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We all struggle from time to time. Whether workouts have plateaued, eating habits have tanked, or we are scared of a new distance, finding the right hook of motivation can be discouraging.
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However sometimes a little self talk and awareness is all it takes to get back on track—and probably the occasional aptly timed Instagram meme with a perfect acronym splashed down the square image. From goal setting to breathing patterns, these gems can help you keep positive (chant them), stay on track (read them) and achieve your goals (DO them). Next time you’re struggling to find some inspiration, remember these sayings.
Staying positive is a must for every athlete, new or elite. This acronym can help you stay positive in the toughest situations. Dr. Stephen Graef, sports psychologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, created this to keep athlete’s calm during sporting events:
P – Positive self talk
E – Embrace Adversity
R – Reverse Engineer (look at the parts that make the whole and address any issues)
F – Focus on the Now
E – Evolve
C – Chill Out
T – Talk It Out
Because sometimes a new challenge—like a marathon—can be intimidating. The mind can play a powerful role in self doubt or fear. Before you start freaking out, Graef suggests you CALM your mind:
C – Connect with the breath.
A – Accept anxiety.
L – Label to excitement instead of anxiety.
M – Manage stress.
If you’re struggling to make it to the end, Graef shares this one to help you stay focused and positive to CRUSH any goal:
C- Choose a goal or event
R – Road map it out
U – Understand your “why”
S – State it (communicate your goal to others)
H – Help yourself (set yourself up for success, not failure)
I – Imagine success
T – Track it
This is pretty self-explanatory, but always a good refresher. If you see yourself, visualize yourself, crossing the finish line at that marathon you just signed up for, then you will succeed.
S – See your goal
U – Understand the obstacle
C – Create a positive mental picture
C – Clear your mind of self doubt
E – Embrace the challenge
S – Stay on track
S – Show the world you can do it
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You may have seen this acronym across your Pinterest boards. It’s a personal favorite and I use this almost every day. When you’re doing the toughest workout, ever—hello intervals—just say HOPE. Keep in mind that nothing is permanent. So your minute of burpees is exactly that—only a minute. The last 5K of a marathon is only 3 more miles, which you can get through and the struggle will be over. Just remember that pain is temporary, but the fact you accomplished something challenging will last forever.
H – Hold
O – On
P – Pain
E – Ends
When someone says, “you can’t,” show them you can. There have been many professional athletes who’ve been told they’ll never be good enough. Their response? “Whatever it takes.” This is a great mindset for personal, career or workout challenges—keep this one handy—you have massive wit that will bring you far:
W – Whatever
I – It
T – Takes
You shouldn’t take everything so seriously—haven’t you gotten the MEMO? When you’re working hard, embrace that moment and recognize how awesome you are then give it your all. Go big or go home, and make that moment of crossing the finish line one to remember (and to send a memo to your boss that you’ll be OOO on Monday):
M – Make
E – Every
M – Moment
O – Outstanding
Everyone learns from their PAST—now it’s time to plan ahead based on what you know:
P – Plan
A – Arrange your environment (put your alarm literally on the other side of the room)
S – Stick to one thing
T – Too easy to fail (running a marathon is easy; it’s the training that’s hard)
** Dr. Graef’s acronyms: CRUSH IT, CALM, PAST