The road to success is covered in sweat. Go hard, or go home. Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live in. We’ve all read these kinds of inspirational quotes, and for some of us, they work beautifully. Like a puppy who sees its owner with the lead in its hand, an inspirational quote sees some people practically sprinting to the gym.
For the rest of us, reading something like, “Your only limit is you,” just makes us wriggle further beneath the blankets. The reason these supposedly inspiring quotes may not work as they should is because your demotivators are often bigger and louder inside your head.
What you need is a demotivation intervention…
Fight fire with fire
When you’re passionate about something or someone, what do you do if someone else attacks that thing or person? You fight back. This is one very effective way to deal with those little devils sitting on your shoulder saying you’ll never get that promotion at work, fit into those jeans you’ve always wanted, or be able to run as long as the next woman.
So, make it a war – you against the demotivators. Keep a scorecard and each time figure out who won the last battle. Did your inner negative voice let you eat a doughnut because you’re feeling a bit low? Give your demotivators one point. But if you thrashed it out on the bikes giving it your all, or grabbed a handful of nuts instead of a cookie, give yourself a score.
You can win this war, one battle at a time!
– RELATED: The Science Behind Becoming And Staying Motivated –
Inspired not to work
Offices can often seem designed to make you feel sleepy and lacking in motivation – there’s excessively harsh lighting that makes you squint or gives you headaches, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, light that’s too dim and causes eye strain and fatigue.
Then there’s often a lack of oxygen due to sealed windows or poorly maintained air conditioning units, chairs that make you slump and computers set at positions that give you back or shoulder ache… it’s a wonder we get anything done!
There are, however, some quick and simple fixes for these issues. First, get yourself a desktop lightbox (such as the Aura Day Light Therapy Lamp, $103 from amazon.com) which mimics the energizing effects of sunlight.
Next, grab a plant to put on your desk. Species such as ferns and gerbera daisy are excellent at cleaning the air of toxins and producing oxygen to give you a boost in the office.
Finally, invest in an ergonomic chair. This should have an adjustable height, and good support for your lower back.
Let yourself fail a little
Sometimes a bit of reverse psychology is what you need, especially if you look in the mirror and feel like you’re not really getting anywhere or it all seems too hard. Or maybe you feel like you’re never going to increase your deadlift load, you’re stuck doing three reps of the same weight every time.
Or maybe, despite 30 dates, you still can’t seem to connect with someone special. Well, maybe it’s time for some regression. That’s right – take a couple of steps back and stick with that for a while.
So, lift lighter weights for a week or so, cut back your running or cycling time, or quit looking for Mr or Mrs Special. Not only will this give you a chance to recharge your motivation for your goals, it’ll also make it more likely you’ll achieve them.
– RELATED: How You Can Win Even When You Fail –
Get slapped down
The truth is that people don’t get super fit by telling themselves they’re doing great. Most of us are lazy and need a kick up the backside to push ourselves. Which is where a “strict but fair” personal trainer is exactly what you need. And, remember, shop around.
Many gym-goers just go with the first personal trainer they’re offered, but to find the right fit for you, it’s important to ask questions and even do a trial session before you sign up for more. Ask them about their style – are they more military bootcamp or supportive and motivational? – either could work for you, but only you will know what’ll whip you into shape quicker.
Tickle that demotivator
If something makes you laugh, it’s got to be good for you. And with “demotivational posters” that’s exactly what you’ll get. If you haven’t checked these out yet, do, they’re hilarious!
With demotivational quotes such as, “Dare to Soar: with enough hot air, even losers like you can fly,” and “Dream Small, it’s your only hope for success, really”, they poke fun at the inspirational quotes you so often read, and give you a giggle.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, that in itself is inspiring because it burns calories, boosts lymph circulation, tones your abs and obviously makes you feel good.
Loosen up your wardrobe
What could be more demotivating than getting into a pair of too-tight fitting workout pants every day? So, get yourself a pair that fit properly. High-waisted trousers are in right now and they’re ideal for you if you’re constantly dismayed at the roll of flab that sits atop the waistline of your jeans.
A tight waistband constricts blood flow to the area – this could mean that fat gets stored above the waistband in a concentrated section, rather than more evenly spread over the entire abdominal region.
As yet, researchers haven’t proven that fat gets stored differently dependent on pressure or weight (leading to a fatter bottom if you spend long periods sitting, for example), but what we do know for sure is that lack of circulation hinders muscle growth, so wearing those tight workout pants could well be preventing you from growing stronger abs – and that’s exactly what you need to prevent a flabby tummy.
– RELATED: Can 30 Minutes Of Exercise Improve Your Body Image? –
Forget what you know
Stop telling yourself you can overcome the pain, that you can make it through the workout and that this is going to be hard, but you can do it. Instead, lie to yourself.
Convince yourself this time it’s going to be easy, that you’re only going to do it one more time (then never again!) or that you’ve only got two minutes left when it’s actually five (set a timer, but don’t look at the time to achieve this). These methods work because they stop you from all that internal complaining and whining about the workout you’re about to do, and just gets you doing it.
This might seem like a random tip to offer for fighting demotivational thoughts, but nothing will make you feel more empowered than being physically strong.
That doesn’t mean being big or rippling with muscles, it means knowing how your muscles work together to do what you ask of them – and pushing them harder each time until even when you’re at rest, even when you’re sitting in a bar in an LBD, drinking a tiny cocktail in a thin-stem glass, you’re conscious of the incredible power of your body.
Being able to run a marathon will give you a sense of achievement and you’ll be fit too; cycling fast and up near-sheer hills will also do wonders for your fitness; but there is nothing quite like squatting or deadlifting a heavy load to make you want to roar like a lioness who’s just made a kill for the pride. So be the lioness, and kill your demotivators with strength.
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