Motivation. The ever-elusive and often fleeting inner desire to perform a certain action.
People often have the impression that if they just had motivation then all of their fitness and health problems would be solved!
One of the biggest misconceptions about motivation is that it is stable.
That some people are born with it and some people aren’t.
And that fit and health conscious individuals have oodles of motivation gushing from their pores. We wake up in the morning and we can’t wait to get on that stepper and crank out another workout!
Yes, most mornings I definitely am excited to exercise and fill my body with healthy foods, but not everyday. I think we all have days where we would just rather sit on the couch eating bon-bons than to face the gym, workout DVD, or cold, dark winter night.
The truth is, and I think most health-conscious people can attest to, is that motivation is something that needs to be nurtured on a daily basis. Each morning I wake up I ask myself whether I am going to take steps toward a healthy lifestyle or not. It’s often not a hard decision to make and is pretty automatic. And over time, it becomes more of a habit than anything else.
I used to have a motivation to lose weight and to fit in my skinny jeans (we’ve all had them before right?), but I found that this kind of motivation was the most susceptible to the disappearing act. Once the going gets tough (and oh, it always does), you turn around and *poof*, operation fit-in-skinny-jeans was a distant memory.
Don’t get me wrong, a motivation to lose-weight is just fine. But there needs to be something more for the changes to be long-lasting.
There needs to be a higher purpose– a sense of meaning– for the motivation to last day in and day out. Yes, you need to get your body active, but you also need to get your mind active in the road to health as well!
It’s a little thing called Mental Stamina.
I found this great quote from Marathon Rookie website:
Building mental stamina is essential. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated every day. Staying motivated and developing the proper mindset is key to enjoying training and crossing the finish line with a smile on your face.
And about goals…
Finish time goals, weight loss goals, “just finish” goals…we all have a reason(s) for wanting to run a half marathon. If your only goal is to lose weight, good luck. You’re likely to quit. You are likely to quit just like so many people who join health clubs each year for the same reason only to stop going after seeing little results in little time. You must have the right goals and reasons for running in order to be successful.
I am often asked what keeps my motivational fire burning:
- A passion for health, nutrition, fitness, well-being, happiness, energy, etc.
No, I didn’t always have a passion for health persey, but over the years I developed one as I learned more and more.
- Keep your mind active
I love reading up on health topics every day. It is one of my hobbies. I subscribe to various health e-articles, I follow health-related blogs, I read up on new research, and I pickup new books. Everything that I learn is motivation for living a better lifestyle and being good to my body, mind, and soul.
- Set long-term goals
I know I have said this a million times, but you need to figure out what your long-term goals are. You have to envision yourself where you want to be down the road. Visualization is a very powerful motivator and will tell you many things about yourself.
- Write down positive outcomes
On a regular basis write down the positive outcomes that have happened since you have started to lead a healthier lifestyle. What good has come out of it? How has your life changed? Do you have more energy and happiness? Are you less snappy with your partner?
In short: Motivation will not solve your problems. It is a fire that needs to be stroked each and every day! Goals help stroke this motivational fire. So go on, and figure out yours!
Do you have a problem feeling motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle or did you in the past? How did you overcome it?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most…We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson, American author and lecturer