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  • Nicola Dale

5 Tips For Motivation

Updated: Aug 6

Everyone goes through periods of little to no motivation, even those you look up to who appear to be constantly making progress. Next time you need a little push in the right direction try these 5 methods that continually help me to stay motivated.

1. Set Small Goals

I’m sure a lot of us have started a new fitness regime with big goals in mind, but big goals take time and consistency to achieve. To keep yourself motivated and on track, I recommend you set yourself small, manageable goals that are attainable in the meantime. It could be something you aim to do on a daily basis, i.e. incorporate fruit or veg into every meal, a weekly basis, i.e. workout three times a week, or a target you set yourself to achieve in a month’s time, i.e. increase the number of push ups you can do with good form. Hitting these small goals on a regular basis will emphasise the progress you’re making and motivate you to stay consistent at working towards your bigger goals.

2. Make a Flexible Plan

Setting aside time each week to exercise and making a habit of it will help you get up and move even when you’re lacking motivation. At the end of each week I like to make a rough plan of what I want to do that week and write in my diary what workouts I’m going to do on

which days. However, I allow myself flexibility depending how I feel that day. If I’ve planned a long run but I wake up feeling sluggish I’ll switch to something I feel more up to, like a short interval run, mobility work, yoga or a long walk and plan my long run in for another day. Not every workout needs to be super intense and sweaty so save those for the days you’re

feeling motivated and raring to go. Remember, rest is also vital for recovery and making progress, so make sure you plan in rest days too.


3. Keep it Varied

You wouldn’t want to live the same day on repeat over and over again, so it’s no wonder you start to feel bored and demotivated after completing the same workouts for weeks or months on end. There are so many ways to change up your workouts and keep them exciting, here are just a few:


· You could change the structure by trying new styles such as EMOMs, AMRAPs and HIIT (Click here to see my blog post explaining these).

· Try something new, i.e. a new sport or gym class – be open minded, I really believe there’s a form of exercise out there for everyone and once you find something you love it’s so much easier to make it a habit.


· Join a club/group – the community aspect of sport clubs can keep you accountable and motivated to stay consistent as well as give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people. I made some of my best friends through the dance society at University. Running clubs, tennis clubs, football teams and CrossFit boxes are just a few you could try.


· If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it – you shouldn’t dread exercising. There are so many different ways to move if you don’t enjoy one way you can just try another. Forget about what’s trendy. People see results from what they’re consistent at and unless you have incredible will power, you’re only going to be consistent at what you enjoy. This is why what works for one person might not work for another. Take the time to try new things and find what works for you.

4. Track your Progress

Motivation comes in ebbs and flows and on those days where you’re feeling like it’s not worth it and you’re not getting where you want to be it’s great to be able to look back at the progress you’ve made. This is where tracking comes in. There’s a few ways you can do this such as;

· Progress Photos – I recommend progress photos over other weight measurements as the number on scales or circumference measurements, etc., can fluctuate for a variety of reasons and it can be demotivating when you’ve been working hard and the numbers go up. Progress photos visibly show you the differences in your body and you’ll be surprised at the changes that happen even when numbers don’t change.


· Keep a Diary – what weight are you lifting, how many reps/sets, how often are you working out, how do you feel during and after each workout, how’s your self-esteem, how do you feel in your clothes, your confidence, your energy levels. Keep note of all these things so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.

· Fitness Tests – set yourself a challenge, i.e. running a set distance as quick as possible or completing as many reps or rounds of a set of exercises as possible (AMRAP) and then try it again a few weeks later and see if you can beat it.

5. Reward Yourself

This could be when you hit a goal, a new personal best, or stay consistent for a period of time. For example, if your goal is to run 5km without stopping you could treat yourself to a spa evening when you’ve reached that. Maybe you’ve been eyeing up a new fitness tracker, use it as a reward staying consistent with your exercise for 8 weeks. Other reward ideas could be; allow yourself to binge a TV show; buy a new item of clothing; go to a concert, art gallery or sporting event; take a cooking class; have a pamper evening; or have your favourite desert.

There’s nothing wrong with lacking motivation from time to time, everyone experiences it. What’s important is how you react to it, whether that’s using the tips above, taking some time to rest and recharge, or using your own methods. It’s ok to ‘fall off the wagon’, don’t wait for Monday to start again or punish yourself for going off track, just pick up from where you left off and try again.

Let me know how you keep yourself motivated in the comments below.

Until next time

Nicola x