Motivation with Nick
During my interview with Nick, I had an interesting conversation about maintaining motivation during what he calls, “Coronaville.” I think we all can agree, during the COVID-19 pandemic it has been tough to focus on our goals. Disruptions like new schedules and routines, in some cases excessive free time resulting in the “I can do this whenever” attitude or on the other hand, decreased free time while working from home and becoming your children’s teacher are all the new norm. Whatever your situation is these days, we are all being affected by this pandemic. And sometimes without a pandemic it can still be tough to maintain focus when life is forever changing.
Even Nick, who is a physical activity junkie has had a hard time getting in his workout without the gym being open. Let’s face it, we’re all itching to go back to our old routine. But Nick and I both agree that maybe this is a positive event in our lives to allow us to learn, grow and become better than we were yesterday, which is what life is all about. So in light of keeping things positive and help ourselves grow, Nick and I came up with a few strategies to improve motivation toward our exercise goals. Keep reading to learn what we came up with.
The first idea Nick and I came up with might sound obvious but I think goes severely overlooked. Making a goal requires significant attention to that goal. Sometimes, we make a goal and just assume we’re moving toward in and forget to circle back and assess progress and/or make specific plans to work toward it. Nick’s goal is to run a marathon in October 2020 (which he hopes will still take place this year). After being laid up last summer with a back injury and now being fully recovered from his surgery, Nick has big goals to push his body forward. Without the gym being open, he’s felt like he can’t make the progress he expected because he can’t do the activities he originally planned for. After a discussion on ways to modify these activities for home we’ve worked through some of these hurdles. For example, Nick performs many types of lifts in the gym. We made a list of household equipment like buckets and backpacks to lift in order to increased resistance in his workout at home. My advice here, is really just to go back to your goal and devise a new plan with the resources you have available right now.
Our next idea stems from Nick’s extremely active group of friends. This group is made up of gymnasts, CrossFit athletes, weight lifters and overall goofballs (which I say in the most loving way possible). Together, they bond over activities like group challenges such as the pull up challenge - requiring the group to perform 1,000 pull ups in one day – learning new games and practicing new tricks. For this reason, Nick attributes a lot of his physical activity to being surrounded by an active group of friends. In my head, a light bulb went off. Many leaders and individuals of success speak to the benefits of associating with people who are better than you at what you’re trying to achieve. In this case, Nick’s group of friends who all come from different fitness backgrounds help each other become better at fitness as a whole. They help motivate each other to keep moving which has been a powerful tool for the entire group to stay active. Try this “in it together” strategy in your own friend group for added fitness motivation.
An extension of this was that Nick seemed to need a reminder that work outs don’t have to solely consist of lifting weights at the gym. They can be going for a jog or a bike ride outside or playing a game with friends. He was hesitant to agree because he said he “didn’t get the same pumped up feeling he gets from working out.” However, life is about balance and the body needs a mix of both types of physical activity. This balance includes high intensity exercise he’ll receive from his modified lifting we talked about earlier and some low-moderate intensity activities from games with friends. With both sets of activity, the body gets the movements it craves.
Finally, we talked about making things personalized. When asked about something Nick can’t live without, he responded with, “Music.” Nick gets pumped up and ready for his workouts or friend hang outs with the type of music deemed for each activity. Music can be a powerful tool to find motivation for the activities you need to get done throughout the day. In addition, when asked about what food Nick enjoys on the go he refers to a German snack called Müsli, which in America is similar to granola. Nick loves this snack before any activity because it is quick and fuels him for anything. The key here is to find your own tricks to help you get in the mood for your favorite activities.
Now, I know this was lengthy but I appreciate you hanging in until the end here. I hope you can take a least one of these tips or Nick’s strategies and apply it to your own motivation. Whether it’s revisiting your goal, pumping up your friends, finding balance in your workouts or simply jamming to your favorite song know that your own motivation is what will get your goal accomplished. Motivation comes from within, so you must work to find what strategy works for you. I hope you found some inspiration in Nick’s story. I think I’ll be reaching out to my friends for a 5k competition to improve group motivation. What will you do next?