Saturday, 10 August 2013

Holiday Workouts and the Secret to Becoming Motivated


I am possibly one of the last motivated people I know!  I'm a prevaricator, a procrastinator, half-arsed and frankly lazy.  I may get myself to the gym 5 days a week for at least an hour or two but I don't consider myself dedicated or hard-working.  

Here's how I manage to be actually pretty lazy but still workout nearly every day.

When I was a primary school teacher, we taught maths very differently to how I was taught in the olden days.

(Bear with me here!)

We taught children to cheat.  

We showed them all those little methods and ways round things we employ as adults which enable us to effectively manage numbers in our heads, even if we don't consider ourselves to be mathematicians.

This approach to teaching maths helped me to realise I wasn't actually useless at maths after all. When I use the little tricks and techniques to help me solve problems or find the total, I am technically cheating but this is OK.

So long as the end result is the same and you understand why you got there, how you get there doesn't matter!

Developing motivation is no different.

I'm not motivated - 
what I am is a good cheater!

I have managed to collect a plethora of cheats to get me to the gym even if I don't really want to go -  I have found ways to encourage me to keep going, even if I would rather be doing something else.  

This is the secret to motivation - nothing else.

I don't believe many of us are genuinely self-motivated - whatever it is we don't want to do, be it housework, finishing paperwork, stock-taking, washing the dog, whatever, we find ways to get off our arses and do it anyway.
  • I get myself to the gym because I am vain.  I like how I look when my muscles are strong my clothes fit me.  
  • I get myself to the gym just by putting on my gym clothes in the morning and driving to the leisure centre.  Once I'm there the training just happens.
  • I get myself to the gym because I have discovered how much better, how much more in control and how much more powerful I feel for being fit and strong and healthy.
  • I get myself to the gym by telling people that's where I'm going - I'd feel silly saying I'm a regular gym user if I couldn't back that up.
  • I get myself to the gym because I have made an effort to talk to people there (that in itself is hard for someone like me - I'm not very brave or bold) and it's now a pleasant place to go where I feel welcome and at home.
  • I get myself to the gym because it has, over time, become what I do.  I feel uncomfortable if I haven't been for a while; my body misses the endorphins, my mind misses the intrinsic reward of a job well-done.
  • I get myself to the gym because I've become a bit selfish about it.  It's time for me where I can forget about everything else and focus.
  • I get myself to the gym because I am enjoying learning new skills .
  • I get myself to the gym because I decided to change my life and this is what it takes.
I'm not motivated, I just find ways to keep me on track when I don't want to.

This doesn't mean I hate working out and have to force myself to do it - I don't.  I love it.  But sometimes, just like the uber-tidy or the super-organised, I have to find cheats to keep me on track.

I wasn't a confident mathematician as a child.  I'll never win a nobel prize for maths as an adult but I am now confident in my ability to solve the problems I need to solve.

I wasn't fit or healthy until 2 years ago.  I'll never win a gold at the olympics now but I keep beating my personal bests and I'm fitter, stronger, healthier, more powerful and more confident than 20 year old me and if I have to cheat to get those results, then so be it!

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