Written By Aleks Tycz
Finding motivation to work out can be a difficult task. Despite the benefits of exercise, we often create excuses to avoid the tiring work; we ultimately hurt ourselves in the process. Through swimming, I learned to maintain a commitment to fitness and improved both my physical and mental health in the process.
The key to a successful workout routine is dedication. A pre-defined schedule and frequent establishment of internal goals help to enforce this. By allotting consistent and specific times to exercise, you can actively contribute to the building of a habit. When your routine becomes a constant in your life, it becomes far easier to maintain.
Internal goals work best for self-motivated people and have the potential to be extremely beneficial. I have found that these work best when set as multiple goals of various time lengths. Short-term goals can be easier and more results-oriented while long term goals are most beneficial to a process-based approach.
In addition, using others as a basis for comparison can be an effective form of motivation. The individual nature of swimming allows for the frequent use of this tactic with teammates at practice. By using others as benchmarks for performance, I find additional drive to stay committed, as it is a necessity for improvement. The pride from the resulting growth acts as yet another motivation to continue working hard.
There will inevitably be times where finding motivation to continue is hard. Whether suffering from a plateau or becoming overwhelmed with other commitments, I have found myself in this situation at times. However, the worst way to cope with that struggle is to break your commitment. Not only does this hurt your performance, but the negative mental impact can make the process of regaining motivation more difficult. Continuing to train through a period of difficulty helps you to grow as a person and strengthen your determination.
Swimming is an extremely positive part of my life and has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle. By setting goals and using teammates as motivation, I have learned to build a commitment to fitness and develop a habit of exercise.