Finding Your Why. . .and Staying Motivated
by Jared Malvin
I, like many of you I imagine, cannot wait for the gyms to reopen and resume my normal workout routines. For many of us, home workouts just do not have the same feeling or appeal as training in a social gym setting. I enjoy the routine of getting ready for the gym, going and seeing the familiar faces that are all on similar yet different goals. But, as life returns to normal in phases it may be understandably hard, or uncomfortable, for some to return to that aspect of daily life.
The past few months have been different in a way than many of us have ever seen which can take its toll on your mental and physical health. Therefore, now more than ever it is important to get ready to find your way right back into the rhythm of the gym. Whether it be to lose those recently gained pounds, build back your lost muscle or to have that stress relief outlet restored. Remember why you started training in the first place and why you continued. Reestablishing the gym into your daily routine as soon as you can is best.
One of the best ways to ensure your speedy and prolonged return to the gym is your why. Having and developing your reason and motivation can be the best way to ensure your success. Not much will work quite as well as your own determination to reach your goals. That is where I would start. Brainstorm and jot down your goals which should be something you really want to attain for yourself and make them specific. Whether you hire a trainer or coach as well, the place to start is knowing what you want to accomplish and why. From there a coach can help you figure out how to attain your vision.
A coach or trainer is a great way to not only execute your vision into actual productive steps towards your goal but will also provide the continued support to keep you dedicated and excited about your journey. Many people need that accountability and support to keep them going. If you are one of them there is no shame in that. What ultimately matters is achieving the goals you set and using whatever assistance necessary to help that process. Fellow member of the Vegan Strong team Korin Sutton said, “It’s important to have a coach because you save a lot of time and errors doing it on your own. Having a professional help you will help you get to your goals 10x faster vs. cherry picking information.”
I believe most people would agree that a coach or trainer is the best option to reach their goals, but understandably not everyone will have the resources to go that route. Nevertheless, it is still of vital importance you set and work towards your goals, so what else can help? Back when I started in fitness almost 20 years ago there wasn’t the prevalence of social media or YouTube fitness accounts. I would find myself struggling to stay consistent and an option that I liked was a subscription to fitness magazines. At least every month the issue would come in the mail as that gentle reminder about my fitness goals. It also provided an exciting new resource every month of articles, athletes, workouts and recipes to keep me interested and engaged in the process.
Although not necessarily as widely popular nowadays, magazine subscriptions are still a great avenue for information and can serve as that monthly reminder to keep you on track. E-newsletters are another similar option. If you have a more specific lifestyle or don’t want to pay for a magazine subscription you can find a variety of newsletters that will get emailed directly to you with varying frequency and will provide the same benefits I mentioned regarding magazines. Vegan bodybuilding legend and Vegan Strong team member Robert Cheeke has a newsletter that he sends out from his Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness website that can be a great place to start.
In today’s day and age, I find the easiest resources to immerse yourself in the fitness lifestyle are thru Instagram and YouTube. There are so many athletes and trainers that share their workouts, tips and recipes that it would be impossible to not find your niche. This is the easiest way to stay engaged as well as hold yourself accountable. Even if your goal isn’t to be a social media superstar at least using the platforms to put yourself out there and let your world know what your goals are and what you are doing to reach them can be a very helpful process. You can be amazed at how many people are on the same path and the support that can come from strangers in the virtual world.
As the real world begins to reopen and we venture back into the best version of our normal lives remember to make your health and wellness one of those priorities whether it was or wasn’t previously or has just altered as of late. The hardest thing can be just getting back into the swing of things, but that is the best way to start. Just take it day by day and let days turn to weeks and then months as the routine sets in.
I remember something I read from Arnold Schwarzenegger years back that said everyone has the time to exercise. Every little bit helps, and everyone can commit at least 1% of their day to fitness. That 1% of your day is 15 minutes which is enough time to at least stretch, meditate or increase your heart rate. That also means to get in a 1-hour workout is only 4% of your entire day. That is a very manageable portion if you plan accordingly and are working towards something important to you. These are your goals and should align with what you are passionate about. The more personal to you the better and there is a whole world out there to support you. Happy lifting.