How to get motivated


There’s a reason you started swimming.  There’s a reason you keep training.  But sometimes, especially if you haven’t gotten a best time in a while, and it’s 4:45am, it’s hard to feel motivated.

“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.”

– Michael Phelps

Here are 101 ideas to keep you inspired:

1.  YouTube epic swimming performances

2.  Write daily goals

3.  Start a swim journal

4.  Have some fun! An occasional fun day won’t derail your training program

5.  Put reminders of your goals in places that present the biggest barriers to your training (Display your goals on your dashboard, next to your bed)

6.  Go all out for one full practice – notice how it feels

7.  Write a success list

8.  Work on a specific technique

9.  Make a plan and move forward

10.  Create systems to distract from pain (count tiles on the bottom of the pool, breathe rhythmically)

11.  Swim in a new pool

12.  Get a new app

13.  Go for a swim without speed or distance in mind

14.  Buy a new suit

15.  Swim happy!

16.  Ask yourself why you do it and put reminders of that where you can see it (pictures of your family or friends, beautiful scenery, healthy bodies)

17.  Swim a faster time

18.  Put your feet up and get some rest

19.  Write a personal swimming history

20.  Establish new long-term goals

21.  Take the pressure off

22.  Go a little slower

23.  Boost your pre-swim blood sugar

24.  Create a blog and post daily achievements

25.  Keep a positive swimming commentary going in your mind

26.  Choose a mantra to swim with

27.  Take a swim in the ocean

28.  Remember past peak performances

29.  Forget time

30.  Sign up for a meet

31.  Create a playlist or Pandora station to listen to before practice

32.  Make a delicious meal or snack that’s ready for you when you get home

33.  Read motivational quotes, put them where you can see them

34.  Think of your favorite swimmers

35.  Swim odd distances for personal bests (75 meter freestyle; 150 meter backstroke)

36.  Read a swimming book

37.  Play with the lines on the bottom of the pool (swim really fast between 2 lines, hold your breath until the 4th, make up rules as you go!)

38.  Buddy up and challenge each other

39.  Read about past Olympian success stories

40.  Remember how fit and strong you are becoming

41.  Make a massage appointment for the day after a hard practice

42.  Watch inspirational movies

43.  Swim with your dog

44.  Swim through the rain

45.  Feel the water on your skin

46.  Dress silly

47.  Pay up! Make a money jar based on distance swam

48.  Turn things around – use a bad performance as motivation for a good one

49.  Become a swimming mentor

50.  Take some breaks

51.  Swim for a reason – charity

52.  You always feel better after a swim than before

53.  Gold star sticker on the calendar each time you reach your goal

54.  Focus on the competition

55.  Be realistic

56.  Live in the now

57.  Forget about the big picture – quit overthinking it, swim for today

58.  Eat healthy and get lots of rest

59.  Try a triathlon

60.  Listen to your stroke – hear the sounds of your body in the water, the bubbles of your exhale, and let your day’s stress disappear

61.  Invest in good gear

62.  Smile! Fake it till you make it!

63.  Ask for help

64.  Get yourself a trophy

65.  Write a list of reasons why you love swimming

66.  Make a commitment and keep it

67.  Set goals for technique execution

68.  Begin slowly

69.  Do interval training

70.  Pretend someone important is watching

71.  Remember and recreate flow experiences in your mind while you swim

72.  Think about how swimming lines up with your personal values

73.  Take it one lap at a time

74.  Feel your heart beating, your lungs working

75.  Be grateful

76.  Help put a smile on someone else’s face

77.  Your are one step closer to becoming the best version of yourself

78.  Decide to learn something new about swimming or about yourself every day

79.  Focus on improving the process, not just the outcome

80.  Remember, swimming is fun!

81.  The more you practice, the more prepared you are to race

82.  Have a beginner’s mind

83.  Be nice to yourself

84.  Feel proud of your effort

85.  More practice = more confidence

86.  More confidence = more success

87.  Visualize success

88.  Sing your favorite song in your head

89.  Get excited!

90.  Feel like you’re flying

91.  Surround yourself with positive people

92.  Challenge yourself regularly

93.  Reflect: What went well? What didn’t go well? What did you learn?

94.  Focus only on what you want to achieve today

95.  Let go of what you can’t control

96.  Pick a quote for the day

97.  Write down your workouts

98.  Help the younger kids

99.  Change it up

100.  Stay positive

101.  Be creative! There are infinite ways to get and stay motivated!

What helps you to stay motivated?  Let us know in the comments below.  Share with friends to keep the motivation flowing!

– Rebecca

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