What keeps us motivated?

Motivation is something that we all need in life to do anything and everything, without it, the slightest tasks become a chore. Let me assure you, you are not alone, if at times you are not motivated to train. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to train. I’ve been teaching for over 25 years and to find the drive to continue is an on going process. To stay motivated has been easy at times but as with everything, staying motivated can be hard. I am lucky that I teach, as this means I am training most days with my students but that is not the same as making sure I am making my own progress, in my individual personal training. So with this in mind it brings me to the question…..

Why do we train?

The reasons why people train are different among st individuals. Whether it is to get fit, meet new people, gain confidence, learn to defend ourselves we all have a reason. As time goes on, I think people lose their way and forget why they originally started or perhaps we don’t revisit the question often enough.

Over the years I’ve lost motivation countless times and on those occasions I have sometimes given in to how I was feeling at the time but the majority of times I just got on and trained anyway. These moments don’t change as I get older, I still at times do not want to train, but as always they go away and I enjoy it again. As I’ve got older my reasons for training have changed, when I first started it was to earn a black belt, then it was to win competitions and have my own school and teach. As I get a little older my motivation to train has changed into teaching great classes, staying healthy and in shape, and to continue to be able to defend myself, is very high on my priority list.

This process of ever changing reasons to train has never stopped throughout my career, everyone just has to remember to revisit the WHY? question. Without the WHY there is no WAY….. Over time I’ve learnt many tricks to keep motivated, and I still use them today.

1) Get up and out anyway, by doing so, more often than not, I never regretted doing the session. If anything it was the thought of it that put me off but often these turned out to be the best sessions.

2) Focus on one technique or increase reps on a particular exercise. Often looking at it through white belt eyes, like a complete beginner can work here.

3) Do what you love….choose a discipline on the program you enjoy.

4) Pick another discipline. When I stopped competing, self defence became the bigger objective for me, hence the start of the Krav Maga program. It was something I could get my teeth into and yet again by learning this and travelling to New York to train, changed the way I thought and felt about my own training.

5) Talk to people around you – a problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes. If your training isn’t going where you want or you have lost your way. Say it out loud….there is no shame in this. Remember we have all been there!

6) Be kind to yourself – don’t give yourself a hard time about it, this only encourages more negativity. It’s ok to think this way.

There is no shame in admitting to ourselves that our motivation has wandered, but there is something wrong, if we let it defeat us. Accepting that it is unchangeable is not acceptable. We must take full responsibility to motivate ourselves in everything we do. Remember when you point a finger and blame your training partner or sensei, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

Life isn’t always easy but when we try at something and give it our best, often we find that WAY again and with it comes undoubtedly a way to train again and the motivation to carry on. We all hold our own key, to our own motivation – remember life’s a journey, one that is forever changing.