Dear Coach Chris: What is a motivational tip for someone who has lost the gym mojo?
Hi Alison, thanks for your great question, one which I am sure will help all our regular gym goers.
We set goals we are confident will bring around the changes we crave in our life. Whether that’s weight loss, improving our fitness, maintaining a healthy diet or sticking to a schedule. More often than not our goals turn a little sour and we lose our mojo. This can be for a few reasons and I’ve listed these below along with the steps to take to rectify them:
Set towards goals. Set goals which are based on where you want to be, and not what you’re moving away from. Many people set goals which move them away from where they are but lack focus on where they want to be. Therefore, once they are no longer where they were they begin to relax their commitment a little. In theory if a person says they want to exercise more, they could run for a bus the next day and decide they’ve achieved their objective!
For example, I had a client focused on weight loss. She didn’t want to be 16 stone anymore, as soon as she began to lose weight and got to 14 stone she began to lose her momentum. All the time she had been focused on just not being 16 stone anymore and once this was achieved she felt she deserved days off from the routine she had set for herself. When we began our work together we reset her goal for where she wanted to be, which was 11 stone. By focussing her brain on the end goal she hasn’t lost momentum as she knows she can’t quit until she’s reached 11 stone, no matter how far she moves away from her original weight.
The key is to state what you do want and a great way is to set a SMART plan. If you want to know more about SMART planning keep an eye out for my Zen Lab workshop on goal setting.
Define and remind yourself of your WIIFM. When setting a goal, you need to ask yourself ‘What’s In It For Me?’ What is the reason I am setting this goal? What will I ultimately achieve? It’s important you have a clear connection with the benefits of hitting the gym. I know the days my Personal Trainer is pushing me my hardest I have to connect with my WIIFM and recite it like a mantra, “You’re fit, you’re healthy, you’re strong and you’re going to look great in your wedding suit!”
Visualise your end result. You have to give your brain a clear picture of where you aim to be, visualise your future self. How will you look? How fit will you be? What will you be able to achieve physically? This allows your brain to set a new standard of what is normal and then each day as it checks your criteria against your current state it will register that you have work to do to achieve the norm. This will support you in staying on track and motivated. It’s also good to stay focused on the end goal rather than your immediate results, often people can become disheartened as the changes can seem so minor when monitored daily. My clients are only allowed to check their results over longer periods of time, like a month. It’s not where you are, it’s where you’ll be!
Switch up your routine. We lose our mojo when our brain registers activities as habits, as much as good habits can help us our brain can easily get bored. We crave certainty and comfort but at the same time our brain needs uncertainty and variety. Making changes to your gym sessions can have a massive impact on boosting your mojo. Try out a different class, book in a PT session, go to the gym at different times than usual, take a friend or family member with you. You can do anything which will trigger your brain to go ‘Hey, this is different to what or how we usual do the gym.’
I’m confident these tips will have you reacquainted with your mojo in no time and I look forward to bumping in to you at a spin session soon.