10 Ways To Find Your Mojo
Lacking motivation is one of those things many riders cite for not achieving their fitness goals or struggling to get started on their journey. Let’s be honest whilst it’s snowing & chucking it down in March & events & shows are being cancelled left, right & centre it’s hard to have motivation & feel pumped to go & do your fitness or stay on track with your riding or training plans.
Lacking motivation can be a real problem & stop you from achieving your goals. But do you want to know the secret when it comes to motivation?
You have to create it. Motivation is not a tangible thing. You can’t touch or see it but you can feel it. So how do you get there & generate that feeling?
Motivation is like the fuel in your car. It’s driving you from A & is the main catalyst to get you to B. Without motivation, you’re going to struggle to stay on track & get yourself to point B but it won’t just suddenly appear it has to be created. Motivation is a feeling & how we create feelings is through behaviour & positive actions.
If you’re eating rubbish all day, drinking alcohol consistently, not moving your body & not exercising you are NOT going to feel motivated. Until you change those behaviours motivation is not just suddenly going to appear. Once you start behaving in a certain way motivation will come in time.
The reason I have motivation is because I have focus, direction & that gives me purpose. That drives me to get down to the gym when I don't feel like it or go out for a cycle when it's freezing or get a ride in when it's pissing down with rain & until you understand your reason behind getting it done you’re going to struggle to have motivation.
How do you find that reason?
You need to go really deep into understanding your why. Why do you want to do this? Not just because you want to be fitter to get better results with your horse. But why? Why is this goal so important to you? If you achieved that how would you feel, how would it impact your life & how do you feel right now not achieving that?
The true answer will probably be along the lines of;
“I just feel really unconfident in my riding ability as I feel out of puff all the time & unbalanced & I hate looking at photos & videos of me riding as I feel like I’m not riding well enough & hindering my horse.”
This is now showing the actual impact this problem is having on your riding & life & now you know why it’s so important to change that. So first of all think about what’s going to start improving your riding fitness & make you a better rider.
Maybe it’s improving your cardiovascular fitness. Break that down into manageable steps in terms of what you need to do to change that. It might be I need to start committing to walking 12k steps per day & exercising 2 x per week.
Once you start moving more you’re going to get those feel-good hormones flowing & feel physically & mentally good for moving more. When you start adding in consistent training you’re going to have direction & structure & that’s going to allow you to start to form a routine & in turn feel like you’re achieving something. If you’re consistent with these changes for the next 2-4 weeks you’ll likely see & start feeling progress in yourself & you will feel motivated! You’ll notice you’re able to ride for longer without getting out of puff & start to feel like you’re doing a better job riding more effectively & supporting your horse.
If your goal is weight loss then focus on the basic steps to start seeing changes there. It could be as simple as planning your meals for the first couple of weeks. This will give you purpose & direction, as you start to fuel your body with better foods you’re going to have better energy levels, notice you’re able to move more & feel more positive in yourself & then you’ll start to feel the motivation as you notice you’re feeling so much better for these changes.
If you keep doing what you’re doing right now & don’t make any changes motivation is NOT just going to appear out of thin air. You have to create that feeling & make positive changes in order to do that. Too many people blame “motivation” for not getting to their goals but it won’t just turn up & you have to remember feelings happen as a result of our behaviour & the things/environment we're exposed to. So if you're not moving your body, eating rubbish, and surrounding yourself with negativity you're not going to miraculously feel motivated.
If you were to google “how to feel motivated” there will be loads of tips & tricks out there but ultimately you have to concentrate on making really small changes to your habits that are going to support you better & can fit into your lifestyle easily with the time you have & build from there!
It is hard to do this around horses, work life and family commitments but if you’re serious about getting change with your riding & fitness you have to be prepared to make these changes to allow yourself to see progress & become motivated. Keeping things simple is key as you’ll feel like you can stick to it & consistency over time is imperative for seeing progress which as you now know is going to make you feel motivated.
So here are a few of my top tips to start getting yourself on that journey to more motivation;
1-Do what you enjoy!
