There are two types of people in this world: the ones who carefully brake a bar of chocolate apart and the ones who bite straight into it. There are people who have 2480 unread emails on their phone and couldn’t care less, and there are people who can’t possibly leave one email unopened.
And then there are the people who jump out of bed even before their alarm goes off at 5am in the morning, fresh as a daisy, and the ones who set seven alarms, all just a couple of minutes apart, and still struggle out of bed, thinking about dying all the way to work.
This lack in motivation stretches through all parts of life, and manifests itself especially in sports and physical exercising. ‘I’ll start again Monday’? ‘Just a couple of fries…’? ‘I feel sick-ish, I better go to bed early…’? That’s not the stuff dreams are made of.
Sleepyheads, don’t fret! For those of you whose cup is rather half-empty than half-full, we’ve collected a couple of motivational, mind-openening tips to make a fresh start. Stop making excuses and stick to what you want – and most importantly, achieve results!
1. Find out what makes you unhappy
Would you like to lose 10kg, because you don’t fit into your favourite shirt anymore? Are you feeling old and unathletic, because your puffed after carrying 4 litres of milk up the stairs, but would rather be able to complete an Iron Man? Are you happy that it’s autumn again, because you don’t have to compare (your non-existent abs) at the beach anymore? Whatever it is, that’s making you unhappy and whatever you would like to change, no matter how unrealistic it might seem at the start; it is not(!) too far to reach.
Most important: Stop wingeing! Everybody faces obstacles in life, you’re just a better or worse person according to how you deal with them. Single out the problem to achieve results. There is an aspect of your life that is making you unhappy, so pin it down and you can fix it.
2. Have goals
Having goals ensures that we are working towards the fulfillment of one of our basic human needs: personal growth, mental and physical. So, here’s what you need to do: Write down your goals as if you’ve already achieved them. Put your paper somewhere you can it read it daily! For example, “I’m so excited and happy that I have finished my first Iron Man, October 2015″.
Then, write down what you need to do to get started. Baby steps! You don’t start training for a marathon by attempting to run 42 kilometres on Day 1! Be realistic, otherwise you will lose your motivation again and you will find excuses.
3. Get excited and build anticipation
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Ziglar
There are a gazillion quotes on preparation, with great justice. You need a solid foundation to build a great house. Set a date for when you will get started, e.g. in two weeks, and mark it in your calendar. Prepare everything, so you can commit to 100 percent. By delaying your start date you are focussing on your goal and you build up excitement! It’s going to be tough and intense at times, but it is going to be rewarding!
4. Start saying ‘yes’ to things you’d usually say ‘no’ to
Your aim is to look for new horizons to become better and improve, so think outside the box! If you stick to what you’ve always done and to what you know, you won’t grow. Start pushing the comfort levels of your your life and especially of your health. Start with the obvious, easy things, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk home instead of taking the bus. It’s the conscious choice to overpower your subconscious telling you to ‘stay safe’.
5. Start saying ‘no’ to things that you’d usually say ‘yes’ to
The list continues: stop eating unhealthy foods! Throw out everything, I repeat, EVERYTHING out of your fridge and buy food that’s good for you. Say no to the snooze button. Say no to movies and ice cream on the couch. No excuses, no cheat days. Every choice you’ve made so far has brought you to the exact point you are right now, so by making the decision to change it all you are taking responsibility for your life.
6. Consistency, not perfection
Again, baby steps. The road will most likely be long and tiring. In the end only the results matter, that stick around. Make the journey count as well! Nobody needs to be perfect, but you need to be consistent. Even slow progress is progress and you
can have to be proud of it.
7. Get support
Build up your support network! It is possible, but hard to accomplish your goals when you’re by yourself. Whether it is family, friends, an online forum, Instagram or the exercising group – there are likeminded people out there, who make it easier to persevere when you feel like you’re losing grip. And, oh, it will happen – but it is important for you to know that there are people who are struggling just like you and that you can push through!
- Music is an amazing mood booster! If you’re feeling low, turn up the jam and let it work its magic
- Reward yourself every once in a while – it will make you happy 🙂 (we’re talking about buying a pair of new running shoes or watching the sunset, NOT eating fatty, unhealthy food! Good try though…)
- Plaster your apartment with motivational quotes – sounds cheesy, but they actually help!
- Take weekly pictures of yourself to track your personal progress. Plus, the photo story is like a summa cum laude certificate for your change!
- There’s always one person who can lift you up – in moments of doubt, call him/her! Don’t let dark thoughts pull you down