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How to get motivated and stay that way

woman performing Pilates mat work exercise

Millions of people start fitness programmes in the New Year but the vast majority of them fail to achieve their goals. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail isn’t the exercise programme or diet they’re following but their state of mind. I know this from personal experience. With three holiday cottages to run, not to mention the Pilates and fitness studio, I often find it difficult to summon up the motivation to work out.

Motivation can be defined as the direction, intensity and persistence of effort – in other words what you want, why you want it and what you’re prepared to do to get it. Even though we may be highly motivated at the beginning of an exercise programme, it can become difficult to summon up the enthusiasm to train as the weeks go by. Perhaps we haven’t seen results as quickly as we’d hoped or we’ve had a particularly busy week at work.

Often the problem lies in the fact that even when we’re motivated to do something, we’re actually want to do something else more. I love exercise - I wouldn’t be in this job if I didn’t - but sometimes sometimes, after a long day at work, I'd prefer G&T to HIIT.

I know it can be difficult to fit exercise into a busy schedule and, if you’re not really feeling up to it, you can always find an excuse not to train - you're too busy, too tired, it’s boring. But at the end of the day, motivation comes from within. If you really want to succeed, you need to put in place strategies to make sure you get the results you want.

We have an onsite Pilates and fitness studio here at Middle Colenso Farm so if you're thinking of staying in one of our holiday cottages and would like some help getting started on your exercise journey then do get in touch. In the meantime, here are some of my top tips for staying motiving.

Ten ways to stay motivated

  • Set goals – the most common motivational tool. Make sure your goals are realistic. Break down the big goals into more achievable, smaller ones. That way you will feel a greater sense of satisfaction and be more motivated as you move onto your next goal.

  • Visualise. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line of your first half marathon or slipping on that little black dress. Think about how incredible you will feel.

  • Positive mindset. Keep telling yourself that you can achieve whatever it is you set out to do.

  • Keep an eye on the bigger picture. We all slip up now and then, missing a workout or over-indulging in food. Don't let it de-rail you. Treat it as a a one-off and get back on track as soon as possible.

  • Remember why you started your exercise programme. Try to re-connect with your reasons. Was it because you wanted to reduce your blood pressure or lose weight? Remind yourself of how important it is to you.

  • Develop a routine. This will create a space in your schedule for exercise and formalise the arrangement. You will feel less inclined to miss a session if it’s something you do at the same time every week.

  • Train with others. Support from a workout buddy or can be an extremely powerful motivator.

  • Get some help. When it comes to motivation, a personal trainer can be a great asset. By setting a programme, sending a text to remind you of an appointment or calling to simply say well done, they can help you stay on track.

  • Go digital. There are lots of fantastic exercise apps available now. With workouts, training schedules and nutrition advice its like having a personal trainer on your phone.

  • Break out of your fitness rut. If you find your current routine boring then it's time to try a new activity. It's a great way to challenge your body and reignite your interest in exercise.

The wonderful photos are by Basho Skincare. If you'd like to read the recent conversation I had with them about physical fitness and its role in total wellbeing, head over to their website at

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