Have you ever walked into a training session wishing you were anywhere else? Even housework is more appealing at that point in time? I know I have!
We all have those days where the thought of lifting a weight or running a short distance makes you want to curl up in a ball and hibernate. So, if we all have those feelings, what is the difference between people who pick up the phone and cancel their training session, and people who persevere and smash out one of their best ever sessions? Visualisation just may be the key!
The ability to escape from the moment and picture yourself winning that race, or fitting into those jeans, is an important tool when embarking on a health and fitness journey. Often, we start on a new path with excitement, do our fitness homework and eat the right foods; then we get caught up in the day-to-day dealings of life and it all seems too hard, too far away and possibly not worth the effort.
There is a way to bring back that excitement, and no, it’s not from a bottle and won’t cost you over $100 for a months supply, and it doesn’t have any weird side effects! Emotional leverage through visualisation is a powerful tool that can be used to help us stay motivated and on track: creating a lever to make a change by associating emotion with a situation; we do it from day to day, but often don’t realise it. Visualising a situation (e.g. being unhappy with your weight), then focusing on the emotions that this situation brings (e.g. feelings of fear, hurt, rejection and discomfort), triggers real feelings and emotions. So if we can visualise where we want to be, and then focus on how we will feel at that point of time, we can generate positive feelings and emotions right then and automatically change our state of mind to be a positive one. We use the positivity and excitement as motivation to continue with our goals.
So, next time you find yourself thinking of a million reasons why you should skip that session, take a minute to reflect on your short-term and long-term goals, remember the feelings you had right before you picked up the phone to book in your first personal training session, then close your eyes and visualise yourself at the end of that road. Pre-empt the positive emotions which reaching your goal will bring, notice the difference in how you feel right at that moment, then use those positive feelings as leverage to push you to a new height in your session.