LIVING overseas is daunting, exciting, and somewhat surreal. Above all, it is a major challenge. I have personally been dragged through the mud (both figuratively and literally) several times whilst living abroad, however I have never given even the slightest thought to throwing in the towel, packing up and heading back to the homeland. Ok, maybe that’s a lie.
So far my time in London has bestowed upon me the famed ‘traveller’s bankruptcy’ on more than one occasion – physical injuries, scars of both the physical and psychological variety, ups, downs, highs, lows, loss of sleep, sun and sanity, bouts of depression, anxiety and paranoia and extreme mood swings of all sorts.
But after that day was over, I realised that London is actually a very inspiring place. The whole city is basically a film set, there is never a lack of things to do and the sky is the limit in terms of how successful your time here can be.
I recently completed Tough Mudder, a twelve mile (roughly 18-20km) obstacle course that is without a doubt the toughest physical, and in some regards, psychological challenge I have ever combatted. It helped me gain a renewed perspective, or spirit if you may.
I was motivated momentarily, but previous experience has taught me to not bank on riding this wave to the next time I can mop the mud of Northern England with my face.
So instead I have but one choice. I must get motivated about being motivated.
After scouring various reliable sources (does Wikipedia count yet?) I have compiled my top five ways to stay motivated to achieve your physical goals. Perk up and have a read.
- Keep yourself accountable by setting short-term milestones. Shorter term goals (ideally each week) can help long term goals in your conscious mind.
- Use technology to your advantage. Use Facebook and Twitter to get advice, keep interested parties updated with your progress, and even inspire others who may want to do the same.
- Employ all the support you can. Try to find a committed friend to join you on your challenge, or if you do have the money to splash around, pay a professional to keep you honest. Whichever way you play it, it is of upmost importance to have a good group of mates who won’t let you fail and/or will give you grief if you do.
- Keep a clear idea of the bigger picture. Getting up early tomorrow may seem insignificant, especially if you’ve had a big night, but by not doing so you will create a pattern of behaviour where you may do the same again in the future when presented with a similar circumstance.
- Recognise you need to change things and just man (or woman) up and get started. It can be small changes — a movie one week instead of your usual boozy Friday night. Pack some healthy snacks, or simply get up and start moving. Behaviour is not magically changed in a day – it takes weeks, months and sometimes years of practice to perfect it.
To summarise – tell people about what you want to achieve, see who may want the same things or who can help you and break up your big ideas with smaller milestones. Most importantly, and for the sake of all your Twitter followers, stop talking and start doing.
Michael McCormick is a personal trainer based in London and can be contacted at [email protected] for sessions or advice.