I may write a champagne blog, but the reality is that I work out (or train, which is the word I use for exercise) WAY more than I drink champagne.
To fit my training in around a pretty hectic work schedule, I get up at 4-4.30am six days a week. I always have at least one rest day when I “sleep in” until after 5.
So one of the questions I get asked a lot (almost as much us “How does someone become a champagne blogger”) is…
“OMG… How do you stay motivated to get up so early and work out every day?”
My short answer is… I’don’t!
Yes, it’s true I am generally annoyingly energetic, even at 5am (just ask my training buddies)!
But do I feel motivated every day to get out of of bed at 4am? HELL NO! There are MANY, many days when I don’t feel at all ‘motivated’ to get up at 4am and train.
But I still do it and that’s because my longer answer (coming up below) is that it’s not actually motivation that ever gets me anything I want… including getting me out of bed really early in the morning.
In fact, for the most part I think that…
motivation is bullshit.
Motivation is like a bad boyfriend… never there when you need it. (I love that grab but I didn’t make it up, I have to give the credit to Aussie fitness guru Michelle Bridges).
There are two big reasons why I think relying on motivation to do anything is dangerous.
1. Since I’ve just admitted my motivation levels can be up and down, relying on motivation is always going to lead to highs and lows in my performance.
2. And because my levels of motivation can be heavily influenced by external forces – things that are beyond my control like work or family or money or deadlines or other time conflicts – motivation means I’m not actually calling the shots on what I do or what I get. And if something really matters to me, I make myself (and no one else) 100% accountable for it.
So instead of relying on motivation…
I don’t stay motivated rely on commitment
It’s pretty simple… I make a commitment to do something and I just do it.
In case you’re confused by the simplicity, let me explain how it works in relation to training…. I commit to my training program – then when my alarm goes off, I get out of bed and I work out. I don’t think about it. And I NEVER negotiate with myself.
So if my Monday commitment is to run 8kms, every Monday that commitment gets me out of bed. If I am feeling a little lacklustre (or if you like unmotivated), I might run a little slower or stop more often but what counts is that I still run. 8km. Every Monday.
And I’ve found when I follow-through on a commitment consistently, it creates a habit and what do we know about habits? They are hard to break – even the good ones.
I apply this way of thinking to pretty much every area of my life – work goals, career goals, financial savings goals, study goals, healthy eating goals, starting a wine blog or training for a marathon.
My big commitment right now is training for the Paris Marathon in 2020. I ran the New York Marathon in 2017 so I have a rough idea what it takes… mostly a shit load of time for long runs on the weekend. And when you get to training runs longer than 25km, wiping out the following day to recover.
I know I will my ups and downs and there will be days I DEFINITELY won’t feel motivated to train but I am committed.
#exception – when I DO use motivation
Remember the original question was how do I stay motivated to train so early so often? And I said “for the most part motivation was bullshit”. I also said why I didn’t like motivation was because it created highs and lows AND was driven mostly by external forces.
Where motivation actually ROCKS is when you can use it to flatten out any highs and lows and it is driven 100% by you.
I use motivation to my advantage by celebrating wins (my ups) and calibrating opportunities (which is my annoyingly positive way of saying downs or what sucked). Success is a natural and easy motivator but strangely sucking at something actually is motivating for me too. I hate NOT crushing a goal, so sucking can fire me up more than anything.
You probably know I can get geeky about champagne, but I also get a bit geeky about my fitness too. So geeky that I actually do monthly review of my fitness progress and any program I have built into my training.
For my monthly review, I just:
1.Look at what I did and what I got for it (the good and not-so-good)
2.Then I celebrate my wins and successes (#champagne) and commit to do more of what worked BUT …
3.I also look harder at what didn’t work so well and either:
- Ditch it if I really got nothing out of it or if it worked OK but I really didn’t enjoy doing it. You’ll never commit long-term to something you genuinely dislike no matter how well it worked for someone else. So acknowledge it and move on… sooner rather than later.
- Or try harder. If it did have some effect and I enjoyed even parts of doing it, I commit to work at it for at least three months, making a few changes to improve the results and review them next month.
It might sound like a lot of work and I guess it is. But nothing really awesome in life is ever easy… because if it was easy, everybody would do it.
It really all comes down to deciding how badly you want something before you make the commitment.
And there’s nothing more powerful then knowing you kept one of the most important commitments of all – the commitment you make to yourself.
It’s one of those times you need to mark by popping a special bottle of champagne.
Whatever you decide you want next, I hope you have a happy, healthy, bubbly time chasing it down.
If you’ve got a goal you’re committed to, make sure you tell me all about in the comments below or tag me on social media @bubbleandflute #BubblesAndFIT #happychamper #FITandFlirtySquad
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.