How to stay motivated

Ryan ODonnellcrossfit tips, healthLeave a Comment

motivation street sign

The New England Patriots quarterback and four-time world champion (American football) Tom Brady was once asked what his favorite championship ring was. His response? “The next one.” Keep in mind he’s a man who is married to one of the most famous super models in the world (Gisele Bunchen), makes $20 million a year and has accomplished more in the most popular sport in the country with the most rabid sports culture in the world than anyone else. Yet, he still gets out of bed every morning and goes to work because he’s still got that fire inside him. I should probably mention that on the day this post gets published he’ll be playing for his fifth championship ring. In other words, he’s done it all and he’s got it all, but he’s still trying to get better. Are the rest of us Tom Brady? Simple answer: No. We’re not even close, but staying motivated is maybe the most import thing about crossfit or any fitness program. Sure, the workouts are hard, but once you’re at the gym you’re going to do it. Sometimes simply convincing yourself to come every day is the hardest part. Here are some tricks I use to keep myself motivated.


1: Be proud, but never satisfied.

This is a strange one. Going back to my Tom Brady reference above, I’m sure he’s happy about the championships he’s won. However, he wants more. If you have been trying to hit a 100kg squat clean for a while and you finally do it. Shout it out loud! Be happy! You should be, any time you set a goal and achieve it should fill you with joy. However, don’t dwell on it. You hit 100? OK, let’s got for 105! You got your first bar muscle up? Great! Let’s get it on the rings. In a more simple way, be happy with what you’ve done, but always reset the bar higher. The sweetest goal you’ll accomplish is the next one!

2. Find friends and have them hold you accountable.

This is probably the easiest one. Do you always work out at 4pm? Are the people in that class normally the same? Get their number or facebook contact. When they aren’t in class for a couple days send them a message and ask where they are. Guess what? When you don’t show up for a few days they’ll do the same thing. Everything is always way more fun with a friend. If you find some buddies to consistently WOD with it’ll make coming in a lot easier. I can say personally that this one works great for me. There are many of you who have become great personal friends of mine and we’re constantly asking and telling each other about what we’ve been doing at the gym. When someone asks what I’ve been up to and I have to tell them I haven’t worked out in a few days it’s definitely not a good feeling. I’ll add a bonus that workout friends have as well. They give you someone to talk to when you’re having a “weak moment.” One of my clients texted me the other day, “office lunch and there are a ton of awesome donuts here!!!” We had a text exchange about his goals and avoiding the sweets. I’m proud to report that he resisted successfully.

3. Set a goal and tell as many people as possible.

Joey lead the goal setting seminar a few weeks ago and we had a bunch of people set some awesome goals. How many made their goal public? This point builds off the last one, the more people that know about your goal, the more people will be asking you about it. That outside pressure will help you to find the motivation to come in to the gym and work on it.

4. Think about the end game.

Zuzka and I went to a seminar last week and the guy running it (Julien Pineau, the guy is amazing check this out: had one of my favorite quotes when he was asked about motivating clients. He was referring to sled pushes and said that he simply says to his clients, “There’s a better you over there, go get it.” Look, none of us are training to go to the Crossfit games, but we’re all training to, “Not suck at life,” right? We all want to play with our grandkids, right? When you feel like you want to cancel your WOD reservation because work sucked or you’re just feeling lazy, think about the 70-year-old version of yourself. Do you want to be able to walk? Not be a totally liability for your family? Get in the gym! Anytime you feel like quitting realize that this hour is only one of 24 in your day, but it probably is the most important one as far as longevity goes.

5. Log your workouts

This one is easy, but it gets ignored. If you don’t log your workouts, you can’t measure progress. Making progress is one of the most motivational things in the world. I was feeling super down the other day and pulled out my first CrossFit logbook. I flipped though 4 pages and was instantly in a good mood. I saw where I was at that point and how far I had come and I felt great about myself.

6. Your love life.

I had to add this one in. I won’t go in to a ton of detail, but we all want to be desirable, right? Whether it’s for our boy/girlfriend or potential boy/girlfriend, we want to look good. Furthermore, if you’re in the single boat like me, it sure makes it easier to approach new people when you’re fit! You’ll find the confidence you build as you get more fit will help you not just to meet new people, but in other parts of your life as well, whether they be work or hobby related.

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