Martial Arts or fitness shouldn’t be a dreadful experience. Have you ever started a fitness program, project or any endeavor and then quit? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Not even close. The vast majority of people who start fitness programs end up stopping. The reason are numerous and vary as far as the imagination can wander.
If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated in your martial arts or fitness journey, here are seven tips to help you stay motivated:
1. Set Mini, Short-term Goals
Long range, grandiose goals are great but often daunting at the same time. Start with some smaller goals that help to build toward that big one. Goals should be set high but achieving to prevent frustration.
2. Make It Fun and Keep It Fun
Our desire for perfection or competitive success often kill the very reason we started something…we found some joy or release from the activity. Don’t forget why you started the martial arts or your fitness routine. It was and should always be first and foremost an enjoyable experience; your way of balancing your life and centering yourself.
3. Make it part of your weekly routine
It’s sometimes hard to find time for the martial arts; work, family and life in general takes over. While we might have responsibilities that prevent us from dedicating the amount of time to martial arts and fitness that we really want, many of the reasons we tend to use are just excuses. If you make a goal you have to make time for it; it’s that simple. Every day may not be an option but 2-3 days per week is doable for most and there is nothing saying your practice needs to be a full hour every day. 15 minutes is 15 minutes more you could have made an excuse not to take advantage to reach your goal!
4. Put it on paper
Write it down. Seeing is believing and keeping a daily log has been proven to aid in achieving goals. Use it as a tool to keep you accountable for your actions. Plus a log helps track progress and works as a learning tool to prevent past mistakes.
5. Use the buddy system
There is safety in numbers. Join forces with friends, neighbors or other like minded people and embark on the journey together. Invite friends or co-workers to join you for a class. A fresh face will help keep you motivated and potentially recruit a new partner to help with accountability and fun!
6. Reward Your Progress
After a hard session or breakthrough in technique take a few minutes to enjoy the good feeling. It might be a small step or it might be a giant leap; regardless, take a moment to revel in the accomplishment. Regular internal rewards help to stay motivated and build momentum toward that bigger goal.
7. Remain Flexible
Life is busy, not everyone can dedicate the majority of their waking hours to a passion for martial arts. So don’t beat yourself up if your schedule that week isn’t lending itself to your training goal. It’s not the end of the world. Think creatively and be flexible with your training.