How To Get Motivated
Be the Master of your Will-Power
Motivation is the key to achieving anything.
That mysterious force that when you have it, drives you toward your goal, and when you don’t, well, not much seems to happen. Being motivated is half the battle won, and when you learn that it’s not something that acts on its own – randomly striking from the blue heavens to give you a burst of energy when you need it – you will come to understand the power you have to motivate yourself. The mysterious driving force rests within you all the time, and there are ways for you to master it.
Remember Why You Started
When our energy takes a dip, and life gets to be a bit much, it’s easy to be consumed by the moment – there’s no time for gym fitness classes with your workload, and family responsibilities. Remind yourself why you signed up for those classes in the first place. Keeping healthy and fit will give you more energy to spend time with your kids, regular exercise helps a clear mind so you can excel at work… Remembering your initial motivation works wonders for reviving deflated motivation.
There’s a big difference between working to achieve a goal that will take you months to do, and taking steps toward smaller victories along the path to that one big goal. The little achievements along the way will keep your motivation levels up. If your main goal is to build lean muscle and run a marathon, then secondary goals will include getting to gym twice a week, eating healthy, etc. Suddenly your sights are set much closer, and every time you tick one of those gym workout classes off your list, you get a boost that will carry you to the next one.
Leverage those Long-term Challenges
Micro-challenges are great for bite-sized bursts of motivation because it feeds your sense of accomplishment. However, long-term challenges are also great because they act like the golden prize you’ve got your eye on, the thing that gets you out of bed. With every micro-challenge you complete, you’re closer to your end goal, and the vision of that prize getting closer and closer is a great motivational boost. It makes it easier to get going on your secondary goals, and the little achievements taste even sweeter.
Track Your Progress
Keeping a diary is not exclusive to pre-teen girls with crushes. By monitoring your activity you are giving yourself a visual depiction of all the work you are putting in. Those hours you spend sweating and working in group exercise classes, those times you opt for high protein salad instead of a quick take-out meal… When you can see that you have done well and received a real payoff for it, it becomes easier to keep doing well.
It has been proven that when certain behavior is reinforced with rewards, it is more likely that behavior will continue. Positive reinforcement is a real thing, and you can use it to help you stay motivated to reach your end goal. Achieving those micro-challenges you’ve given yourself to keep on your path of health and fitness should be celebrated. Spoil yourself with a treat at the end of a healthy eating week, or have a day off with family and friends when you’ve completed your allotted amount of gym sessions.
Try Group Fitness
It’s easy to talk yourself out of that evening workout when you’re the only person to get past. Group fitness classes are great in keeping you accountable to yourself and the goals you’ve set. It also helps with social support – having like-minded people around you to motivate and encourage you when your own motivation starts to wane. Working out in a group is a great way to make meaningful social connections that will keep you focused, while making exercise more fun.
Make Friends with People you Work Out with
Your support structure is vital to your progress, and when you surround yourself with people who are of the same mind as you, it makes it so much easier to stay on track and keep motivated. Making friends in your workout class will grant you the benefit of having support from people who understand what you’re working toward, and what it will take to get there. You will feel less alone, and will also have the encouragement you need at the times when you most need it.
Sign a Contract and Commit
A good way to keep motivation levels up is to commit to a gym contract. Once you know you have a responsibility, it becomes easier to show up for it. There is a psychological effect to the transaction that happens, where an expectation arises when a payment is made. In exchange for your commitment you will receive good health and fitness. If you don’t commit, you won’t receive the payoff. Some people find it easier to work with a pay-as- you-gym concept, but for those struggling with motivation, a long-term contract is a good idea.
Leave Your Workout Clothes Out
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to- day urgency of work, family, everything else that requires your immediate attention and tires you out to the point of collapsing under the weight of lifestyle choices and responsibility. However, if you leave your workout clothes out, you will have a solid reminder of the goals you’ve set, and it will ensure those goals stay in your mind at all times. This makes it harder to push aside, or to forget that twice-weekly workout you’ve committed to.
Make Sure You Enjoy It
Nobody will keep doing something if it doesn’t feel good. So it’s not enough to set your goal and then begin slogging away to achieve it. Think about ways to make working out fun and enjoyable for you. This will ensure you keep at it, because it’s harder to stop doing something that’s fun. Consider what you enjoy, whether it’s cycling, high-intensity, or socializing, and find ways to incorporate those aspects into your fitness program.