So, you started your fitness journey and you've been working out regularly, eating decent, and doing cardio. You're off to a great start! For the first few weeks, you were excited, and really hitting it hard. But then, the program settles in, you're doing the same exercises every workout, doing the same forms of cardio, and eating the same foods. Some people think this is a plateau. Well, it isn't. What is really happening is that you're getting bored with your program. How do you find motivation to keep pushing yourself as hard as your first few weeks? Today I am going to answer that for you.
I want to start with a story that inspired me to write this post. In addition to my rigorous strength training program, I am also a runner. I enjoy running a lot; maybe not running itself, but seeing the constant improvement in my runs always makes me very jubilant (the same way I feel about lifting). Last Wednesday, I had my last interval run for the week. Interval runs, for those of you who do not have the rare running bug, are brutal but essential for increasing your speed.
Believe it or not, even I have days where I want to quit. And today was one of those days. Before I even started the run, I had my permission statements (better word for excuses) to quit my run early. My joints where aching, I was running later in the day so it was hotter, I was hungry and ready to eat, blah blah blah...
I really didn't want to do it. But just like all my runs I started with one foot in front of the other. After my warm up, I get ready to do my first 400m interval. I had already told myself I was only going to do 4, when I needed to do 8. I do the first one, and I didn't just hit my goal time, I beat it! This is a very euphoric feeling for me, but I usually am able to do so on the first one. I start the next one, and I keep beating my time over and over.
Long story short, because of the satisfactory feeling of achieving my goals, I ended up doing the entire interval run of 8 400m, instead of 4 that I said I initially said I would do with my can't do attitude.
I have been working out for over a decade, and I still am able to stay motivated, and here is the main reason why.
I constantly set new goals.
It's nothing crazy at all. There's no major secret. I frequently set many, small goals. To me, this is the key to not only staying consistent, but also having fun to your fitness journey. Right now, I have big goals to increase my 1RM on bench press, decrease my 5k PR, and lose 5 pounds. I set these as my goals because these are areas of fitness I enjoy. With these larger goals, I create smaller, mini goals as well. For example, every week, when I do bench press, I try to increase the amount of times I can lift 225 lbs. by one rep. This is not a huge goal, and it's something I can do every week that motivates me to keep on working hard.
In addition to that, for every interval run I do, I make it a goal to run x amount of seconds faster than my 5k pace, depending on the distance of the interval.
And lastly, with my weight loss I make it a goal to lose at least one pound per week.
With these small goals, I can stay motivated, and feel accomplished almost everyday. These goals also hold me accountable. When I don't hit my goal for the day, I ask myself what I could have done differently.
There are other things I think help people as well, such as having a workout partner for accountability. But in my experience, the main thing that always got me through was (and still is) setting goals.
Be sure to email me with any questions you have at ConnorBlackmon@heroesfitness.org. Thanks for reading!