Pro-level athletes are NOT more motivated than you are.
Olympic athletes don’t just “want it more”.
Even the coaches in our gym have the same struggles with motivation that you do.
The difference? They have strategies to get motivated again and the patience to ride out the temporary change in drive.
Ask anyone at the highest levels of health and fitness: Sometimes they don’t feel like working out. And those influencers on TicToc with the ripped abs? Even they want a slice of cake sometimes.
So how do they stick to their routine when they don’t want to do it? How do they stick to their meal plan when they don’t want to eat the food or feel like cooking?
Here’s how to do it—and the great news is that you can use the SAME strategies they do.
1 Get a coach.
You need to be accountable to an objective third party. Your wife will let you off the hook. Your coworkers don’t actually want you to succeed. And your friends may actually like everything the way that it is.
You need someone to:
- Remove the guesswork
- Get you results FAST (you’ll see why in the next step)
- Hold you accountable. You can “ghost” someone over text, but you can’t miss appointments.
- Provide a “plan” for failure. That means you have to pay for coaching. If you don’t, there’s no real penalty for failure … and you’ll backslide.
- Get a really fast result. Our brains are wired to reward quick wins and novelty. If we don’t see results quickly, we lose motivation.
It’s key for someone to say, “You did really well at X”. A coach will take care of this for you!
Are you ready to be coached? Let’s talk! Click here to book a free intro.
2 Set up a short-term “challenge” for yourself that includes a plan for after the challenge ends.
A six-week sprint is great tool for self motivation. But most people drop off the edge when it ends, and many actually wind up worse than ever. In my experience working one-on-one with clients, those who have done short-term diets like intermittent fasting or keto usually gain back the weight they lost and more. The unsustainable nature of the diet, and the resulting mindset, actually leaves them less healthy.
We occasionally do a Jumpstart Challenge which typically has a short term timeline. And we have clients who come to us after fast weight loss through surgery and medication. The critical step that leads to long term success is having the second step all lined up and ready to go before you take the first. Our coaches can build this plan for you.
3 Develop systems and strategies that work for YOU
It won’t always be hard to go to the gym, or shop for groceries, or prep your meals. It WILL get easier, but only if you keep the habit going. Your process will be unique – what helps one person may not work for another. Evaluate your process to understand how your habits help you. And write it all down to make a road map that leads to the results you are looking for.
Track everything. Track your workouts.
- Note your personal bests.
Track your food intake.
- Note your wins.
- Track your sleep
Note how they all tie together.
It’s like the child’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”! For example, when I am tired, I snack late at night on junk food. When I wake up, my body aches and I reach for extra caffeine. When I have extra coffee, it means I use more sugar. When I eat more sugar, I end up feeling sluggish, so I don’t feel like working out. When I don’t work out, I get more stressed. And when I get more stressed, I sleep less. Can you relate?
Pause to evaluate your circumstances – WHY you are stressed and not making progress to your goals – and discover the root of the problem that you can then address.
4 Have a back up plan.
Life rarely goes exactly as planned. If your life is like ours, you are always pivoting because of changing circumstances. What works for you one week, may not work for the next. Developing different systems and strategies that get you to the same destination is the secret weapon for long term success and ongoing motivation.
Example: Noting is less motivating that shoveling egg whites into your mouth because you have to in order to get on track. Have a plan for when you are loving all-things-egg, and have a contingency plan for when you can’t think about another egg. And have a third plan you can flip to when you don’t want to cook at all! Map it out. Save the strategies. And flex between your options to stay motivated and on track.
Example #2 You get into an awesome groove meal planning and prepping and then you go on vacation. You come back with zero motivation to cook. Be ready with a meal delivery service that can fill in.
Being able to stay on track will help you stay motivated instead of frustrated.
5 Check your progress.
Look, you’re not going to have a personal best on every workout. But that doesn’t really matter.
What really matters is consistency. People who show up every day, even if they put out 50% of their best effort, get better results than people who crush it once a week.
The people who “sprint and crash” on a diet usually get amazing results, and then they inevitably gain all the weight back. Or they get strong, and then they get injured.
The people who just show up for their appointments get strong, lean and happy for life.
I want you to know this: The days when you feel the LEAST motivation are the days you’ll get the BEST results.
Consistent, imperfect action always wins.