11-13 May 2018.
Old Truman Brewery,
London.

4 Tips To Self-Motivate and Break Through Mental Barriers

By Jemma McKenzie-Brown

The saying goes, ‘you’re only one workout away from a good mood,’ but actually making the time and drumming up the mental and physical energy to commit to that workout is easier said than done. We all know that person who saunters into the office at 9am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed having already beasted a 7am session, or the person who sprints through the door fresh from their morning run to the office. It sparks the question, how do they do it and what keeps them motivated day in and day out? 

Well, it’s all down to you my friends. Unfortunately, there’s no fitness fairy godmother that can swoop in every time we choose the sofa over the spin bike, but there are a few ways that you can assist yourself in becoming focused and fierce – not just in terms of fitness, but in all aspects of your life. 

It’s easy to get a kick start from short-term triggers to get our asses into gear. A relationship breakup, starting a new job, booking a beach holiday, an impromptu Marathon sign-up, or a new year! But after the heartbreak fades and the holiday is over, how do we keep the momentum and stay focused? 

Here are some top tips for breaking those mental barriers:

1. Set weekly/monthly goals towards the bigger picture

It’s easy to know what we want long-term: to drop a dress size or two, to run a sub 40 minute 10k, or to have abs like Channing Tatum! You set that big compelling goal, you ride on the ‘buzz’ you get from the first time you put on your trainers and head out on your mission. The problem, however, is that the motivational ‘buzz’ lasts for a week, two weeks, maybe even a month, but then slowly but surely it begins to fade and, although you’re making progress, your goal seems a million miles away.

The solution? Set monthly or weekly goals that can help keep you going. It’s also a great idea to give yourself little rewards for accomplishing each mini-goal along the way.

For example:
Month 1: Take a Barry’s class 4 times a week. Reward: Buy yourself the shoes you saw in Elle Magazine last month.
Month 2: Run to work at least once a week. Reward: An evening in with your best girlfriends, Bridget Jones and a good bottle of wine.

Whatever goals and rewards you set, make sure that they’re simple and achievable yet compelling enough that they challenge you and give you that fresh motivational buzz every time you get closer to your final goal.

2. Get involved in a fitness community

One of the best things about Barry’s is the community that we’ve developed and the friendships frequently created in our studios. People walk through our doors as strangers but soon become part of the furniture.

When you’re waiting outside the studio doors for your class, join the conversation. Whether that’s chatting to your trainer, a Barry’s desker or a fellow client about your experiences and goals, getting involved and invested in that community can only have a positive and inspiring effect on you and your journey. 

3. Visualisation

This little trick can feel a little bit phoney at first, but visualisation is a powerful tool that can help turn your goals into reality. It comes in handy when setting small monthly goals and especially mid-session when that little voice in your head says ‘Give up, you’ve done enough already. You’re too tired for this.’

See yourself as the person you’ve set out to become. If you’ve set a goal of fitting into size 10 jeans, see yourself putting them on, walking around feeling fantastic, fit and fierce. If it’s running the London Marathon, imagine yourself setting off, the atmosphere and the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line. It can all sound a bit far-fetched and very ‘un-British’ but try it - it works! 

When times get tough or you’re feeling uninspired, just keep that feeling of already having accomplished your goal in the forefront of your mind and you’ll notice your motivation crank up a notch. You’ll feel fearless and unstoppable as a result.

4. Be in control

Family, friends and your instructors can be there by your side encouraging you and supporting you, but you’re the only one who can make your goals a reality.  So, take some time to sit down and think of your bigger picture, plan your monthly goals, book that workout and visualise your dreams into reality. Now get to work!

Jemma McKenzie-Brown is one of the original Barry's London team members. Find her teaching classes at Balance Festival and speaking in the LAB on Saturday 13 May discussing Reasons To Workout Beyond Aesthetics.
Balance Festival 4 Tips To Self-Motivate and Break Through Mental Barriers