Every single time someone reaches out to me sharing their struggles to start exercising or get back “on the wagon”, I’m honoured. Yes, it actually is my job to inspire, motivate and empower people to “get fit” but it’s also my passion and I’m proud that people think I’m approachable enough to talk to me.
And we all know that life is about give and take, right?! And the balance of give and take comes in different forms. Because when I am struggling, I have people that I might turn to too (even if it isn’t so obvious to me at the time); I know some pretty amazing people who I enjoy following their progress, being a cheerleader for them and learning from their experiences. And sometimes those individuals are the very reason I make it out of bed to get my sweat on.
Before I rode to Paris, I spent a lot of time talking to my more experienced cycling buddies asking for advice about kit, nutrition and expectations. At times I honestly didn’t think I could do it even when friends and strangers never seemed to waiver in their belief in me. I also openly shared that I was anxious about RideLondon-Surrey 46 back in July and not making the cut off time, to the point that I started in an earlier wave than allocated to me to give me a little extra time. And although I surprised myself with the result, others seemed to expect me to do as well as I did.
When I thought I was too busy to get in my weekend ride, a friend made it clear that I could just get up earlier, go for my ride and then have a nap before heading out to work. And you know what? The accountability really worked. When I woke up that day and considered not getting on my bike, part of me didn’t wanna let him down. A bigger part of me didn’t wanna let myself down. So I went out, I rode and I loved every minute of it.
And I know I’m not alone, so I’ve noted down a few ways to help you get back into the swing of things when you’re struggling:
Reach Out To A Fellow Fit Friend
Who’s the friend that you would organise to go to class with? Or always see at run club? Drop your friend a message be it a text or on social media and don’t be afraid to be honest. Your friend will understand because they’ve probably been in the same situation. Soak up the pep talk they will no doubt give you and then lace up, or…
Organise A Sweat Date
Organise a get together at run club / a class and go with the sole aim of enjoying yourself and catching up with a mate. Knowing that someone else is depending on your plans is a pretty good way to reduce the risk of you sacking off your workout. You’ll also be excited to catch up with your friend who you’ve no doubt not seen in a while (it’s called adulting, it gets in the way of fun stuff sometimes!). If you don’t have friends that like to sweat then…
Find Yourself A Like Minded Community
I recently cohosted the #ukrunchat hour over on Twitter and although I’ve regularly dipped in and out of the community it was the first time I really got to understand the importance of it for others. One of my questions asked what everyone’s next race or big goal was and where people got their accountability to follow through. So many people responded saying that sharing their goals with the UKRunChat community was just right for them and I now have so many people who’ll I’ll be keeping an eye on till their respective race days!
You can of course also find a community “in real life” like a running / cycling / triathlon club (or whatever sport you are into!). Facebook and Eventbrite seem to be go to places to find out about events taking place in your local area. Personally I’ve also been to Breeze / Sky rides on the days I didn’t want to ride on my own or have to plan a route but I did need to get out and clock up some miles for training.
Share Your Goals On Social Media
I remember the time I made it my goal to run 10km in under 60 minutes and posted it on the blog. It got re-shared by the race organisers and before I knew it everyone was discussing their goal times and I started to get a little nervous about actually being able to hit my goal time. But it made me even more committed to achieving my goal and knowing that so many other people would be sharing the course with me looking to smash their own goals!
If you don’t have a blog but are keen to share your story, reach out to your favourite bloggers and offer to guest post for them about your journey. I personally, love sharing other people’s stories and experiences in fitness and they also make for a nice change not having to read about what I’m up to!
This one also ties in with the online community aspect but you don’t need to specifically share your goals just with them. Others who follow you and may have similar goals will be interested in yours if it resonates with them!
Treat Yourself To Some Decent Kit
I know this one comes up a lot and tbh that’s probably for a good reason. If you’re into cycling check out my post on the last of the summer cycling kit. If you’re more into the gym then my latest kit drop from Under Armour may be more up your street. Cos we all love having some shiny new kit to test out and fall in love with. That little bit of extra motivation to get out of the door!
I think it’s important to remember that we all have ups and downs; good days and not so good. My friend Lex just tagged me in the most appropriate post on Instagram which will just wrap this blog up nicely…
How do you stay accountable? And what strategies do you have for when you’re struggling with motivation?!