Duncan's Top Tips For Staying MotivatedDuncan Leighton | 7 Jan 2022
Happy New Year A-Team!
As the intensity starts to increase in our New Year's Revolutions programme, it’s important to have a quick word about motivation. Lack of motivation can be seen as the number one reason that our fitness participation drifts (or maybe why it never started in the first place!). Here are some things that help me to keep showing up that you might find useful:
1 - Set simple, attainable goals
Yes you might want to have the body of a deity by the Summer, improve your mental health or conquer a triathlon this side of June, but break that dream into tangible things you can attain this week and make them relevant and realistic. Only completed classes sporadically in 2021? Aim to hit two live classes a week. Find it tough to feel like you can fit in training? Aim for a 15/20 min session as soon as you get in from work 2 days this week. I can't stress enough, plan a week at a time and just understand the general direction you're going in - if you look too far in advance everything will get overwhelming. Be your own weekly project manager and Summer will start to take care of itself.
2 - Accept bumps in the road when they come
The path to Summer will not be a simple one - you're going to hit illness, extra work pressure and probably even alien invasions at this point. If you have project managed everything into weekly blocks then you will find it easier to adapt to any outside pressure and compartmentalise it into that week without everything getting totally derailed. Allow space in your training for hiccups - if you plan for 5 sessions a week then you're going to feel guilty every week for not hitting your target if something goes sideways elsewhere. Take it from a guy who has tried it plenty - guilt isn't as good of a motivator as you might think. Allow for bumps in the road by aiming for 3 sessions + 2 bonus sessions - if you miss the bonus sessions because you have to crate train your new puppy that week or you're busy hailing our new Martian overlords then at least you're still hitting your 3 session target and feeling smug by Sunday.
3 - Variety is the spice of life
My MOST important advice that I will keep reminding myself each month - DO NOT CONSIDER EXERCISE AS A TAKE TO COMPLETE. Especially if you are just getting back into it. You've got enough to do already right? Exercise is necessary, but think of it as a necessary relief from all the other mundane things the Devil forces upon you. Approach each session hungry for endorphins like the serotonin guzzlers that we are. If you frame it as an extra chore, it's going to feel like one.
4 - Make movement your constant
The last couple of years have taught us that everything in life is variable. Rather than letting exercise be he first thing that drops off your radar when things get weird, ring fence some space for it. Whatever changes around you, your movement time is like your daily vitamin. Your body needs it, your mind needs it, it deserves a place in your life. This will become easier if you follow the ideas above and let exercise propagate into an unshakeable habit. Yes you might need to reduce the length or intensity from time to time, but don't let it slip away entirely. If you're following our New Year's Revolutions schedule then by February those sessions are going to be hitting that habitual sweet spot and you won't want to do without them.
Remember - Motion is lotion, let's keep beautifully moisturised in 2022. See you on the bike!