The motivation to keep your fitness game on point for decades to come will ebb and flow. Here’s how to even it out for lifelong success and win the long game. Motivate yourself to get fit at 40…and beyond.
Author: Kevin Kearns
Nutrition consultant, author of Always Picked Last and strength and conditioning coach specializing in aging (burnwithkearns.com).
It’s become a clichéd cycle in the fit-biz: the start of each year (and summer) sees motivation at record highs, but after a few months of over-exuberant training, the five-days-a-week-routine slips into the one or no days territory.
Even if you are super devout, keeping that keenness is a tough ask, especially during stressful times.
It’s easy to talk about short and long-term goal setting, but there’s value to digging deeper into the human subconscious to unearth secrets that’ll really keep you sweating for as long as you can.
Create a vision to get fit at 40 and beyond
This is a manifestation of what you want your body, mind and spirit to look like. At every age, you need to have the mindset and spirit to move forward and not look back.
Many of the great inventors, sports stars and actors use visualization of their desires to motivate them.
These are people who are relentless in their pursuit of what they want. Consider the story of Thomas Edison, who had thousands of failures before he invented the light bulb.
What they have in common is a clear vision of what they want.
Find your passion
Have you ever met someone that felt so strongly about something or someone that they became that something?
They have this inner drive that no one understands and no one will. This need to fulfill their destiny is almost as if it was a calling from the universe itself.
You need a passion for what type of physical, mental and emotional condition you want to inhabit in the years to come. That is the question you want to ask yourself every morning in the mirror.
Perseverance is the key to get fit at 40 plus
It’s probably something you try to instil in your kids, though few adults adopt this tactic when it comes to their own well being. It’s the stuff that drove your two-year-old self to keep trying to walk.
If you had the mind of 40-year-old in a toddler’s body, you would never walk, feed yourself or wipe your own butt.
If you can reinvigorate the drive you had when you were a toddler, you would never quit anything you focused on.
Fear too often holds the older guy back so don’t let it block you from taking those often awkward steps toward looking and feeling your best.
Alter your self perception
How you perceive yourself is a direct reflection of how people understand you and your success towards your intentions.
There is a book by Dr. Bruce Lipton called, The Biology of Belief where he cites a story where a fake knee surgery was done to patients.
He prescribed the same trainers and rehab programs to all of the subjects, but didn’t tell them until two years later that they had fake surgery.
The false procedure was as good as the real thing at rehabbing bum knees, proving that the perception of yourself and who you are effects everything in your life.
You want to be fit then OWN IT, no matter how difficult the road maybe.
Embrace an action man persona
An action man has drive, direction and purpose. You need to treat your workouts like a business appointment.
If you are in sales and had a big meeting to close an account that will pay your bills for a year, would you not put the time in?
When setting up your schedule for the week, physically write in when you’ll work out, no matter what your activities are for work and family.
Your intentions should be to work out four-six times a week.
Now, life happens and sometimes you may have to adjust your aim, so you might normally train at 7am every morning and your kids get sick, you’ll need have a back-up plan.
Your family should know that even when you do not have a plan, you have a plan.
1. Gear up to train in your car. There are parks everywhere so why not pull over and get a 20-minute workout. Think outside the box.
2. Train at your kids’ practices. You’re stuck there and you are not going anywhere anyway. Now, you can be just like all other dads and stay on your phone all the time. Or use the time effectively.
3. Map out multiple places to train. With a smartphone you can find a different class on the fly.
If you’re a big yoga or CrossFit person, you should know of at least five places to hit for those programs if you can’t make it to a certain class.
Live by the 3Ds and 2Cs
Your purpose is to get in the best shape of your life. Look at stories like Cinderella Man – James Braddock.
He loses it all and when he gets a shot at the heavyweight title, even his wife says she won’t support him. What does he do? He fights because that is his purpose.
Build your own set of laws when exercising. It might mean no one disturbs you when training. Your family will get to know not to come down to the cellar to disturb your workout.
Exercise is a marriage between you to your health. You need to be 100% in, not wishy-washy. You need to crave this like air, water and food.
Make a firm plan and put all of yourself into it – not 50/50 or 80/20. If you want to get the body you desire then drop the BS and look in the mirror and say: “I care not what other people think of me, but I do care what I think of myself.”
This should be your number one goal. No matter what type of workout you choose, it still makes you consistent. The fact you showed up to train is only 90% of it. The rest is all judgment on your part.
Who cares if you did not bench press the same weight as last week or run as far as you did recently? Was that the goal of riding your bike when you were a kid? No! Just let go of it and just train with purpose.