10 easy tips to GET and STAY motivated.
If there’s one thing that can stop our progression dead in it’s tracks, it’s a lack of motivation. What is motivation? Simply put, it’s “the direction and intensity of our energy or efforts”, Weinburg and Gould (2011). The most important question is what techniques can we utilize to control our energy to ensure our motivation is peaked and unshakable? Drawing from a multitude of psychological sport research and mental conditioning outlets, there is a number of tools you can add to the belt to help keep you motivated and operating at the height of your potential.
- 1) Keep your playlist updated
This is a simple one. We've all felt the almost electric “explosive buzz' that can result from simply putting the buds in and cranking the volume. Ensuring your playlist is updated can be a sure fire way to get back to, and stay in, a driven mindset. Whether its weightlifting or studying, music can be a highly effective tool. Some of the best ways I avoid having a stagnant playlist is by using the following:
Apple Music - $6 bucks a month and you can download any album, any song...from any artist...at any time. Had me at $6 bucks.
Pandora PLUS (Or Premium) - For $5 / $10 dollars, Pandora has put together an impressive interface that can handle all of your listening needs. I was an avid listener on Pandora for many years and like many of you I wasn’t a big fan of the rather perpetual repetition of songs. However, since their new update, Pandora has really stepped up their game.
Spotify - Go free or go premium for $10. Spotify's personalized listening hub is game-changing.
- 2) Make a Mission Statement
This is your vision. Write something down that's tangible and that you hope to accomplish in the near future. Better yet, jot down an exact date you will accomplish your goal. For example: “I am an IFBB pro. I will place in the competition on Sep 1st.” Now put this somewhere you will see it everyday. In the bathroom mirror. In your car. On the refrigerator. On your dog. Set an alert that pops up at random times during the day. Regardless, knowing, seeing, and feeling your vision on a regular basis is key.
- 3) Engage in Effective Goal-Setting
If you don’t have a destination, how will you know when you’ve arrived? Proper goal setting is an approach everyone should use. Whether you’re a bodybuilder, a marathon runner, or an astronaut, goal setting provides the roadmap to the end goal.
- 4) Imagery / Visualization Practice
What if you could practice and prepare from the comfort of your own home? There’s a way I promise you. Imagery means using all of your senses (e.g., see, feel, hear, taste, smell) to mentally rehearse your chosen craft. It provides athletes with an opportunity to get the most out of their training. This is especially useful during times of injury. Drawing from relevant sources, imagery has been found to ignite motivational behaviors, sustain self-confidence, and delimit stress-inducing thoughts (Hamson-Utley, 2008). Any way you envision it, imagery can be an ideal avenue for you to be “in it” from anywhere you choose to sit, stand or lay.
- 5) Follow and Engage with “Masters of Craft” on Social Media
We’ve all felt this work. I’ve woke up many mornings with bare minimum motivation only to inevitably find myself scrolling through the day’s latest Instagram post. This can certainly be less mind "numbing" and more mind "activating". Try starting a 30-day challenge, joining a social group, or simply engaging with active posts. Whatever it is, find something that sparks that inner engine.
6) Stay Positive / Practice the Art of Being Grateful
Explore a gratefulness practice, even it's it just being thankful for one thing each morning. Or taking a mental note of one thing positive about each day before hitting the pillow. Because "what's the point of asking for me if we don't appreciate what we've got?"And perhaps try to ask yourself “Did I get better today?”. If the answer is "yes," then you should feel good. Straight up.
- 8) Stay Committed
Keep going. Bring your best self into everything you do. Try to a keep a clear, focused conviction in the mind’s eye. To borrow Napoleon Hill’s words from Think and Grow Rich, “ Failure cannot cope with persistence.”
- 10) Rest, Recovery, and Self-Love
Rest, recovery and self-love isn’t to be downplayed. We’ve all had those thoughts of “I need to do more, I need to do more!” Often it’s during these times that our bodies, minds, and spirit are calling us to take a break. So when you’re feeling burnt out, run down, or simply need a disconnect from the world, it’s okay you decided to watch Netflix and scarf down a whole pizza.
It’s also important to take the time to celebrate every success! Every small step you take towards achieving your goals should be celebrated! Even the tiniest, little incremental step. Try to harness this feeling of success, of victory, to propel yourself forward the next day.
To learn more about and how to apply these strategies, please feel free to reach out to
Coach Tom at www.infiniteperformanceworks.com/contact
Hamson-Utley, J. & Vasquez, L. (2008). Sport psychology and counseling. the comeback: rehabilitating the psychological injury. International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 13 (5), 35-38.
Weinberg, R., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sixth Edition. Human Kinetics, Champlain, Illinois.