How I Find Motivation To Workout
I Believe I’m Motivated.
A friend asked me how I get motivated to workout. At first I wasn’t really sure how to answer that question. When I think about it, I have a goal that I want to accomplish and I get up to workout because of that’s how I will attain that goal. Since she asked me the question, however I have not been able to get it out of my mind. What is it that motivates me? What is it that I believe allows me to keep pushing and bettering myself?
I think having a clear goal helps. Let’s say you want to lose 10lbs in a month. You begin the workouts with dreams of how amazing you will look when you drop a dress size or two, but soon after you begin your program, it becomes very obvious that this is not the sole motivator. What are the factors that allow me to get up when I’m tired, say no to wine and cupcakes with the girls, and push myself to keep going when my body is yelling to stop? The following is a general guide for how I stay motivated, maybe it can put things in perspective for you.
You Deserve It!
Have you ever asked yourself, what do you feel you deserve? The answer to that question is often times quite revealing. For me, my understanding of my worth is greatly tied to the things I have, the things I do and where I want to be. If I want to lose 10lbs in a month, I have to first believe that I am worthy enough to accomplish that goal.
Don’t be a Doubting Sheila
Times of doubt can leave you asking, can I do it? Is it possible? I am very aware of the negative suggestions my mind likes to offer up as advice to help me, but the reality is I need to constantly fight negative self-talk in order to stay motivated. This self-talk exists both in and out of the gym. At first it is frequent, thus making it easy to give up, but remember you are worth the challenge and stronger than your thoughts. I remember when I first started to exercise, I was told to run on the treadmill for 1 minute without stopping. Right a way, I heard my inner thoughts begin to warn me. The first warning came before I even stepped onto the treadmill, “I’m so tired today”. Then I heard it again at 20 seconds, “I can stop now, it’s my first time running in a long time”, my mind’s final attempt came 40 seconds into the run. I heard my thoughts say, “I think you are injured you better stop”. It was right after that final thought that I realized I was closer to completing the goal of 1 minute then I was to the beginning of it. This realization helped push me through, allowing me to feel a sense of accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment, no matter how small, moved me forward to the next challenge and continues to propel me forward in life and in the gym. The same is true when your alarm goes off, early in the morning. You may hear the suggestion, “just stay in bed, you can start tomorrow”, which may lead to another really great reason not to get up. Believe in your worth and fight the negative self-talk, so that you can celebrate the mini goals that put you on track to celebrate one break through after the next.
Focus on the Outcome not the Goal Itself
The idea of mini goals in order to move you forward is an example of setting your mind to a particular focus. You might believe that the larger focus is the loss of 10lbs in one month, but actually the focus exists in your why. Focus on your outcome not the goal itself. What will losing 10lbs give you? How will it make you feel, and why is it important to you? If your focus is not connected to something that actually means something for you, you will be less likely to stay motivated and accomplish your goal. Try this exercise; review your past week of tasks, what did you accomplish, what did you avoid? This simple exercise will reveal something about what matters to you. If you are trying to will yourself into caring about an exercise program, or being a more organized person, you will need to adjust the focus down to a smaller scale. This is true particularly if it is something that doesn’t mean that much to you, but you know it is valuable and important for you to add into your life routine. The honest readjustment of your focus toward your goal will give way to more success in the little things so that you can move your focus onto more meaningful things as you gain strength and in endurance where it matters - your mind.
Informing Yourself Around Your Goal is Key
I find that I am more successful when I become informed around what it takes to accomplish my goal. This can seem like yet another step, but if you are worthy of accomplishing your goal and want to be armed with the facts to defeat negative self talk, along with the understanding of what a reasonable and realistic focus is, then informing yourself around your goal is key to your success. If a Google or Yahoo search is not your thing, there are blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels that you can access. Alternatively, you could hire a personal trainer and/or a nutritionist to advise you on the best course of action to accomplish what you desire. Using our example of losing 10lbs in one month, you would need to become informed around how much protein is needed in your diet, eating frequency, optimal portion size and the very important question around cheat meals. Finding the answers to these questions and others can only set you up for success. This approach works well not only on fitness goals, but also any life goal. In this way, you will increase you quality of life, and increase your self worth - you can’t beat that!
Money Back Guarantee
Lastly, give yourself a “money back guarantee” promise that you will accomplish your goal. Listening to motivational speaker Eric Thomas speak to a group of people on the money back guarantee analogy helped me to crystallize the picture of motivation in my mind. Eric Thomas said it this way, if you want to observe your level of commitment and the amount of accountability you have toward your goal, think about how you act when someone promises you something and then doesn’t live up to their promise. Thomas went on to talk about the importance of not blaming other people for our lack of integrity. No excuses. The only explanations required are the ones you owe to yourself. You have everything you need to be successful: worth, mental and physical strength, a focus, information and integrity with a money back guarantee. Do not let yourself down, and if you do, be kind to yourself; reevaluate your why. If something is in the way of your goal, scale back and make your first stepping stone more realistic in order to get you on track toward the next goal you set for yourself. ***
L.A. Wade is an educator, who inspires & empowers through local and international philanthropy initiatives, teaching and sport.