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Beca’s top tips to keeping motivated

What does ‘motivation’ mean to you?  For me, it depends on the context; for example, when it comes to being motivated with regards to staying on top of the laundry (especially my gym and running kit), I’m pretty good at the washing/drying/folding stages. But, putting the actual clothes away is just one step too far, and my motivation can most probably be found right at the bottom of the laundry pile. 

When I’m working, I’m spurred on by deadlines and to-do lists, both of which help me to stay organised. There’s nothing like a fast-approaching deadline to shift your motivation into fifth gear! But when it comes to being active, it feels like my motivation shapeshifts under different guises – and these help a lot when it comes to being active, and making exercise a regular part of my everyday routine.

I often get asked about my motivation when it comes to being active. Some days I can hop out of bed and get dressed for an early morning run or workout without any hesitation, but sometimes that alarm goes off and the temptation to hit snooze is very strong.  There are a number of reasons why I don’t hit that snooze button, and if you’re someone who wants to be more active, but motivation may be lacking, then hopefully one of my techniques may work for you.

Two girls hugging
Beca says exercising together is a great way to catch up

Meet a Friend

I find that if I’ve arranged to meet a friend for a run, or to go to a class together, the thought of letting them down can quickly override any doubts about heading out. Exercising together can be a great way of catching up, but also showing support to each other. Who knows - they may well be lacking in motivation, but meeting up helps to get out and keep active, too.

Virtual Class

If meeting up with someone is difficult, how about doing a class together virtually? This is something that I’ve done often over the last year with one of my best friends who lives away.  We would Zoom each other, and then choose a fitness class to do on YouTube; it was such a giggle seeing each other, and supporting one another in a fun and active way. There are plenty of fun classes to choose from that can quickly become a weekly occurrence, so have a search and see what you find.

Go for a 'runch'

However, if fitting in activities is difficult due to work or family commitments, why not try something that many members from my running club, ‘She Runs: Cardiff,’ do often – go for a lunchtime run, or a ‘runch’! If you’re working from home, make sure to get your kit on first thing and when it comes to lunchtime, head out for a short walk or a run.  Not only are you making an effort to be more active, but the break away from the laptop will be well needed. This is something that I did with work colleagues when I worked in London, and was another great way of showing support to each other whilst being active – and a great motivator, too.

Challenge the kids

If it’s children you’re navigating around, I’ve been known to go out running or skipping with my two daughters in tow. This doesn’t have to be too far or too difficult, and more often than not can be a walk with some occasional running between lampposts, or challenging them to little races – with a promise of going to the park thrown in for their own motivation!

Challenge Yourself

My final tip is to set yourself a challenge, which can help motivate you and encourage you to focus on keeping active.  I usually have races lined up throughout the year, of varying distances, and these help me focus and motivate me to get out running.  Couch to 5k training plans are great for getting started, but you could start simpler by setting yourself your own challenge of walking a certain amount of steps every day or week. You don’t have to run to get your steps in, meaning you can go out after lunch or supper for a 15-minute walk and then check out your step count? You can then set a target to beat your steps on your next walk, or challenge a friend or family member to see who gets the most steps over a week, fortnight or month.

I’m sure you’ve noticed a theme to my motivation tips by now. If you’re struggling to stay active, speak to a friend that’s near or far, and see if they would like to join you in being more active. When it comes to changing any kind of behaviour, support can often give you that boost you need to take the first step.