The alarm starts blaring at 5am, and although you've gotten the proper amount of sleep, your body is screaming "Noooo! Do...not...want...to...move...!"
It's not that you're physically tired. You're just not motivated to get up and get on with it. Shower, dress, grab your trainer bag, and head out the door to meet your 6am client for yet another session. Ugh! This is all starting to get a bit lame. And your 6am is only the tip of the iceberg. You have a slew of clients waiting and getting ready for one of your hard core, max it out sessions, an unending list of "I wanna be fit" folks that are depending on you to do just that. Get 'em fit. The day ahead seems to stretch miles long, and that train is not gonna stop running until way into the evening.
At this point, you're not sure if you can make it, you're so burnt out. But you can't cancel any of these appointments. That's bad for business. Also, these people are depending on you to whip them into shape, keep them on their toes, and motivate them to be the absolute best they can be. You can't let them down.
Not to mention, you need them, too. After all, they are paying your bills.
Even the best personal trainer on the planet has days or moments where he/she wouldn't care to never see another client again, EVER. Luckily, those feelings soon pass. But in the meantime, what can you do to keep your spirit and energy up, your self motivation high, and break through this depleted energy phase?
Here are a few things to do when you feel some trainer burnout coming on:
*Look at the big picture
Remember your business and life's goals. Allow your desire to reach these goals help you to refocus and resolve to stick to your plan. Remember that what you're doing right now in your career is part of the process necessary to get you where you ultimately want to be.
*Remember why you became a trainer in the first place.
Remember that fire, that urge, that desire that made you get educated and get certified? That thing that made you want to get out and help people achieve healthier, fitter bodies? That desire to be your own boss, not tied to a desk, free to choose your own hours, or at least the days you prefer to work? Try to recapture those same feelings you had when this whole thing started. You might just be able to reignite that flame and get some of that old enthusiasm back.
*Take advantage of motivational books, CDs and DVDs.
There is a ton of motivational material out there for exactly this moment in your life and career. Find something in one of these mediums that you can relate to, and try to use it to pull yourself up out of the doldrums. Motivational materials can be powerful, and just the boost you need to get out of your rut. You can do it! :)
*Take a workshop or seminar
Sometimes learning something new or adding new skills to your repertoire will help perk you back up and make you excited about training again. With some new tools under your belt, you'll be able to throw a couple new twists into your clients workouts, and that will be sure to keep you both from ever being the least bit bored.
*Take some time off
Money or not, sometimes you really do just need to take a break. We are humans, not these machines that can just go on day after day, performing the same tasks endlessly.
As a personal trainer, you do tend to have this super human image, and you might fall into the trap of really trying harder than you need to to live up to it. No one expects you to tire, lose energy, or not know how to stay self motivated. Heck, that's what you do best; motivate. So, how could you allow yourself to lose it?
Well, it does happen, even to the best of us. And when it does, and none of the aforementioned tactics seem to work, then it really is just time for you to take a break.
Whether it's for a few days or a couple of weeks, when it's time, it's time.
Don't get so caught up in making money to the point where you won't take that needed time for yourself.
Just think; after you come back from a vacation, you'll really be ready to kill it. You'll be so refreshed, energized and full of new vigor, that your clients won't know what hit 'em the next time you train. It's a definite win-win result for everybody.
Before leaving for your vacation, be sure to let your clients know weeks ahead of time that you'll be taking time off. Give them fitness homework assignments to do while you're gone to keep them busy and still working out. Print them out on paper so that it's a definite plan they can follow. You can also shoot them a quick email from paradise to let them know that even though you're not there, they are not forgotten, and your vacation is no excuse for them to start slacking off. You can still crack that whip from afar, and keep them on their toes.
But do take the time off that you need. It will pay off huge dividends in the end, not only for you, but for those that you train and influence daily.
In conclusion, remember that in order for you to be the best trainer you can possibly be, you have to take care of number one first. That's you. If you're starting to feel burned out, try some of the tactics mentioned here to shake it off and get back on track.
If you manage it right, you'll be sure to have a long, healthy, happy career, burnout and stress free!