How to Stay Motivated
Wednesday, 01 August 2018
Summer is officially here!! For some that means holidays, for others it means the end of school/term, for me this summer is a special one as I finally graduated!
It has been the busiest, most challenging, life-changing and rewarding 3 years of my life so far. I'm not going to lie, they have not been easiest years but I am so proud of myself for graduating with first-class honours and receiving some academic awards alongside working 24+ hours per week, becoming the British Champion last year (2017), sweeping all the silver medals at BUCS in my weight class for 3 consecutive years, socialising, coaching and staying sane altogether.
A question I get a lot when people hear about this is “how do you stay motivated?”
My response is always simple, “I don’t.”
A question I get a lot when people hear about this is “how do you stay motivated?” My response is always simple, “I don’t.” There were times when I did not feel like studying or training. In fact most days I felt physically and mentally drained from revision, lots of coursework and extremely early working hours. If I relied on motivation alone I would have probably trained once or twice a week at most.
So how did I do it?
When I started weightlifting I was in my first year and I realised that motivation is an exhaustible resource. I used a little bit of my "motivation battery" to get myself up at 4 am to work, some more to get myself to Uni on time and some more to try focus on a 3-hour lecture and after all of these regardless of how much I try to "get in the zone" and motivate myself to get through a session it just was not working.
It is really challenging for most of us to stay motivated for such a long time. Take your new year's resolution for example: On New Year's Eve, you feel so hyped up about starting a new diet, hitting the gym more often, working on a big project, etc. but how long can you really keep up with these through the year? Research shows that more than 45% of people drop their New Year's resolution after a month.
Well, the same principle I applied to stay on top of everything - from studying to training. I built good habits. I established a routine I can easily follow. Habits and routines are more reliable and sustainable than motivation alone. After committing to a routine and encouraging healthy habits, I was able to stick to my goals and maintain productivity throughout my day and throughout the entire 3 years of my undergraduate degree and weightlifting career.
I really like this quote I read a long time ago "Motivation Is What Gets You Started, Habit Is What Keeps You Going." That initial effort to start working on a goal (e.g. going to the gym 4 times per week, etc.) is the hardest part, but once you get through that step, it becomes easier to keep going. Sometimes it even gets hard to stop because it will become your second nature as your body gets accustomed to your daily activities, it can even run on autopilot. Most days I still wake up not feeling it but later in the day I find myself in the gym when I have to train and lifting weights, not because I feel motivated to do so, but out of habit that I have established years ago.
Don't worry if you feel like you're not motivated enough to do something. Motivation comes and goes and if you wait until you're motivated to go to the gym and get moving then you can be waiting for forever. A simple solution is to just get started! Habits, discipline, focus and consistency are what's going to help you become a stronger, healthier, fitter, smarter, happier and better you. So why not start today? There is no better place to start your fitness journey than here at Brookes gym!!
Make sure to read my next post about why I chose weightlifting, what's so special about it and what it means to me. I will also talk about how the Olympic lifts can benefit you, whatever sport you're doing, even if you're new to fitness!
This piece was written by Kristine Santos, Brookes Sport Ambassador. You can find Kristine onInstagram.
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