By Photo Bomber
I need a lot of motivation to work out. Like a TON! My status quo is lying bed reading a book or scrolling through Facebook. I can seriously spend the entire weekend doing this. But that’s no good for roller derby.
When I got going in derby, at first I was motivated to get in shape enough to pass my MSRs. I signed up for Pump Up Your Jam with Roller Derby Athletics and found a quick and simple tool to get in shape. FAST!
In a matter of days I found myself getting stronger. That online community kept me motivated and interested. The second time I did it, I had less luck. Why? Because I did not power through all the workouts. And honestly, I was dissapointed that I had fallen back out of shape. (sad trombone).
A while back in my pre-roller derby life, I read The Power of Habit and worked on the habit of making habits. Which basically comes down to finding a trigger that I do every day (getting our of bed), and linking the desired habit to it (working out) and then coming up with a reward.
Knowing that I needed to whip myself back into shape for my first bout, I employed this tactic, along with the basic principles I had learned in PUYJ.
I set up a complicated workout plan, and required that I have an 85% success rate every week, crossing off the various self-assigned requirements, and bonuses to make up missed workouts. My reward was a new (desperately needed) pair of roller skates. The better I did in the workout program, the more money I could spend on my new skates. I figured if I couldn’t get my ass in gear enough to get in shape for derby, what was I doing spending big bucks on roller skates?
I enlisted a friend to be accountable to, I huffed and I puffed and I earned myself the middle level of roller skates. I was very happy– and happy being strong. Although my did friend say to me: “You know, people say you are more motivated by loss than by reward”. I thought on that.
The next time I fell out of shape (hey- life happens!) I figured I would try this loss theory.
I wrote out a check for $100 to a “charity” I did not like very much. I set up my complicated formula and I handed the envelope, addressed and stamped to my friend. I slogged through my core and my strength, my cardio and yoga. I hate starting at the beginning, but I realize, if I am cursing and swearing my way through my workout, then I am challenging my body, and I am getting fitter.
Once I get going with a habit, it eventually starts to self-sustain. I can let go of the reward end (or punishment) of things, once I wake up and crave my work-out.
Until then, I make sure to set my goal concretely, making sure it is measurable, specific, realistic, and time-bound, and I absolutely make sure to hold myself to the reward. If I skip the reward (“hey, getting in shape is it’s own reward!”). I lose trust in myself. Don’t skimp on the reward, and you will have a habit of making habits that you can use to crush your goals.