When it comes to setting fitness goals, it’s easy to get pumped up about a fresh New Year’s resolution. But what happens when the excitement of a new goal wears off? How do you stay motivated when the weather is less than ideal and you are months away from a big race? We turned to four of our Super Ambassadors to find out their top tips for staying motivated. Here’s what they had to say:
Greg Burnham (British Columbia)
- Have a race on the calendar. Big or small, races are the ultimate motivator to get you out the door and training. There's nothing like knowing your first marathon is a few months away to encourage you to add in an extra hill session, or do one more 1,200 metre repeat.
- Join group runs. The alarm goes off at 6:30 AM on Sunday and it's raining so hard it sounds like someone is pressure washing your bedroom windows. But you know that your regular crew will be waiting for you, and you don't want to be the one who lets them down this time.
- Go public. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Strava or Facebook, the more people who know about your goals, the more accountable you are and the more motivated you’ll be.
Gilmore Junio (Alberta)
- Make it meaningful. In order to stay motivated, you have to set meaningful goals. These goals should serve as a reminder to why you are doing the work and keep you motivated when things get hard. And trust me, they will!
- Write it down. Have your goal written down somewhere that keeps you accountable to it: a fridge, your computer, the wallpaper of your smartphone, a book... any place where you will see it every day.
- Don’t let your goal define you. As a word of caution: don't let your goal define who you are or who you want to be. Enjoy the process towards your goal – every bit of it, the good and the bad. Take everything in stride and keep moving forward. It will all make the end result that much sweeter.
Leland Guillemin (Saskatchewan)
- Find a quote. A big part of my motivation comes from quotes. I have a big poster at home where I train that is filled with various quotes that inspire me to push my boundaries and do my best. My favourite quote is: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle.
- Visualize the success you’re pursuing. Before practice each day I take a moment to visualize achieving my next short-term goal. This helps me set the mood for my training. If I’m at the gym and my short-term goal is to beast out a workout and succeed on all of my power cleans, I will visualize what I look like effortlessly doing those power cleans. If my goal is to work on a specific fencing technique, I picture the perfect execution before each repetition and use that to guide me. Having a visual image of what I want to achieve immediately keeps me motivated in the short-term, and having a visual image of receiving my gold medal at the 2016 Olympics keeps me motivated in the long run.
- Find comfort in each victory. “Peace in the process. Joy in the journey.” In other words, be proud of the effort you are putting in and find joy in the work you do. I find it is easy to stay motivated when I am enjoying the road to the end goal and not just focusing on the end result.
Teague Sherman (Manitoba)
For me, every off-season starts with the same three things: setting my goals, finding a pack, and remembering why I started. The hardest part about the off-season is that I essentially have to start all over again. On the other hand, the best part about the off-season is that I can go back to the drawing board to correct all of my mistakes from the previous season and I have six months to do it! Here is how I stay motivated:
- Set Goals: During the off-season, the very first thing I do is decide what my off-season main goal is going to be. Once I have made that decision, I also make sure I have at least five side goals that will help me accomplish my main goal. As I achieve these side goals, I get the taste of accomplishment while I’m en route to my main goal.
- Find a pack: The next step I take in staying motivated is surrounding myself with like-minded people. People who have the same goals and dreams as I do help to push me during down times and keep me accountable – “I’d rather have 10 lions than 100 sheep!”
- Remember why I started: A huge part of staying motivated is having a visual of what I want to accomplish and why. I make sure to display these anywhere I can, whether it’s the bathroom, bedroom, ceiling, kitchen, and especially beside the TV. By actually being able to see what my goals are, I force myself to not slack off and hold myself accountable for my goals.