"Motivation is a result of discipline and taking action."
Over the years and conquering countless workouts I’ve got motivation down to a science. While I will be the first to admit I am not always motivated, and many times I’m not motivated at all, I know how to put myself in a state that brings about motivation. Sound impossible? Hear me out.
You may think you’re not telling yourself a story when there’s silence or that your subconscious mind isn’t going at a hundred miles a minute but this simply isn’t the case. We’re always telling ourselves a story even when we don’t realize it. This past year, more than ever before, I’ve made a huge effort to fill my mind with things that motivate and inspire me versus things that have the potential to bring me down. Motivation starts with all the little things that don’t seem like a big deal but end up adding up to a lot. The things I am talking about here are primarily related to fitness but can easily be translated to any area of life.
The first step may go without saying but I’m going to say it anyway. You must know what you’re being motivated towards. What’s your goal? If you don’t have something in mind you for sure won’t be able to get there.
Be disciplined and take action. If you’re waiting to be motivated it’s probably never going to happen or it may happen for a short time but will quickly fade. However, if you’re disciplined and take action even when you don’t FEEL like it this will quickly bring about motivation. Your subconscious will pick up on those feelings of accomplishment, success, and with the help of endorphins you’ll soon be feeling like a million bucks. Next time you aren’t feeling motivated your subconscious will take you back to this time and before you know it you’re back in business. Being disciplined is hard at first but will soon become a habit.
You may wonder how to be disciplined. This is a valid question. We did a post last month on time management. And many of the tips apply. However, I would say the number one way to be disciplined is to make a plan. And I would dare to say a paper plan. There’s something to be said about writing down your intentions and making them happen. I would suggest using a paper calendar and writing down your workouts or time you can squeeze in some exercise. Look at your work schedule, social events, family commitments, etc. and take that into consideration. It may take a few minutes but will help guarantee success. Hang this up in a place where you see it and cross off your workouts after you complete them.
Find a role model. As adults our tendency may be to think it’s juvenile to look up to someone. I think the opposite, we need it now more than ever! Whether it’s a friend or someone you know personally or someone you only follow online think about what they would do when you start feeling laziness set in. I LOVE Jillian Michaels. Do you think she watches three shows before she goes to the gym or goes through the McDonald's drive through when she’s in a hurry? Absolutely not. Thinking about people I admire motivate me to press on.
5. Give back. This may seem counterintuitive but when you’re giving to someone else it makes you appreciate how far you’ve come and most often inspires you to keep going. When you’re telling someone else to press on and go the extra mile it inspires you to do the same!
6. Lastly, reward yourself. Nothing motivates me more than rewards! As adults there may not be anyone telling us we did a good job or that they’re proud of us, so tell yourself. I will also clarify, non food rewards! This could even be something as simple as allowing yourself to watch your favorite TV show after your to-do list for the day is done, splurging on a new shirt you’ve been wanting. I also love buying a new plant or fresh flowers at the grocery store instead of chips! Getting my nails done is also a fun way to splurge. Whatever it is for you make sure to reward yourself and have FUN. Life is too short to not be rewarded!