When did you first notice going to gym was paying off?
Did you get a compliment from an old school friend you hadn't seen in a while? Was it looking in the mirror and feeling good? Or maybe you've been receiving a little more attention at the beach.
I've discovered an idea I really like from the creator of the PTDC, Jonathan Goodman, that helps you rediscover why you started going to gym which he calls "Aha! moments". Put simply an Aha! moment is a time when you come to a realisation about something that makes you go Aha! (durr) and in this case we'll be talking in relation to the gym.
For me it was my mum telling me my shoulders were looking wider (thanks mum!). See, I've always been a bit of a skinny noodle of a guy so when I started going to gym and put on a little weight it felt like I was really making progress. But even better than that was when I looked in the mirror and saw a little more meat on the areas which had always just been bony. It made me feel a lot more confident about my body whereas before I had always felt too skinny. After a lot of finger gunning at the handsome man in the mirror I felt like I could take on Leo Messi in a game of futsal, Djokovich in a round of tennis and Ronda Rousey in an MMA fight (I totally couldn't btw). That feeling is what I use to motivate me to keep going to gym, so I can always feel that confidence and be able to look myself in the mirror and feel good.
That was my Aha! moment.
Okay maybe if it was a WWE match I'd have a chance?
Take a moment now to find your Aha! moments. Did you keep your breath at the top of the stairs? Go down a shirt size or two? Or maybe you got a compliment from your partner last time you took your top off?
These memories are powerful motivators. When you're feeling down, crappy or apathetic remember how you felt in that moment and you'll be chomping at the bit ready to go take down life with a flying armbar.
The more vivid the memories the better the feeling can be recalled. Don't just commit the feeling to memory, set the scene. It's much less effective to say "my mum complimented me" than it is to say "I remember it was a hot day, I'd just come back from the gym when mum pointed out my shoulders then after a long, warm shower I spent way too long practicing my James Bond impersonation because I figured all the scantily clad, evil supermodels would be chasing me now because DAYUMM THOSE SHOULDER MUSCLES BRO!!!"
Did I look stupid in front of the mirror that day? Yes. (well, debatable)
Did I go out and absolutely own the rest of that day? YES, undoubtedly.
Find your Aha! moment.
Find that feeling.
Also shout out to my mum and other good people in the world who help create Aha! moments for others.