The simple fact is, it’s often hard to keep yourself motivated. Whether you’re setting sky-high targets of running marathons and climbing mountains or simply looking to improve your fitness levels, the most challenging part can be keeping yourself on track.
For the Sheffield United football team preparing for a game in a stadium where they haven’t won in nearly 50 years, it would be easy to fall into a pit of disbelief. Despite Zest Active ambassador John Egan being unavailable as captain, they came out of Old Trafford with a sensational Premier League win.
We aren’t suggesting that you should set a target of toppling Manchester United, but it’s a good example of what can be possible with a little self-belief. Taking inspiration from Sheffield United, here are some useful tips that could help you keep on track for whatever targets you set yourself.
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1. Celebrate the little wins
Reaching the final goal isn’t the only thing that’s worth congratulating yourself for. Running your first 5km when training for a marathon is a huge milestone, as is dropping down a notch in your belt when trying to lose weight.
Let yourself enjoy those little moments, as they can fuel your desire to do even better. Think of it as breaking it up into several mini milestones, and you’ll soon find that reaching each one will help you grow more confident about hitting the next.
2. Mark your calendar
You don’t need to wait for Easter or Christmas to set a date in your calendar. Especially if you’re spending a lot of time in a strict routine, setting a date to aim for can be hugely beneficial.
Whether it’s your next day off or a Saturday full of sport on the TV, make it a “me” day that you can really look forward to. Use it as a day you can work towards, and every step you take in that direction will make it feel all the more worthwhile in the end.
3. Focus on the positives
Never underestimate the power of visualisation. Thinking of what you’re doing as progress towards a good outcome rather than away from a negative one can make a considerable difference.
This often comes down to simply staying focused on what you want to achieve, rather than what you want to avoid. Make it concrete and focus on the benefits, then get working on making it happen!
4. Partner up
Some might find a drill sergeant-type coach helpful, but most of us would be just as happy with someone to cheer us on. You don’t necessarily need to have the same goals, but keeping someone in the loop makes it feel like more of a team effort.
A lot of this comes back to our third point about focusing on the positives. Find someone as determined to reach that final goal as you are so you can both stay on track.
5. Fail to prepare…
Sometimes, even sticking to your perfectly laid-out plan doesn’t cover all the bases. Months of going for regular walks can be undone by one twisted ankle, and it’s easy to be harsh on yourself for forsaking a diet.
This is all part of being human, and chances are that your goals are too easy if you haven’t once let slip on them. Try to accommodate for these hiccups from the beginning, and come up with ways of keeping yourself on track without beating yourself up over anything.