Joe Wicks may be known to millions now, but he’s had to work tirelessly to get where he is today. So, who could be better than the nation’s favourite PE teacher to share tips on managing your motivation, and watching out for your wellbeing along the way?
Say “The Body Coach” to almost anyone, and they’ll immediately know who you’re talking about. Thanks to Joe Wicks’ energy and drive to keep the nation’s children (and parents) moving and motivated during the first UK lockdown last year, he’s now a household name across the world.
Joe was already hugely successful before the events of 2020, but his desire to support others through tough times has catapulted him into another stratosphere altogether. However, his message and mission have always remained the same – to make the world fitter, healthier and happier.
“I really believe that exercise should be accessible to everybody,” Joe explains, expanding upon what drives him. “It’s not something that’s optional, it’s essential for physical health, mental health and happiness.”
Joe is committed to sharing the concept of movement for mental health benefits, and notes that the way we think has a significant role to play when it comes to self-esteem and motivation to actively look after our minds and bodies.
“I’m not a psychologist or a life coach, but I understand that behind a lot of people’s behaviours or habits, there’s a reason,” he says. “It might have been something that happened as a teenager or as an adult that may have put you off the gym and healthy eating, leading you to a less healthy lifestyle.”
The first step to tackling this, Joe shares, is to work through what helps and hinders your progress. “I encourage people to ask themselves questions like, ‘What does a successful day look like?’, ‘What does an unsuccessful day look like?’, and ‘When do you feel motivated and unmotivated?’. By knowing the answers, you’ll start to notice negative patterns, and learn that you can change your habits and divert your energy somewhere else.”
So, if you’re ready for action but need a little help to get started (and keep going), Joe has shared some of his essential tips for managing your wellbeing and motivation, from his new book 30 Day Kick Start Plan.
Start to meditate
Meditation helped me to slow down, breathe, and let myself go to a place of calm and peaceful presence I’d never been to before.
To be honest, I don’t do it consistently, and I don’t always enjoy it. But I do it about three or four days a week, which I feel is perfect for me. I genuinely can’t recommend it enough. It’s one of those skills which you get better at over time – just like learning to cook or exercise. The more you do it, the more experience you get, and the more you get out of it.
Lots of people know they want to change, but lack the motivation to do it. If you’re someone who struggles with motivation, don’t sit around waiting for it to come – that day may never arrive. What you need to do is take action. Get up and commit yourself to a workout in the morning, and just see how you feel afterwards. Most people take the view that motivation leads to action, but I believe it’s the opposite. Action leads to motivation, and that leads to more motivation!
Be a cheerleader for your future self
A good idea is to record a little video message on your phone – lots of my clients do this and find it really helpful. Record a message to tell yourself a few things: why this is so important to you, why you have started this journey to a healthier life, and what the outcome means to you.
Turn setbacks into comebacks
We’ve all been there. You wake up, you just want to go back to sleep, and all motivation has gone out the window. Every time you feel a wobble coming on, pull out your phone and watch your own personal pep talk. What was so important to you at that time? Has that changed now? I bet that the answer will be ‘no’. It’s time to get up and try a workout or a walk. All those lovely endorphins will help lift your mood and give you a great chance to turn your day around.
One day at a time
Focus on today – don’t worry about next week. Get an early night if you can. When you wake up, congratulate yourself on sticking with your commitment to make a change. Everyone has bad days, but what’s important is to recognise each one for what it is: just a bad day.
We all need a social life, but don’t let a virtual catch-up with a few drinks (or future real-life night out) end your chance to change. Your social life and fitness life should be in harmony. Maintain that balance and get back on track after treating yourself; you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
These tips and more can be found in 30 Day Kick Start Plan by Joe Wicks (bluebird: Books for life, £18.99). You can also listen to Joe’s candid chat about mental health, wellbeing, and thoughts for the future on our podcast ‘I am. I have’.
To connect with a life coach to build better habits, visit lifecoach-directory.org.uk