Four alternative motivation methods to improve your training


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Do you need a kick in the right direction?

Some find it easy, some find it hard, but motivation is the key to fitness. There are YouTube channels, blogs and motivational quotes aplenty that keep many folk going. Then there is the self ingrained drive, perhaps for health or aesthetic reasons.

But what if the things that motivated you before no longer do the job? Or what if you simply can’t get off your sofa and get in shape? Don’t worry, we have the answer.

We’ve come up with four alternatives to the mainstream motivation, to get you back on the fitness wagon.

1. Shut up

That’s right. Be quiet. Don’t start telling people about your goals, because for one, that is a waste of time; that could otherwise be spent actually achieving said goals.

Plus, various studies since 1933 have highlighted a broad idea called “Symbolic Self Completion”. This, in simple terms, is the concept, that when a person tells others of their intention, they get a premature sense of completion.

So in fitness terms, if you tell others that you are “going to cut out chocolate entirely” then you’ll feel like you’ve done half the work. By keeping schtum, you don’t get that false sense of achievement. It does mean more personal responsibility, and less help from peers, but that is the trade off you have to consider.

2. The double punishment concept

Many will reward themselves for doing things. Beat a PB, treat yourself to some more whey protein supplements. You get the idea. But how about flipping this upside down?

Using a spreadsheet or logbook, create punishments for failing to achieve goals you have set yourself within a set time period. Make these punishments things that you know you flat out won’t enjoy. This could be watching a film that you let your partner choose, it could be giving away some money or donating clothes you really like. Then, if you don’t achieve your goal within a secondary time period, make the next punishment even harsher.

This might all sound drastic, but then again, that is why we’re here.

3. Involve others emotionally

True story time. My fiancée, who shall remain anonymous, was out of shape and never exercised, set herself the challenge of running 10k for charity. People donated money, people planned to come and cheer her on, and if she failed, she’d be letting other people down.

Find a charity event, sign up and put yourself under serious pressure to perform.

If you can’t find an appropriate event, then promise someone something nice if you can achieve a goal. They will have your back as they get a reward, and you won’t want to let them down.

4. Destroy all distractions

Another true story. An old friend of mine once smashed his disc of Football Manager as it was getting in the way of his revision. He then went on to get straight As at A-Levels and is now doing very well for himself after getting a first class degree.

So if you have an Xbox or Netflix addiction then get rid of them. You don’t have to get a hammer out, but remove them from your life. Perhaps not forever, but for the time period it takes to finish what you started, get them out of your way.

You could even combine this idea with the double punishment concept. Remove the distraction, and if you don’t achieve your goal within a certain time period, you don’t get the distraction back.

If that doesn’t work, then get the hammer out, but don’t blame us.

And if that doesn’t work…

Don’t give up. We could suggest getting engaged as a kick up the rear end, but that probably throws up all sorts of moral and financial questions. If none of these work, then keep searching. There is always something that can motivate you. It could be as simple as getting on Rage 3.0 Rampage and just getting it done.

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