Finding Motivation

December 17, 2015

     Anyone can go to the gym and work out for an hour a day, but not everyone will. So what seperates those who can go to the gym but choose not to, from those who will actually be reaching their New Years resolutions? One key word: motivation. While it's true that some are blessed with more natural born motivation than others, there are a number of things you can do to spark up your motivation whether you're in a temporary rut, or just having trouble finding the means to start.

     First, ask yourself why you started (or want to start) in the first place. What are your goals in your fitness journey, and why. The why is key here. Everyone wants to look better, be stronger, and be the best they've ever been, but why do you personally want that? Is it so that you can be a good example for your kids? So that you can stop feeling insecure and inadequate and instead feel strong and empowered? Maybe you come from a long line of obesity and want to be the one to beat the odds. Whatever your meaning is, make it personal. Your health and well-being may be one of the only things in your life that is completely about you. So take advantage, find your meaning, and get moving!

     If you're more of a visual person, it can help to set goals and make them visible. Get out your favorite dress that you've been waiting for years to fit into and imagine how great you will feel once it finally fits again. Hang up a picture of your biggest fitness motivation in your closet, and envision yourself putting in the work to get to where he/she is. Write down your goals on a piece of paper. Start with short term goals, (for example, eating dessert only 3 times this week), and move up to bigger goals (lose 30 pounds by next summer). Hang up this piece of paper on your fridge, your bedroom door, or wherever else it will be the most visible to you. Give it a read everytime you are feeling unmotivated, and it should help spark some of the lost inspiration.

     Find something that you - at least moderately - enjoy doing. Maybe you hate long runs, but you don't mind cardio circuits. Maybe you've tried getting your exercise in by biking with your friends, but it just doesn't bring you the same joy and excitement that it gives them. Know that everyone is different, and there are hundreds of different approaches to meeting your goals. And don't forget to mix it up every once in a while. In order to keep progressing, it's important to not let your body adapt to the same workout routine over and over again. Don't be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself

     If all else fails, and you still can't seem to pull yourself into the headspace of actually wanting to exercise, start small. Do it anyways, but start with 10 minutes. It's likely that after 10 minutes, your endorphins will start to kick in and you will actually want to keep going. You've already done 10 minutes, what's another 20 more, right? And if not, at least you go 10 minutes in. Something is always better than nothing.

     Last but not least, remember that it does get easier. Change is against human nature, and your daily exercise and nutrition regimen is no different. It will be difficult at first to convince your body that you are doing something good for yourself, and this is a good thing. It will be difficult to change your routine to accomodate for healthy meals and making the time to exercise. However, if you are able to hang in there and stay consistent, it will start to feel more and more like a natural part of your daily life, and there will be less of an internal fight to keep going. Habits take months, sometimes even years, to form; not minutes, hours, or days. Keep doing your best, and don't give up because there will be a reward for those who keep going.

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