What exactly is motivation? I would define it loosely as the desire to do the things you want to do or know you should do, and doing them on a consistent basis.
Desire. I think that’s the key. It all starts with desire. You have to want it! What do you want?
Me? I want to lose some excess fat, get in better cardiovascular shape and no longer be so prone to injury. I also want to be a more successful Personal Trainer.
“I have the desire. I have desire coming out my ears. But how do I get from the desire to the actual doing?” That’s what your thinking right? I totally get it. I struggle with my motivation plenty. I definitely don’t always do the things I should do, or even want to do, on a regular basis. I get in a slump and don’t exercise as often as I should, I don’t do all the housework that needs to be done, just the bare minimum. I don’t do the things I should do to grow my business. You aren’t alone! I promise!
That’s why I’m setting new goals for myself to get me where I want to be and finding my motivation along the way.
Here are some tips to help you find your motivation
- Set a Goal – I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it really makes a huge difference in getting you from Unmotivated Point A to Rockin’ It Point B. But don’t just set any old goal, make it super specific to you. How does it feel? How does it look? Even how does it smell (smells like sweat to me!)? If your goal is to run a mile, how will you look while you’re doing it? Picture yourself wearing the workout clothes you like the most, think about the music you’ll play and picture your headphones and iPod. How are you feeling while your running? Happy, cause you’re gonna get it done? Out of breath, but satisfied with your progress? Smiling inside and out? Smell the grass or the dirt or the pavement. Wherever you run, think about the environment and what you can relate to accomplishing your goal. I know some people suggest hanging a picture of someone else looking like or doing whatever your goal is. I don’t particularly like that. Visualizing yourself doing those things and adding your other senses into your visualization can be so much more effective and powerful.
- Think about your WHY – Why do you want to accomplish the goal you’ve just set? Is it for you or someone else? If it’s for you, YAY! If it’s for someone else but it only involves you doing the work, maybe you need to rethink your goal. Do you want to lose weight because someone else thinks you need to? Unless you are all in, and doing it for yourself, you will either not reach your goal, or if you do reach it, you wont be able to hang on to it for very long. It’s really hard to be fully invested in doing something like changing your fitness and nutrition habits, if it’s not completely coming from within yourself. I’m not saying that having a friend or significant other, helping you, and rooting you on, is bad. On the contrary, it is so awesome to have a cheering section! But if they are your main reason and focus in determining your goals, that’s definitely not the way to do it. You have to look at what is important to YOU. If someone says you should be 20 pounds lighter, but you feel healthy and more comfortable with 10, by all means stick to your guns. It is so much more important to be healthy inside and out, physically and emotionally, than hitting a number on a scale because someone else thinks you should.
- Now that we’ve set an overall goal, let’s dig into it. What can you do each day to get you closer? Each week? Go ahead and write those things down somewhere you can see them regularly. But keep it to less than 4 things to start. Make too many changes right off the bat and its a recipe for disaster. You can always add a few more changes, in a few weeks, or a month or a few months down the road. But only add something after you’ve managed your daily and weekly goals, successfully, for a good period of time. Now do those small things. Every day, every week. Slow and steady, not fast and flashy!
- RESET – Be prepared to face obstacles. They happen. All the time! You can’t let them stop you, or throw you off your game every time. So take a few minutes and really think about how important your goal is to you. Is it worth moving past the stumble you had last night with the extra cocktails? Absolutely!! Don’t give up each time you slip and stumble. You haven’t fallen, you haven’t failed, you just need to reset. Even if it’s every day. Sometimes I have to remind myself every day why I make my bed. I know it seems silly, but without putting actual thought into it, each morning, and remembering how much I love looking at a made bed and how great it feels each night to not have to drag the covers up again before climbing into bed, the bed just doesn’t get made. Motivations lag, it happens to the best of us. But what you choose to do when that happens is what really matters. Get back up, and move right back to your goals!
- Check-in Time – Don’t think that because you’ve set your overall goals, and your smaller daily and weekly goals, and have done them for a couple of weeks, that it’s all smooth sailing from now on! You need to continually revisit your larger goal. Remind yourself what you’re working hard towards, and tweak anything that isn’t working so you can continue being successful. Don’t lose sight of your WHY. Your own internal driving force needs to be renewed occasionally. This is key to motivation!
What are your goals? Share them with me! I’d love to be a part of your Cheering Section!