People who aren't regular exercisers often look at sports people and those who train often and wonder how they stay motivated. How do they keep doing all that activity consistently enough to maintain the high standards they display? Today I'd like to reveal some of the secret strategies for success that are employed by everyone from Olympians to Park-Runners.
1 - They have chosen an activity they enjoy
Most people who are at the top of their game in a physical activity get some inherent joy or satisfaction from performing said activity. If you look at anyone who is consistent in their movement they often attest to the fact that their 'thing' has an enjoyable, or therapeutic element to it. One of my mantras when it comes to movement is "pick something you enjoy or at the very least don't hate", because of course, you tend to do more often that which you enjoy... and the most important factor regarding success is consistency.
2 - They have a little support
A support system is important when it comes to maintaining momentum in any habit. From the precocious sporting prodigies whose parents become a taxi service to practice... to the Olympian in a final you notice glancing at their coach... if you look carefully you will find every successful person regarding movement have at least one or two individuals supporting them in some way. This translates to your goals; if you want to move better or eat better it's much easier if those you live with or spend time talking to are aware of your goals and can get behind them.
3 - Practice
...makes perfect! Those who move regularly appear to do these things automatically but no-one is born with that as an ingrained habit. It's practice after practice after practice which turns that movement into habit! This is learned behaviour and it is possible for any human. That which you practice regularly becomes a habit and THIS gives you the consistency you need to improve in any goal.
4 - Willingness to Sacrifice
In order to add something to your life which doesn't exist now one has to accept there's something else which will have to give. You get to choose what that is and ideally you are able to pick something which you don't really miss... or the absence of which is actually better for your overall wellness.
5 - Adoption of a 'Growth Mindset'
Those who successfully add in positive habits like regular movement tend to have what is known as a growth mindset. They've embraced the idea that it's never too late to learn or try something new! The best athletes in the world still refer to their coaches... and even their coaches have coaches. (I have a coach). The willingness to take guidance, seek opinion or even consider a different point of view is valuable when it comes to improving your lot, from where you are now.
6 - The ability to view 'failure' as 'feedback'
Numerous speakers in history are credited with verbalising a version of the idea that there is no such thing as failure, indeed, that success is impossible without some measure of failure. Those who manage to maintain consistency in their movement at the highest levels all attest to the fact that they have 'failed' many times over, as part of their journey. It really requires something of a mindset shift to force yourself to get up and 'go again', time after time. Another of my mantras is to "wipe the slate clean, and go again". It doesn't matter how many times you miss a workout or eat something which isn't 'perfect' for your goals... you can always wipe the slate clean... go again... and re-start later/tomorrow.
There you have it. These are some of the unseen secrets behind the glossy facade of success of 'the motivated'! Which of the above can you adopt today?