Motivation and Perserverance

As many of you would agree, we generally set out to do something new with great enthusiasm and energy, only to find in a short amount of time the novelty has worn off and the motivation level has dropped considerably. Pretty soon, we quit because it seems all too hard.


So how can we overcome this on-again-off-again problem with motivation to exercise? (Or anything else for that matter.)


Firstly we need to think about our goals. What is it we really want to achieve?

How are we going to achieve it? Are we being realistic? If our goal is realistic, but we really don’t know how we are going to go about achieving it, then the best thing we can do is break the goal down into small manageable parts.


Let me explain…. Let’s say your goal is to be able to do a 5km fun run. Yet, at the moment you puff out after 200m. The best thing to do is set out a realistic schedule. How often can I commit to training? Twice a week? Three times? Ok, let’s go with that. So rather than dwelling on the fact that you can’t make it to 5km, you should work on the fact that you can run 200m and work on building that.


Basically you are trying to focus on the positives, not the negatives. Your goal is still 5km, but your abilities are 200m. So today is your first allocated training session….. You are going to run 200m, then you are going to rest for 2 minutes and you are going to run again. You may only make 100m this second time, but you will do it and rest another 2 minutes and run again. This time you can make the 100m without too much trouble and you rest again. Then you run again, rest, run, rest, run until you find that you have managed 30 minutes. Today’s session is complete and you may have only run 1km in total, but you DID it!!


Next session, you can try it again and you will find that you can run 200m each running burst without having to stop. So you can continue with this run, rest, run theory until you find that you can either run further, or you can reduce your rest period. In simple terms, your fitness will improve and your motivation will increase because you are managing to do what you have set out to do. If you had just tried to run 5km in the first place, you would have surely failed and then given up completely.


So instead, you

will be keen to keep training 3 days a week until you can run further and rest less. Over time, you will feel great, be much fitter and you will be able to adjust your goals to spur you on to bigger and better things. 5km will eventually be possible and you will be totally motivated to continue because you will have achieved what you set out to achieve!


The simple solution to EVERY problem and to EVERY goal is to break it down. Don’t ever just look at the tallest mountain and say to yourself “there is no way I can climb that”. You should look at the mountain and say to yourself “if I climb to that spot, then wind round to that peak, I should be able to reach the summit”. Don’t ever give up before you have even started just because the finish line looks so far away.


The same theory applies to anything in life. Diet, exercise, work promotion…. you name it, if you break a big goal into small manageable bits, you will be able to achieve whatever it is you like. And let’s face it, achieving goals is the biggest motivating factor to keep you going.  Without a goal to achieve, there will not be any motivation to achieve it. Persevere, even when the going gets tough and you will ultimately achieve whatever it is you set out to achieve.



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