Motivate Thyself: Developing a Fitness Failsafe
Being inspired by the physical accomplishments of others is one of the best parts of being involved in the fitness realm. Inspirations and motivations abound when one is fully entrenched in this world; but it is just as important to find internal motivation on a regular basis. Establishing a consistent, self-driven source of motivation is the failsafe you need for continued progress on your fitness path.
Sure, we can ride a wave of inspiration after witnessing a client, family member, or lifting partner achieve something physically incredible, but what happens when we can’t match the feat in our own workouts? We may get discouraged, plain and simple. If we raise the expectations for ourselves, grow confident enough in our ability to crush old PR’s, and then fail to do so on a consistent basis, it might be harder and harder to maintain any sort of motivation. In addition, confidence levels will diminish as well.
So, just like the title suggests, often we need to establish an effective “fitness failsafe” by motivating ourselves. Taking inspiration from external sources is one of the many joys of being alive, but sole reliance on external stimuli can lead to a lopsided development, especially when it comes to fitness. Instead, we need to be resilient and consistent, independent and self-reliant.
Here are a couple ways to achieve this: :
Fail repeatedly: fail once, fail twice, fail thrice. This may sound nonsensical in conjunction with establishing a fail-SAFE of all things, but the implications are sound. To successfully motivate yourself, one must handle failure accordingly. If you are doing your best to meet your fitness goals and are repeatedly bringing the proper amount of intensity, success will come. It takes practice, but you can find the motivation to keep pushing, no matter what, because there is personal fulfillment at the end. In short, being ok with failing is necessary for establishing necessary internal motivation.
Compete with yourself: How quickly we become complacent with our workout routine. We do just enough to maintain our current muscle mass, we get our “pump,” but when it comes to pushing ourselves to max intensity, we do the bare minimum required. This isn’t a condemnation, but a natural biological response to prolonged work. Our bodies look to achieve homeostasis, as well as devote as much energy towards self-preservation and repair as possible. Left to its own devices, it will look for short-term survival over longevity. To break free from complacency and a lackadaisical effort takes continual effort. A strategy of dealing with this is looking internally, competing with who you were last week, taking it slowly but surely, and beating a previous record--even if only performing an extra set than you did the week before.
There are many more strategies for developing a failsafe in your fitness journey, but we urge you to consider trying these two. Continue to be motivated by others, let yourself be built up by your friends, family, and trainer, but place an extra emphasis on finding the motivation from deep within yourself.