So many riders & prospective clients I speak to will say to me, “Oh I’ve tried running before but I hate it.” Why would you do something you hate? You’re not going to are you, so first it’s key to find something you enjoy doing whether that’s your exercise or food approach. Have fun with what you’re doing & if it helps make it social with a friend or family member so it’s even more enjoyable for you! If you’re right at the start of your fitness journey then something as simple as kicking a football around with the children a few times a week can go a long way!
If you try to kill yourself every workout & end up with your legs feeling like they are going to fall off that’s not going to leave you feeling great. Start slow & focus on little steps that are easy to fit into your life & you can build on in time. One of the biggest ways to demotivate yourself is by trying to fit in too much & end up feeling like you can’t do anything.
3-Simple is best
If your goal is to increase your energy levels or lose weight then don’t try to create a Michelin star recipe book you need to follow. This is not going to be easy to stick to which is going to make you feel like you’re struggling & can’t do this. The simple approach often gets overlooked but there’s a reason simple works & that’s something I focus on with all my clients!
4-Find a way of holding yourself accountable
With no accountability, you have no reason to stick to what you’re doing & become consistent & then it’s easy to end up giving up or not following through. That may be committing to training with a friend. You’re not going to stand your best mate up & let them down so that’s a fab way to hold yourself accountable. Hiring a coach or trainer is also a great way to hold yourself accountable as you’ve got someone on your team checking in regularly to make sure you’re doing what you said you would.
5-Record your results
If you can see progress in your training you’re going to see you’re making gains & that is going to make you feel way more motivated! Record the weights you’re lifting, sets you’re doing, run times or equally how sessions feel. If you can see the workout you did 3 weeks ago is now becoming too easy for you you know you’re gaining fitness & seeing results & this is going to make you know what you’re doing is working & create more motivation. If your goal is physique-based then take progress photos that you can reflect back on and see the changes month to month. It’s so easy when you’re in your own journey to get too zoomed in so this is crucial to be aware of progress & monitor it. This is a circle that once you start to see progress it will create motivation & it's just going to get bigger & better.
If you’re not sure why you’re doing what you’re doing or if you’re unsure if you're doing things right you’re going to lack confidence & question if it’s worth putting the time into what you’re doing with your exercise or food approach so start to learn & understand why you’re doing what you are. When you have that lightbulb moment & it all clicks it’s going to go a long way!
Have goals set to work towards & if you achieve them make sure you celebrate them! That doesn’t have to be a crazy slap-up meal at the Ritz or a weekend at the spa. But just do something for yourself as a treat & a pat on the back to you that makes you feel good. It might be buying a new pair of jodhpurs that now fit as you've lost weight & make you feel insane! Or going for a manicure as a treat for all your hard work!
8-Make Yourself Happy
It’s no surprise that happy people are more motivated in life! Exercise has been proven to reduce depression & help increase motivation. So focus on doing things that make you happy as well as working on your fitness & well-being. If you do things that you enjoy & make you feel good & you feel more positive you’re going to feel more inclined to want to do things that lead you to feel physically & mentally good in yourself!
9-Diarise & Schedule Your Sessions/Approach
If you are organised & have things such as your meal prep or training scheduled in your diary it’s going to make it much easier for you to follow through on & make getting into a consistent routine far more doable. If training at 9am is written down in your diary then hold yourself to it like you would a meeting. If it’s got a big green tick by it at the end of the day you’re going to feel like you’re winning which you are! Writing things down is so simple but it goes a very long way just like writing down your horse's schedule into your diary. If it's there it will help you to follow through on your intentions.
10-Revisit Your Why
As I mentioned earlier you need to really re-connect with that deep why. The reason behind WHY achieving this goal or making these changes is really going to mean so much to you. Every time you have that slight doubt in your head of “Hmm can I be bothered today?” revisit that why & remember ok I’m doing this because I really want to finally feel confident in myself or have the fitness to truly enjoy my horse for the rest of his years. That in itself is going to lead you to feel far more motivated & more likely to lead you to getting it done & committing to the process. Whatever your why is, make sure you've got it at the front of your mind, so that whenever motivation is low, you know what to fall back on & it's your driver!
I hope these steps start to help you to make some changes that in time are going to allow you to finally feel motivated & get you moving forwards. It has to be created & it takes time but if you follow these simple steps you will get there. Building motivation is something I help all of my clients to do & finding how to motivate yourself is the key to driving yourself to the goal!