Fitness and Lifestyle

How to Find Motivation to Train (When You Really Can't Be Arsed)


Motivation is a fickle beast. Some days it's right where you need it and you're chomping at the bit to get sh*t done. But then there's the other days - the days where you wake up and just the thought of dragging yourself out of bed and putting some clean underpants on seems like way too much effort. The good news is it's totally normal for your motivation to take itself off on a little unannounced holiday every now and then. Despite what social media might fool you into thinking, nobody is 100% motivated 100% of the time. The important thing to remember is that when it comes to achieving your goals, it's how you deal with these little dips in motivation that's going to determine your success. Particularly in relation to fitness, it's the harder days that are going to make you stronger. Your mind is being trained as much as your body and if you can overcome these little hurdles you'll develop that mental strength which is just as important as your physical fitness.  So how do you find some motivation to train when you really can't be arsed? As a self-confessed lazygirl, I've had to master a few methods to keep me going:

1) Remember your goal
That thing you want to have achieved in 6 months time? What you choose to do today will determine whether you get there or not. Keep your goals in sight, picture yourself achieving them, imagine how great you'll feel. That feeling is what's going to get you up and out the door today. I keep a printed copy of my half ironman training plan on the side in our bedroom so that it's one of the first things I see when I wake up - it's a great reminder of what I'm working towards. Every time I start feeling demotivated, I just picture myself crossing that finish line come race day and it's enough to get me excited and ready to go. This is where having a goal you really care about is super important.

2) Just turn up
When you're struggling to get motivated just task yourself with completing one small thing that's going to help you towards your goal in some way. Make it something manageable  - often just getting started on something small unlocks that energy you need to complete what you had planned in the first place. And if not - something is still better than nothing. Be kind to yourself and start again with a fresh perspective the next day.

3) Two's company
Training with a friend or partner (or hiring a personal trainer) can be a bit of a lifeline when your drive disappears. Plan your training sessions in advance and get them in the diary - it's a lot harder to cancel when your best mate is waiting for you on poolside at 6am or you've got to phone up your PT and tell them that you just can't really be bothered today.

4) Self-care and tough love: know the difference between 'I can't be arsed' and 'I actually just can't...'
Self-care is always a priority and sometimes you've just got to listen to your body, not your training plan. Particularly when you're training for an event, there will be times when you just need to give your body the rest it needs - whether it's due to illness or just pure fatigue. It's fine to take time out when you need it - that's how your body repairs and gets stronger. But, sometimes you've got to practice a bit of tough love. At the risk of sounding like an annoying toddler, "why?" is the magic question here. Why am I not feeling motivated? Is there a genuine reason or am I just having a bit of a lazy day? Self-discipline and being honest with yourself is a huge learning curve and an important part of your training. Sometimes you've got to give yourself a little kick up the bum and just get on with it (and you'll feel really good afterwards, promise!)

5) Hard work deserves rewards
All stick and no carrot makes Jenny a grumpy, demotivated girl. Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back every now and again. Sometimes just reflecting on how far you've come can be enough to get you going again. And if not, plan something nice for the end of your training session. It might be breakfast with a friend after your early morning session or stopping somewhere with really good coffee halfway through a long bike ride. Giving yourself something to look forward to is a great way to get started.

So there we have it, a few little tips and tricks to help you get going when your motivation sods off to Santorini without your permission. How do you stay motivated?


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