On Your Own - Part 4

By Mark Brosten
Published on Mar 15th, 2011

Staying motivated when training by yourself is one of the most difficult things to keep consistent. Having the sole responsibility for your training with no one else to help motivate you is tough. This makes it a personal learning experience. We are all different; the things we like and dislike, our life experiences, and the things we believe. Keeping motivated means looking within yourself and holding yourself accountable. How do you grow and replenish your motivation?

Here are some thoughts to help keep your training motivated and consistent.

  1. Set some standards for yourself and your training. Solidify what you want to accomplish and times you will train. Keeping a log book or journal allows you to see the progress you have made. Your journal can be as simple as putting a calendar next to the heavy bag and putting an x on the days you train.

  2. Set short term goals. Write down things that are achievable in a short time, say a week but will add up to help you achieve a longer term goal. If achieving the side splits is your long term goal, you can make stretching daily as a short term goal.

  3. Have a reward system. When you reach a mid or long term goal give yourself that reward; new running shoes, that new DVD you've wanted, whatever; as long as it is not a reward contrary to the goal. Don’t reward yourself with a chocolate binge after hitting a desired weight goal, it is counterproductive!

  4. Create consequences for not training.

Understanding what will get you moving can be a real adventure in self-exploration. Don’t settle for the simple answer as the deeper you dig: the longer your changes will last and the more you will learn about yourself. Some helpful ideas to get you moving might be:

  1. Reminding yourself of the commitment you made every day, try affirming this morning, noon, and night.
  2. Consider making a good music play list to inspire you to work out, an example of this idea might be two songs for warm up and light stretch, three songs for lifting or resistance exercises then, three for cardio and two smoother songs to aid your cool down and stretch. Some advantages of this “Soundtrack for Fitness” are it keeps you on task, makes it unnecessary to watch the clock, and helps you to keep a motivated outlook.

Whatever gets you moving and keeps you going whether music, small chocolate rewards, creatine, caffeine, videos, or personal guilt; use the internal and external processes you need to create a positive training habit that will become easier to maintain over time

Having self-discipline requires you to be honest with yourself. Don’t bother lying or making excuses, justifying or rationalizing, you and only you must hold yourself responsible and accountable for the consequences of your training.

Filed under Techniques and Tutorials

Author Bio :: Mark Brosten

Mark Brosten began his Martial Arts teaching career as an associate instructor in Missoula, Montana. After Serving with the Military Police in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue his training. Mark was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by a Board of Examiners for the International Kenpo Karate Association. While in New Orleans, Mr. Brosten continued teaching, working with a diverse group of students from artists and architects to law enforcement and military personnel. Mark also developed a summer program for children, ages 4 to 5, for the Isadore Newman School in New Orleans.

An exceptional athlete, Mark is committed to training and competition. He competes in Martial Arts events throughout the United States and has placed within the top three, each time he's competed internationally. Since his return to Montana, Mark regularly teaches seminars at various martial art studios. Mr. Brosten successfully tested for advanced Black Belt rank in October of 2007. In 2008, Mark taught his first international seminar at The World Kenpo Karate Championships in Jersey, Channel Islands U.K. His practical experience and no nonsense approach to Kenpo have served him as a student, competitor, and teacher for nearly 25 years.

Other Articles by Mark Brosten

Are you a martial artist and have advice or experiences you want to share? If so, contact our editorial team about becoming an author. Be part of our community, contribute an article.