I have to say there is some irony to this topic. I want to be good about creating content that is meaningful to people who stop by this page but sometimes I lack the motivation to sit down and just write. Let’s end that and talk motivation as related to health and fitness at the same time!
Everyone is different when it comes to motivation. Some think they lack it, some don’t realize they lack it, some are motivated intrinsically while others feel they need external motivation. Regardless of the specifics I am convinced that having the right “why” is incredibly important. Doing something for the sake of doing it rarely leads to success. It’s all about leveraging something that you find important to motivate you in the direction you want to be going in. In addition to the list above, I believe that there are groups of people who find it hard to find motivation to start a change and groups of people who can easily start but then lose motivation to continue. The “that sounds like a lot of work” or the “maybe once I’m less busy in a few months” people vs. the “jump right in for 2 weeks but then lose interest” people. Nothing wrong with thinking those thoughts. The key is finding ways around them. Here are five motivating factors that might help regardless of the angle you are coming in from:
1. Consistency – I have to say I am somewhat of a “momentum guy” and thrive on a repetitive routine. When I was studying music in undergraduate and graduate school, I refused to let myself not practice my instrument. It wasn’t that I was always motivate to go practice (especially after 5 hours of marching band rehearsal at 2AM) but it was that I didn’t want to lose the momentum I had already built. The same has been true for fitness. I’m not always “motivated” to work out at 4:30AM but I have momentum from consistency and THAT gives me the motivation to do it. Trust me (or ask my parents) – I was never a morning person; see: how late I used to stay up practicing. If you build a routine that is consistent motivation will be a bi-product.
2. Track Your Progress – whether it’s nutrition, weight, muscle mass, before/after pictures, tracking does more than provide data to apply towards your goals but I have found it helps motivation. When you work hard at something but you do it every day, it is easy to lose sight of how you are progressing. Losing 0.2lbs isn’t jaw dropping and maybe it’s one of those weigh-ins that would get you discouraged or unmotivated but if you can look back to your data and see that those 0.2lbs are part of 10lbs down overall then you have something. There is power to knowing how far you come.
Equally, there is power to knowing how to change where you are at. Don’t give trick yourself into thinking something isn’t really working – track so you can see how it’s working.
3. Support Network – It is easy to make “deals” with yourself, decide today isn’t a good workout day, think “maybe this isn’t for me”, or just give up if you do everything on your own.
When I joined an online support group for health and fitness, it changed all of that. I went from being able to disappear to having people that checked in on me and more importantly seeing what other people were doing for workouts and nutrition. I help run a group like this now through Facebook but there are a wide variety of ways to get a support network.
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog where I will talk about more specifics in terms of workout routine, techniques, and nutrition sustainability!