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Motivation


Motivation
Motivation is what gets you from A to B, it’s what makes you desire something and then drives you to achieve it. To maintain motivation you have got to have a need or a want to get to an end goal. You also need a plan, a way to measure progress. Often at the start of an idea to make a change in your life, you are highly motivated, however staying motivated can be just as hard to do if not more so than the actual process of making those changes. It’s often a case of mind over matter and will require you to train your brain as much as your body.

Let’s talk about what you need to do to get motivated:

Goal setting

Have a goal/goals, consider and write down what do you want to achieve. Do you want to lose fat, gain muscle, change your body composition? You need to write down how much weight you want to lose, note your measurements and weight and have a time frame. Try to be clear and specific about it, even if you decide to change it later. But don’t be disappointed if you don’t hit any of your goals when you expect to, just have a target to aim for (gives you something to work towards). Create an overall goal and then break them down into smaller more attainable ones. This will help you stay motivated. Don’t weigh or measure yourself every day, once a week is fine, the problem with doing it too often is that it can be demoralising due to the fact that changes take time to show, you don’t notice a baby or a child grow daily, but come back a few months later and you will see that the changes are a lot more noticeable. Make your goals measurable and write them down so you can measure your progress, revisit those goals to plant them in your mind. It may take some time to realise what is and what isn’t attainable in a certain time frame, but if you don’t see any changes after giving it a good go, change the way you do them where necessary and keep going until you reach your goals. Consider joining a group/forum of like-minded people and use this to keep you focused.

Positive thinking

Possibly more importantly is not to have negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can be self defeating and be detrimental to your journey forward in getting fitter and stronger. It can be energy sapping, leaving you tired and not in the right mood to achieve your goals. Replacing those thoughts with positive thinking can help with motivation, but it can be very difficult for many to do. Recognise your negative thoughts then write them down, now when you hit one of your goals, write that down. Look to use small goals that you hit with regards your nutrition or body changes or even lifestyle changes as a way to replace those negative thoughts and replace them with positives.

Willpower

If you find it difficult to get into the mood to exercise or stay on a nutrition plan, you are not alone.

This can be a problem for many, who after a hard day at work, want to just rest and flake out in front of the TV/computer with a plate of food, me included. Apparently we have a limited amount of willpower in a 24 hour period and it is often strongest in the morning and as the day goes on it declines along with your energy supply. We essentially use it up. Luckily we can learn to control it, use less of it and even strengthen it by training ourselves to have more self control and focusing on the more important things and less on the things that don’t matter as much. By planning your day ahead you can train your brain to be ready in advance. Sort your nutrition out and schedule what you eat as much as possible to give you energy for the tasks ahead. By having things in place ahead of time, you are more likely to follow through with your plan. Think how bad you want it and plan for it.

Let’s talk about when it all goes wrong:

Falling at the hurdle

Life brings us so many hurdles making it difficult to keep up with the hectic lifestyles that many of us live very hard. Things like getting ill, unforeseen commitments, emotions, laziness or a holiday can have your goals and plans take a back seat. Sometimes these situations can occur one after the other and before you know it you haven’t had a workout for a month or two or your diet has gone out of the window and you simply can’t get back into it.

When things don’t go as planned, it is difficult to get back into the mind set you worked so hard to setup in the first place and this is when you begin to take the path of least resistance. In other words you take the easy way out, the way your mind wants you to go and if you don’t have the willpower to overcome this initial obstacle you will start to procrastinate.

Procrastination is the process of putting things off, going from one day to the next without doing the things that make you the individual you deserve to be and reach for something that should be achievable given the right motivation and tools.

Firstly let’s look at the alternatives to doing those things that can make big improvements in your life, making you healthier, fitter, improve your self esteem and confidence and much more. Let’s think how much time you spend (waste) watching TV, being on the computer or playing some video games. Think about how many hours you’ve wasted in meaningless non activity, what have they added to your health, your goals and lifestyle. The answer can almost certainly be summed up as – nothing!.

As long as you are aware that this is what happens and you accept it does, that is the first step. The second step is to realise that it is a natural state of mind. The third stage is to become more positive in life, stop the negative aspects of it and decide to do something about it.

Let’s talk about getting you motivated:

Getting motivated

What motivates you, why are you wanting to make changes?

No matter what your motivation is for wanting to get healthier, fitter, stronger or any other reason, you need to act now and start the ball rolling. You need to create a plan of attack. One thing that drives me nowadays is the realisation that indeed time waits for no-man and we are not getting any younger. I also get comfort from the fact I am fitter, stronger and healthier now than I have been for probably over 15-20 or more years.

I’m going to list here some of the things you can do to get yourself motivated to push forward:

  1. To give yourself more room to succeed, you must first ditch those activities that sap your energy and give you little or nothing in return.
  2. Write down your goals and why they are important to you, but also manage expectations.
  3. Plan your journey, create routines (once you see results, these will be easier to create and the benefits from them will get easier to attain). Track your progress.
  4. Get into a routine, try to be consistent and dedicated and practise self-discipline. Getting ready to have a workout and getting dressed for it can sometimes be enough to stimulate the brain into action. There has been many times I didn’t feel like working out, but once I got going, have had some of the best workouts from these situations.
  5. Do workouts you enjoy, ditch the ones that have you not wanting to do them.
  6. Listen to music that motivates you, gets you in the mood to work out and music that helps during the workout.
  7. Put yourself in control, make changes to your life, otherwise doing the same old things will change nothing.
  8. Ditch the negativity (and the people who are negative about you), leave the past behind.
  9. Stop feeling sorry for yourself when something goes wrong. Embrace failure as a means to learn from your mistakes and to find a better way forward, but also be patient, the road to success takes time.
  10. Get positive, find inspiration, become enthusiastic, motivated and surround yourself with like-minded people.
  11. Show the nay sayers that you can do it.

Finally

Get on with it! There isn’t an infinite number of tomorrows, each day that goes by is one day you will not get back. Take charge of yourself. Get those exercise¬†endorphins working and enjoy the process of moving forward.