Starting and maintaining an intense exercise routine can be difficult at times. While we posses the desire to succeed it is easy to fill our heads with doubt and worry. Learn what our expert and author of Fitness Beyond 50, Harry Gaines, advises us to do to motivate yourself to stick with it, even through those trying times.
Think Back to Past Success
“Self-efficacy” is defined as a person’s belief in their ability to perform in a certain manner in order to attain a certain set of goals. How do you develop self-efficacy? By taking on tough tasks and completing them. A history of success builds self-efficacy.
Competitive athletes have lots of self-efficacy. A friend of mine has a son who’s an officer in the U.S. Navy; a number of his friends have become Navy Seals, perhaps the most difficult training in the world. He’s recounted how they have so much self-efficacy that they believe they’re invincible. (Unfortunately, they’re not.)
When I decide to take on a difficult athletic event, such as cycling 100 miles in hilly country, I think back to similar events in which I’ve succeeded. It doesn’t have to be a biking challenge or even a sport. Any situation in which I persevered and proved myself will do the trick. When – not if – I get tired during the event or start to doubt myself, I bring back that memory.
How do you motivate yourself to see a difficult exercise program through to the finish?