Motivation Matters

Only 5 weeks to go until Queensland titles!  Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure that you are following your diet plans, practicing your poses and making sure that your mindset is at its best.

So how do you stay motivated?

The actions of a motivation come before the feelings of motivation. Too many people train based on how they feel, both physically and emotionally with justifications such as, “I won’t train well if I don’t feel good, so what’s the point?” Unfortunately this leads to inconsistent training, creating an ongoing mental battle before every session instead of consistent behaviour that creates a habit. Once a habit is created, less conscious effort is needed to encourage a behaviour such as training because it becomes programmed into your brain as part of your normal routine and in fact it feels strange if you don’t do it. The best way to start creating the habits that you want is to make a list of how you would act if you had motivation. What would you do differently? How would you speak differently? Pick two to three actions on your list to focus on for a week and then add one action per week until you have finished your list. Then keep practicing until each action becomes a normal part of life!

Make it easy for yourself to do what you planned. Use cues and prompts to remind yourself of your plan for the week. Plan your training sessions and eating plan in advance and make sure you consider your other commitments. Plan for challenges. For example, if you know you are going away for work for a week, do some research on where you will be staying and nearby facilities and make plans prior to leaving about how you can adjust your training to suit. Prepare early to reduce stress in the moment and increase the likelihood that you continue your good habits instead of giving up because it feels too hard. Include good sleep, nutrition and recovery to ensure that your body feels like it can keep going.

Remember why you want to compete. What is your reason? Why did you enter the competition in the first place? Put pictures or quotes that remind you what you are training for in plain sight, (e.g., beside the mirror, beside your bed, next to your training gear, etc), so you can see them often and your passion is stirred. Passion makes it easier to make sacrifices on the way to your goals.

Track your progress. Write down your goals and how you are progressing towards them. A training diary is a great way to keep track of what you have achieved in every training session and competition and to see where you were and where you are now. Seeing and celebrating success increases motivation and the drive to keep going. Celebrate processes or actions that take you towards your goals, not just the results that come as a consequence of those actions.

Aim for consistency not perfection. Striving for perfection always leads to failure and disappointment because no one is perfect. These feelings undermine motivation. However, aiming for and achieving consistency leads to success and feelings of mastery, leading to increased motivation.

Find people to train with. Training with others increases accountability and motivation and makes it easier to create consistent habits and routine. It is harder to let someone else down by not showing up to a training session than it is to let yourself down.

Success is hard work, but if you make a commitment to act based on choice not feeling, remember why you want to compete, aim for consistency and record your successes you will be on your way to become successful and motivated!

For more information about how you can use mental skills to increase your motivation, contact Rachel from Mental Notes Consulting on rachel@mentalnotesconsulting.com.au to book an individual session. Discounts are available for AWNBS members.

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Mental Notes Consulting

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