Habits or Motivation?

Hi and welcome to another week,

Happy Sunday afternoon everyone.  I am hoping everyone has had a great weekend and enjoyed a bit of time with their families.  I know for me I had my first coaching free weekend in a couple of months (god bless that quirk of a fixture known as a ‘BYE’) which was great…so much more fun watching kids footy and just enjoying the spectacle rather than coaching and seeing every part of the game as a personal attack!

Unfortunately I have also been battling with some kind of flu type thing over the past few days – a reminder to everyone that if you are a flu-vaccine person, well, there’s no time like the present and if (like me) you’re not, well, it is time to crank up the green veggies and make sure you are looking after yourself.  Nothing hits your training routine like feeling under the weather and an illness that might not even cause you to miss a single DAY of work can lead to you missing a week in the gym…which will, in turn, make you less resilient to other illnesses that are floating around.  Being fit, strong and living a healthy life is your best defense this winter.

This winter?  Whether it’s the cold-type thing I have been dealing with all weekend or the on-again, off-again rain we have had all day today I have been thinking a lot about winter.  As I noted in the blog last week, so far this year we have had our busiest ever January, February, March and April…which is great in terms of numbers in the gym.  And I am really confident that we are going to have our busiest ever May.  BUT.  There is another part of this story that I haven’t really been telling…which is that our busiest every MAY so far – and we have been open just over 8 years – was not as busy as our quietest every February.  AND.  Every year, membership numbers remain pretty constant between February and May…it is just that less people come along in May.  And in June.  And in July…and why is that again????

Now this could be a lot of things – junior sport commitments is an obvious one, with the kids training sessions and game-days restricting all of us from getting to the gym.  But I think a bigger one is the weather – somehow it is harder to get the ‘motivation’ to train on a cold, cloudy day than a warm sunny one.  And that is just one reason that I think ‘motivation’ is a dirty word.

If you are going to way for your motivation to be ‘right’ before you make your way to the gym, then you are going to be waiting a l-o-n-g time.  I know for me after 8-years of being open and doing a boxing class pretty much 5-6 days per week throughout that time, there are days (oh boy, are there days) when the thought of going to Round 1 and TRAINING, slogging it out for 45 minutes or so – seems the very opposite of appealing.  But somehow, I still manage to get in there and get it done, motivation be damned.  And the reason I do it is pretty simple.

First off, I train at 12pm or 1pm Mon-Fri.  And on those days I am struggling to get in and do a class I usually visualise some of the other people who I have been training with for YEARS now going through the session without me…and every one of them knows I am being a big slacker.  I don’t want them to think I am a big slacker, so I come along to the gym and train.  So there’s that.

Second, I have this vision in my head now of who I am as a person and what I represent to those around me…my kids, my friends, you guys who come to Round 1, the kids I coach at footy…and I want to be sure I am setting a positive example to every single one of them.  Missing sessions ‘because’ is not something I want to be known for.  I don’t really care if I am the fastest or the strongest or have the ‘BEST’ body composition or any of that stuff – none of that really matters all that much to me.  But I know that I don’t want any of those people in my life to think that I am in any way a ‘slacker’…I wouldn’t feel right pushing you guys to get to the gym and do a little bit ‘more’ if I wasn’t making the same commitment in my own training.  I wouldn’t feel right challenging the kids at the footy club to train harder/push harder if I was taking shortcuts.

Third.  That vision in my head – of who I am and what I do – has meaning to me.  One of the reason I am in this industry these days and not still pushing the keys on a keyboard around in an IT job somewhere is that by the time I finished in IT, the person I saw in the mirror wasn’t the same person I wanted to see.  I WANT to be someone who is fit and healthy and ‘in-shape’…who sets a good example to his kids (and hopefully all of you guys) about those things.

Motivation isn’t the key to getting to the gym in winter.  HABITS are the key.  If you have a habit of getting to the gym and training, then committing to yourself that is EXACTLY what you are going to KEEP doing is really important as the mornings and nights get colder and darker…after all, once you are AT the gym, the lights will be on and you will be hot and sweaty soon enough!

Anyway, that’s enough from me.  I am really excited about the classes for this week and can’t wait to help lead you guys through them!

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.