The Iconic Edition
Advice
|12 Mar|5 mins

How to Stay Motivated

You've got this
Sarah Tarca
12 Mar
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We all know how it is: you set the alarm for 6am to go for that 10km run, but one snooze turns into five and then suddenly you only have time for a sprint… to the shower. Each week probably starts the same (full of good intentions) and ends with you cursing your laziness and vowing to be better next week. But as Under Armour trainer Monique Craft knows, this story can have a different ending, and the secret is breaking your exercise down into bite-sized pieces.

Advice
|12 Mar|5 mins

How to Stay Motivated

You've got this
Sarah Tarca
12 Mar
Share:

We all know how it is: you set the alarm for 6am to go for that 10km run, but one snooze turns into five and then suddenly you only have time for a sprint… to the shower. Each week probably starts the same (full of good intentions) and ends with you cursing your laziness and vowing to be better next week. But as Under Armour trainer Monique Craft knows, this story can have a different ending, and the secret is breaking your exercise down into bite-sized pieces.

"Whatever you want to achieve, motivation plays a critical role in determining your success or failure," states Monique. Micro-goals may be a bit of a buzzword right now, but the buzz behind it actually has some credible weight. In studies by both the University of Southern California and Harvard, it was found that motivation was increased by rewards, no matter how nominal or token they may be. That’s because achieving these little goals makes you feel like you’re winning, and that feeling (spurred on by the warm, fuzzy vibes of dopamine) fuels your brain to keep plugging away at your bigger goals. So, by breaking your exercise down into small blocks (say, 30 minutes each), the task won’t seem so overwhelming and you’re more likely to get your butt off the couch rather than diving headfirst into a Netflix vortex. And by achieving these micro-goals, you’re in a better position to attain your bigger goals (whether that be cracking the 10km mark or running a half marathon). "When we encounter even tiny amounts of success, our brains release dopamine, which is linked to feelings of pleasure, learning and motivation. The effects of dopamine lead us to feeling eager to repeat the actions that lead us to success in the first place. This is why setting and achieving small goals is such an important and effective way to stay motivated to keep you on track to reaching the bigger end goal."

So, how to break it down? Monique recommends, "When goal setting, make sure you set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-limited." If you’re new to the fitness game start with three sessions of 30 minutes a week. It could be anything from going for a walk to cycling to work - as long as you do it. Even better if you can get to it in the morning as you’ll be riding high on your “reward” (thanks, dopamine) which will no doubt make you even more efficient at work. Take time to notice how you feel after each session. Do you feel proud? Motivated? Ready to take on the next goal? We’re guessing yes.

If you’re a long-time fitness lover you can benefit from switching your routine up and breaking it into smaller sessions too. The benefits of high intensity interval training are well documented (increased aerobic capacity and fat-burning capacity just to name a couple), and it could be just the ticket to moving past that plateau. The best part about a HIIT routine is that the exercise can be whatever you like – burpees, squats, sprints, cycling – as long as you stick to the interval pattern. A good place to start is one minute of high intensity activity, followed by a minute of recovery, repeated 10 times. Add in a warm up and warm down, and your whole workout comes in at a neat little bite-sized package of under 30 minutes. We reckon we can manage that.Monique's final piece of advice is to find a workout buddy to keep yourself accountable and on track. "Scheduling regular workouts with a buddy or group can make all the difference. You're less likely to hit snooze or head home for the night if you know it'll mean letting a friend down." It's not just the company that keeps you moving – "try finding an individual that is slightly better or faster than you. A little friendly competition can light a fire and have major boosting power." So what are you waiting for?

Finding the motivation is only half the battle. Now you need the right kit to help you succeed. Get all the gear to keep you motivated.

Sarah Tarca
Writer