For 5 years I did competitive Jiu-Jitsu, before that Mixed Martial Arts, before that karate, before that cross country, track, football, and wrestling. Sports and competition has always been able to motivate me to work much harder than I would have been able to work without competition as a motivator.
It isn’t so much that competition motivatedme to beat others (although for some people this is the case), but it was really always about beating myself and making improvements.
When you are working towards a goal- like a competition- it is a lot easier to push yourself to work harder, because you know you have an event bearing down on you, and you want to perform well. But, what about non-athletic people or non competitive people, how can signing up for a race, event, or competition motivate you to work harder?
In every competition or event there are two things happening: each person battles each other, and each person battles themselves.
Sure competitions motivate you to beat other people, but even if you aren’t that competitive, signing up for a challenge will often help you rise to the occasion. Think about it, while a bodybuilder may be competing against other people for a few short moments on stage, it’s really himself he is battling all season long.
For a whole year he watches his diet, does the cardio, lifts weights each day, tans, and switches up his training to keep making gains. It is not his opponent in the gym telling him to stop, to skip the last rep, to cheat on the diet, but the enemy he fights each day is the little voice inside of him telling him to quit- standing on stage is just the reason he has to say “no”.
Events and competitions challenge you to work harder, stay committed, and never give up.
Think about it this way: if you knew all of your friends and family were going to be watching you run your first marathon in 6 months, wouldn’t you work a little bit harder each day, wouldn’t there be a little bit more motivation behind each workout and morning you wake up?
Having a goal, a competition, or an event in the future gives you something to work towards, it gives you a purpose for each moment and decision, and it helps keep you heading in the direction you really desire to go in.
If you really want to make fitness and health gains, go sign up for something.
Sign up for a run, an obstacle course, an amateur sports league, or a sporting event, even if you aren’t ready to do it now, sign up first and hold yourself accountable to make yourself get ready by the date.
A little bit of pressure is good for you, and challenge will encourage you to become stronger each day. It will be much easier to do what you know you should be doing when you know that their is an impending deadline barreling down at you.
So try it out, sign up for something!
Are you already signed up, or what will you sign up for to push yourself to your next level of fitness? Share with our readers in the comments below what you are doing to keep yourself motivated each day to work towards your fitness goals!