Is your battery fully charged?
Everyone will go through peaks and troughs of feeling energised and drained. It’s a common misconception that motivation is something you have or you don’t, that it’s all or nothing, but think of motivation as a battery. Your motivation is highest when your battery is full. So, whilst we all have things in life that drain our energy, there are so many simple ways to top that energy back up so that it doesn’t run too low. What’s important is noticing and naming the energy drainers and the energy boosters.
Success in training can seem to be at an all-time high, but if you are only draining that battery and motivation is low then that success won’t last.
Cadence Beats InstructorEmma Courtneyhas some quick and simple techniques you can use to charge your battery and avoid unnecessary energy drainers.
The energy drainers
- Social media
Think of it as a necessary evil. We need to be seen, need to market, need community and need to be social. The dark side of social media is that it can be a massive drain on your time and productivity. Your newsfeed should be full of things that are relevant, things that are helpful and useful. My top tips: leave all the groups you haven’t been active in within the last three months; unfollow or mute people or pages whose posts are always negative; schedule screen free time, ideally 90 minutes before you go to bed or a screen free Sunday.; and limit your social media to a condensed hour rather than checking it all day long.
- Negative thought patterns
Negative thinking and dark thoughts are a huge physical and mental drain. Negativity and self-criticism can surface all too easily and can quickly drain energy and motivation. A great way to turn this around can be gratitude. Gratitude is a simple practice of ‘giving thanks’ and appreciating what you have in your life. While it may seem a little eccentric, gratefulness is a practice used extensively by successful people. It is a great thing to do on waking, think of three things each morning that bring you joy and for which you are grateful. It can really jump start your day.
Unfortunately, modern life and all its conveniences have removed most of our everyday, low level activity. Most office workplaces are an unhealthy mix of artificial light, air conditioning and long periods of sitting. By just increasing regular daily movement you can make a huge difference to the energy drain of a working day. Top tips would include going for a walk at lunch time, eat lunch away from your desk, stretch regularly and alternate between sitting and standing if your office furniture will allow it.
The energy boosters
No doubt you are on a training program, but restorative forms of exercise can be a good energy booster during rest days, especially if it means getting outside. Walks, swimming, yoga or flexibility work in between gym sessions can be great for body and mind.
Daily water intake requirements vary with physique and activity levels amongst other things but as a general rule of thumb, two litres is a good average. Dehydration can make you feel tired, crave sugary foods and make it harder to concentrate. You may get a huge energy boost from increasing your water intake alone.
- Quality sleep
Get enough of it! You’ll know the optimum amount of sleep you need – usually between seven and nine hours per night. The quality of those hours is particularly important – make sure you have a wind-down routine before bed and limit screen time before sleep.
- Regular mealtimes
Doesn’t matter if you never eat breakfast or breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Find what works for you and stick to it. Eating at the sametimes every day helps with establishing consistent habits and your daily routines.
- Re-evaluate your goals
We often start out with goals that seem to meet our priorities at the time but if we regularly re-evaluate we can keep our goals current. Your goals will evolve as your journey progresses. Try not to focus on where you might have fallen short but look for the things you have achieved and aim to build on those successes. The outcome often isn’t within our control, but the process is, learn as we go and celebrate every small win.
Mindfulness is about being in the moment, present and connected. There are apps if you prefer a guided mindfulness such as Calm and Breathe. But mindfulness can be in any action you choose, washing your hands, eating your food, listening to a piece of music. Just concentrate on that one thing, focus on just that and connect with every small detail of it. It takes practice but is an amazing stress management tool.
- Good Nutrition
There is a very important link between gut health, mental health and mood. Eating to maintain a healthy gut is key. Think about eating enough for your energy requirements from as near to whole food sources as you can. This could be a lecture in itself but minimise processed foods and excessive sugars and you’re off to a great start.
Staying motivated isn’t easy, it needs regular work. Keep charging that battery because you’ll need to draw from it every day and you can’t charge it too much.
- Emma Courtney is an Instructor at Cadence Beats anda tutor at Fit Futures Academy. She is a Personal Trainer, Sport and Exercise Nutrition Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Dentist.