By Finn Christo / Qualified Personal Trainer And Ted Talk Speaker
Ok, you’re motivated. Great. But we’ve been here before. A week, maybe two weeks of awesomeness before old habits start to creep in. So what can you do this time round to make sure you stay motivated AND committed?
Maybe it was a meticulously planned summer shred diet that lasted until lunchtime or a lean bulk that quickly turned dirty. Don’t worry, we’ve got some sneaky tips and hacks to help you move past ‘motivated’ into the magical world of ‘dedicated’.
1)Meal Prep In The Morning
You’ve had a bad day, you’re tired and someone at the gym was curling in the squat rack…your squat rack. Before you let yourself collapse onto the sofa with the TV remote/jumbo-sized-Pringles-can – STOP.
Prep your food and your kit for tomorrow. Don’t sit down, don’t get changed, do not pass go. Break whatever ‘honey-I’m-home routine’ you have, until tomorrow’s food, supplements and kit are prepped, boxed and neatly stacked ready for you to just pick up and go.
2) Don’t Be Afraid Of Imagery
You may have a picture of a shirtless Jake Gyllenhal taped to your bathroom mirror for…..reasons. You might have also just seen Southpaw and decided you need to get super-shredded. We’re visual creatures, so use visual prompts to your advantage. Use that image first thing in the morning when your alarm goes off, put it on your fridge door or gaze at it longingly before legs day.
3) Sort Out Your Playlist
Unless ABBA, the Venga Boys and whatever rubbish your gym’s speakers are inflicting on you, gets you going, taking some time to fine-tune your playlist is going to give you an edge. Your workout playlist is the soundtrack to your workout. Ignore it at your peril.
4) Show Progression
Having x amount of days behind/ahead of you can be a great kick in the butt. 6 weeks until Ibiza with the lads? Count those days down. Two weeks into your new diet? Mark them down! Seeing progression is a great way to keep you honest. Use a whiteboard in your kitchen like me (What? I’m super organised) or just a board pen and your bathroom mirror. Whatever works.
You can also use it to list the naughty food you’ll be smashing come cheat day (leptin-gainz bruh). Keep it visual and specific. 5 weeks into a 16- week shred is very different compared to ’eat clean until I’m sub 10% bodyfat’.
5) Count Reps Down, Not Up
‘One more rep’ is more likely to make you go after it than having counted 9 reps out of ten and letting yourself off for work well done. It’s also more exciting.
6) Take Photos Not Measurements
Is the scale not going in the direction you want? Could be your diet isn’t working, or your hydration or because you successfully demolished an unusually large sweet potato for last night’s dinner or a plethora of different reasons why your scale is trying to upset you first thing in the morning. The humble comparison-selfie however never lies.
7) Cook The Frog
Don’t worry, this isn’t a revolutionary new form of protein. Just a reminder that going full-speed at your new lifestyle/diet/training regime can make it more difficult than it needs to be. Start small and work upwards instead of quitting because it’s not all going 100%. One gym session a week is better than none (same goes for leg days). Small changes add up over time.
8) Tackle Challenges
Deirdre from the Marketing department had a birthday yesterday and brought in a cake and she’ll just cry if you don’t have a teeny-tiny piece. And there’s free pizza in the break room. It’s now late night and you’re elbow deep in a £2 chocolate gateaux. Chill. Adapt. Overcome. Recover.
9) Remove All Distractions…
Your significant other comes home and is looking for the Pop Tarts, unbeknown to them, you launched them through the bathroom window last night into the neighbour’s garden.
Get rid of distractions proactively before the cravings take hold, just make sure you don’t upset whoever has to live with you. Joey may not share food but you might have to.
That cycle of being motivated then not-so-much then restarting again is common to everyone. Everyone. It’s not a personal failing, so don’t take it so personally! Think of the long game and anticipate that it’s not going to be smooth sailing throughout.
10) See You At The Finish
Don’t forget, motivation and dedication are ongoing processes. Don’t give up!