Motivation is a funny thing, Sometimes you wake up filled to the brim with all the motivation and drive you need, and sometimes, meh.
To improve your motivation to do a task, whether it’s shopping and prepping for your weeks meals, going to the gym and crushing an awesome session or sitting down to watch an entire series of Game of Thrones in one sitting, there are things you can do to reframe the task at hand to make more likely to get it done and be successful.
- Seems a little too obvious, but a highly rated way to deal with, particularly a big task, is to just start. Try doing just 5 minutes of whatever it is, and promise yourself that if you get through the 5 minutes then you can stop and go do something else. You’ll more than likely find that after the first 5 minutes, you have gained just enough momentum to get another 5 mins done, and another, and another.
Another way I use often is the Pomodoro technique, where you do 20 mins of work followed by 5 minute breaks, and before I know it I’ve worked through a couple of cycles and whatever it is I need done is well on it’s way to being complete.
So whether it’s getting to the gym or starting your meal plan and prep, give yourself 5 mins to either get in and start your warmup or start to make a shopping list, after that 5 mins is up, you’ll probably continue and get more done than you thought you would.
- Script your outcome. Too often we are a little fuzzy on what success looks like, this means we have no way of knowing if what we are doing is leading us down the right track and even if it is, when do we know we have finished.
You can overcome this by having a mental model of what you expect to see/ do on a successful day or week with regard to your training and nutrition, or, indeed, for any other area you are working on.
By scripting your day, you can compare your actions to what you expect to be doing and figure out if you are on the right track or not.
If you have written a meal plan and you find yourself sitting with a half finished packet of double stuff oreos (don’t judge!) then you can easily compare that to your plan. Top tip: You probably shouldn’t be having a pack of oreos on your meal plan…
- Use failure as a guide. Failure is generally viewed negatively by most people.
Something along the lines of, “I’ve failed at X,Y or Z,” => “I’m useless,” => “I’ll not try again because I don’t want to feel uselesser.” Before you say it, I know uselesser isn’t a word…
However, failure isn’t the negative waste of time that people think it is. Talk to any successful person, anyone who has achieved anything big, and they will all tell you the same thing, failure isn’t fatal but it is a chance to improve. And it’s this mindset that will lead you to success.
It’s not easy though, you have to be willing to admit your failure, which can be tough enough, then look hard at what you did to find where the mistake(s) happened, then correct them and be willing to fail again but better. Repeating the process until you succeed.
This might be not having your training stuff with you at work so you can go straight to the gym after work, instead you head home, have dinner and sit in front of the tv. Or it may be that you didn’t get to the supermarket for the ingredients for the meal you planned, and end up getting takeaway delivered instead. Whatever it is you can recognise the failing, assess where it went wrong, and improve next time.
- Finally accept responsibility. Successful people are more likely to accept responsibility for the success or failure. The thought that the control over many of the factors that go towards success in anything lies with you, gives you the power to change those factors rather than being helpless in the face of factors you “can’t” control.
Of course, there are factors outwith your influence, and you should give these little thought, but understanding that you can take responsibility for getting to the gym, buying your food in advance, waking up 10 minutes earlier to get a decent protein packed breakfast in and more, all shift the chance of success further in to the positive.