Staying motivated

Tips and advice from Emily

No one is motivated 100% of the time. Your fitness journey is an ongoing journey with no end destination. This is not a diet, it’s a change of lifestyle, and realistically it’s not going to always be consistent. The most important thing is not to beat yourself up for falling off track for a few days, or even a few weeks, as long as you find your way again you will see results in the long run.

Self motivation is really important – you can rely on others for help of course, but at the end of the day you will get out of this journey what you are willing to put in. Goal setting is a great way to help with this, to give you something to work towards and challenge yourself. Goals should always be realistic – don’t set yourself up for failure. If you give yourself an unrealistic goal, for example to lose 2 stone in 2 weeks, you’re automatically setting yourself up to fail, not to mention creating an extremely unsustainable weight loss solution. Failure to meet your goals will lead to a feeling of disappointment, and therefore increase the likelihood to give up. If you feel like giving up, remember why you started.

Be more organised. Along with setting yourself long term goals, writing out short term or daily goals each morning and setting out what you are going to achieve that day is motivating as you will have something to work towards. Write out any tasks you may have to complete for work, your personal and home life, your workout for the day, and even your meals – planning in advanced can stop you from snacking and help you stay on track. Then tick them off as the day goes on and you’ll be able to see if you have achieved everything you set out to do by the time you go to bed, and if not, then ask yourself why?

Nutrition plays a big part in achieving any fitness goals – whether they may be to lose fat, gain muscle, increase fitness levels or recomposition your body. Following a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet is key, however I wouldn’t recommend completely cutting out your favourite ‘bad’ foods. Completely depriving yourself of a certain food, especially if it’s one you love, will only make you crave it more. Balance is key, and I find an 80/20 rule works best when it comes to nutrition. 80% whole, healthy foods, 20% foods that may not always fit into your daily macronutrients, but foods that you love. You can still eat these foods, just be aware of your portion sizes – everything in moderation. Search for healthy alternatives to sweet treats to satisfy your cravings, rather than trying to ignore them and end up binging later on. Form a healthy relationship with food, enjoy it and be creative, healthy doesn’t have to be boring!

If you struggle with self motivation, especially at the start of your fitness journey – getting someone else to help may benefit you. Go to the gym with a friend or a personal trainer – have a time set that you’re going to meet them so you’re less likely to cancel. Have someone push you through your workouts – you will be surprised of what your body is capable of –it’s your mind you need to convince.

Last of all, enjoy the process; living a healthy lifestyle is so much more than running on a treadmill and only eating salad! If you hate kale, don’t eat kale, if you hate the gym, don’t go to the gym! There are so many ways you can incorporate physical activity into your everyday life: Walk, run, cycle, swim, dance, lift, jog, whatever feels right for your body. Everyone is different and no two fitness journeys will be the same. Experiment with different sports, see what you enjoy. If you are enjoying yourself along the way you will be so much more likely to keep going. Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons – because you love your body not because you hate it. You want to become a better, stronger, healthier version of you.