Even if you are not a competitive athlete, you are certainly competing with yourself every time you go to the gym or for a run – even if you don’t really believe you are. Odds are you are also secretly competing with your fellow gym goers.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass, slim down for the summer or look great in jeans, keeping yourself motivated might prove to be your greatest challenge.
In order to prevent premature burnout, here are five tips you can take away from professional athletes – and come to realize you are not all that different from any of them.
You are your own enemy
The first thing you need to admit to yourself is that you are the only one truly holding you back. Excuses won’t cut it – you DO have time to exercise, you DON’T have to spend a fortune on a personal trainer, and you CAN eat better. Stop lying to yourself, because if you lie to yourself, who are you going to be honest with?
Instead of stumbling over yet another reason why you can’t do something, remember that there are people out there just like you, who live in doubt, who are petrified by failure, but who one day say to themselves – forget this, I’m making a difference. And it all starts there.
Once you’ve gotten over your own doubts, it is time to set goals and envision yourself achieving them. Studies have shown that if you imagine doing an exercise, if you actually see yourself doing it, you will perform much better.
So, before you start a series of pushups, imagine yourself doing them. And keep visualizing as you do the exercise. See yourself run an extra quarter of a mile. Seeing is believing, as I have often been told – some also say the mind is stronger than the body. There is no reason why you shouldn’t use both to achieve your goals.
Get up – dress up – show up
However, there will come a time when you are stuck. When your drive is so low you cannot peel your head off the pillow. When your head has been pounding for days. When your running buddy is too busy. When it has been raining for hours. This is where you prove what you are made of.
It’s not easy to keep going, especially when you have been exercising for so long you thought the finish line would have been behind you by now.
This is your ultimate threshold – once you realize there is no finish line, you will stop whining “are we there yet”, and get up, put on your very best sneakers, and show up for every single workout, even when it rains, and even when you don’t want to. Because you will have chosen to live the life you live, and ultimately, your choices are what defines you.
Don’t refuse a helping hand
No matter how used to your new lifestyle you may have gotten, or how driven you now feel, don’t think you need to be doing it all on your own.
What you put in your body can make your journey either very pleasant, or a tough go. By choosing to eat right, and making a proper meal plan, you will be able to get the most out of every single workout.
Also, once you reach a certain level, you will need to switch to more quality gear. Once you know what your body is capable of, you will want to clad it in a proper armour. (My personal fav are Legion Athletics kits – they will make you go an extra mile with their sheer comfort). So, treat yourself to a new pair of sneaks, there’s a road out there to be tested.
One final piece of advice – once your body gets used to what you throw at it, switch it up. Don’t let yourself settle into a routine, because your body is the perfect fine-tuned machine. It will soon dawn on it that you no longer hunt, or that what you hunt is easily accessible, and it will stop pushing its limits. Once this happens, all you need to do is add a new routine into the mix. It will break the monotony, and will help you go where you have not gone before.
Now that you have soaked up all this inspiration, I hope you are ready to take yourself on for the next stage of your fitness journey.