get you to where you want to be. You will blissfully glide into the next and hopefully final destination.
After a while of repeating things, they become the norm. After going to the gym 5x a week for 6 months, it feels strange to not go. After eating a balanced diet for a while, eating vegetables doesn’t seem so horrendous. After sleeping at 10 pm every night, those drunken early hours seem impossible.
Once we’ve formed solid healthy habits, you’ll start to transition into a fitter lifestyle. Your habits will no longer be things that need to be given up for lent, they will be tools you use to better yourself each and every day.
At Flamin’ Fitness our aim is to be Fuelling Forever Fitness. We don’t want your fitness journey to start and end in an 8 week period once you’ve lost the weight you needed to. Fitness is a lifestyle that needs to be earned. You have to take this trip through all the stages to reach a truly new you. We encourage you to take the plunge and find yourself prospering here, with habits that will last a lifetime.
So now you have learned that motivation isn’t as simple as it might be made out by those happy smiley fitness influencers, hopefully, you won't beat yourself up every time that you’re just not feeling it.
Set a goal and remind yourself every day why you're doing what you’re doing. Are your choices pushing you towards that goal or further away?
On those bad days, trust us we all have them, stay focused. Be lenient but remain disciplined. The long term satisfaction is miles better than the instant gratification of staying in bed to miss a gym session.
Confused by any of the Flamin’ jargon? Head over to our flamin' jargon buster.