Where do you get your motivation from?
Have you ever walked into a gym, glanced across the room and had your eye caught by that one person who is just killing their workout? I mean they're giving it their all, they're laser-focused on the task in hand, whether it be lifting weights or an intense cardio session; they're working to the best of their ability and they never cheat reps. The other thing you'll likely notice, is that they look in great shape too. Coincidence? Probably not.
I know what you're thinking, you're wondering ‘How have they learnt to push themselves in the gym? Where do they get their motivation from?'
The first thing I would bet on is that they have a particular goal that they're working towards. Just saying you want to ‘get fit' or ‘lose a bit of weight' isn't really going to cut it, the reason being, it's not measurable. For a goal to be effective and keep you on track to achieving it, it needs to be specific, there needs to be a set deadline and you need to have a ‘why' or an emotional reason for wanting to achieve it.
Perhaps you know what your goal is and when you want to reach it by; maybe it's to lose 20lbs in 16 weeks, but do you know why? Is it so that you can improve your health in order to better support and look after your family now and in the future? Is it so you feel more comfortable and confident about your body when you're with your friends?
When you know what you're working towards and why it's so important to you and when you have a set time frame in which to reach it, you'll have greater purpose every time you hit the gym. I can assure you, gone will be the days of halfhearted workouts and convenient excuses to skip sessions.
So I challenge you to have a think about what health or fitness goal you really want to accomplish and why. Get specific, write it down, write down all the positive reasons you're aiming for this goal. Pin it somewhere that you'll see it often, tell your friends about your goal, make the commitment to succeeding and I assure you you'll have a lot more motivation to stick the course.
People often ask me if I naturally love to exercise. The honest answer is ‘only sometimes'. Even us gym bunnies have off-days when our motivation is running on empty. So whenever I can, I train with a partner who I know will keep me accountable and give me a kick in the derrière when my motivation starts to wane.
Training with a partner is great for a number of reasons: it makes the experience more sociable, it usually involves a little healthy competition — which will likely encourage you to work a bit harder — and you're a lot less likely to try and wiggle your way out of a training session if you know someone else is relying on you to show up.
I highly recommend recruiting your own accountability buddy. Enlist the support from a trainer or a family member or friend, get involved in some group fitness classes or join an online fitness programme.
One word of warning though, pick your support group wisely. This can be a bigger contributing factor to your level of motivation — and ultimately the quality of your results — than you think.
Choose to workout with people who are enthusiastic and have a positive winning mindset, the type of people who want you to succeed and are ambitious themselves. Same goes for the environment that you work out in. A fancy gym with all the latest equipment may seem like a good idea, but it's worthless if the place doesn't actually inspire you to exercise. Choose somewhere that has a great atmosphere and the coaches are supportive, a facility that makes you want to work out, rather than fill you with dread at the prospect.
Motivation is hard to master, but ultimately, it all boils down to how bad you want it. How important is it for you to reach your fitness goals?
As the saying goes, ‘If you're serious about changing your life, you'll find a way. If you're not, you'll find an excuse'. All the motivation you really need is within you, you just need to find a way to tap into it.
• Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with clients worldwide, including royalty. Contact her at www.inspire-fit ness-coaching.com or becky@in spirefitnesscoaching.com
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