Hi reader, today I’d like to talk about one of the most important aspect of training. Which is Motivation. Motivation is something that roots from our desire to achieve our goals in life, to do something that will give us a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Which will in turn improve our mental health. That’s a scientific fact btw.
The thing is though that some people are highly motivated when they start out, but as time goes, they lose their desire to continue. It’s either due to not being able to achieve their goal in the time they expected to or in many cases, the stress in their day-to-day lives lower their desire to continue or something prevents them from spending enough time on achieving their desired goals.
Let’s start with the first reason;
Losing motivation due to not being able to get your desired results in the time you expected.
The main thing and the most important thing about setting goals, is that they need to be realistic and achievable. You cannot set goals that are over your head. For example, someone who is just starting to workout should not expect to be an Olympic level weight lifter within 1 month, especially when you can’t dedicate more than barely an hour a day for your basic level workouts like push-ups or squats.
The type of goals you set will determine the type of results you get and the speed at which you get them, not to mention the duration of which you will continue towards your goals.
Unrealistic goals lead to undesired results.
Starting small always is a good idea. Being patient and persistent, being dedicated, working hard and being smart about your work is what gets you results.
Best thing to do is to get a trainer, a good trainer, who knows what he/she is doing. If you want results, you’ll need to stop being cheap though. Cheap trainers are dime a dozen, but don’t expect to get any quality results, let alone your desired ones.
A good trainer, is specifically there to not only help you achieve your results, but also to make sure you’re motivated, to make sure that you are on the right path and to make sure you’re progressing regularly and have not hit a plateau.
Now the job of the trainer is to provide you with the best workouts, the best diets and the best advice to achieve your desired goals. If he/she is a good trainer, he/she will dedicate themselves to you.
But here’s the catch, their 100% doesn’t mean squat (pun unintended) if you, don’t put in your part of the 100%. Look at it this way, a little basic math, so the total effort needed to achieve goals is 100%, 50% from the trainer and 50% from you, now since the trainer is doing their part, they’re giving their 100% of the total 50% correct? But what about you? If you don’t fulfill your 50%, then the required 100% is not being fulfilled, is it? Therefore, you won’t get the results you expect in the time frame you expect.
Cancelling your sessions regularly, cutting your workout time short, not sticking to your diet and regime. These are just some of the things that holds you back and delays your results, which leads to you being disappointed and demotivated. See how it’s connected?
The best thing to do is to stay strong, stay determined, not stray from your path, not forget your goals, visualize your goals everyday when you wake up. Then follow through with them, think about the results think about how you’ll feel when you achieve what you want. Think about how you’ll feel if you won’t. Those thoughts are what will motivate you to continue.
Moving on to the second reason;
The stress in your day-to-day life lowers your desire to continue.
This is a much more complicated reason to dissect than most think. Looking at it from a scientific perspective makes it easier to solve though. See, it’s not the things happening in your life that cause you stress, it’s the chemical reaction happening in your brain that does. Stress hormones are released whenever you’re faced with something unpleasant or hard to deal with. When that happens, your mood, behavior and overall outlook of life changes drastically. You lose all purpose, all motivation to do anything, mostly because you’re focused on the situation that’s causing you stress.
Why are you focusing on that stressful situation? It’s because your brain wants you to. It’s wants to solve the situation quickly, it has given the situation a high priority over everything else, including your training regime, so that the situation can be resolved fast and your brain can get back to it’s normal functional levels. So despite you wanting to do something else your brain wouldn’t let you do them.
Here’s the thing though, this process can be overridden with literally just a thought or lack thereof. Now it won’t be an easy thing to do, but to put it in short and simple terms, You’re gonna have to fake it, till you make it. You will divert all your frustrations, all your stress in your workouts, the more your brain tries to think about that situation to make you mope around and try to find solutions to it with zero success, the more you ignore it and channel that energy into your workouts.
I’m gonna go a little deeper here to show you the benefit of doing that, let’s take an example of when you can’t remember a name, it’s at the tip of the tongue, but you still can’t say it and suddenly you stop trying to remember it and voila! There it is! You know why that happens? Basically it happens because you’re too focused on finding the name in your memory and your brain is looking for that piece of information in virtually every part of the brain that stores memories and information of that kind, except the part that it’s stored in. So the information is there, it’s just that it’s inaccessible due to the brain being too busy looking somewhere else and not looking in the place the name is located at.
What does that have to do with working out? Well, it’s a similar process, not same, but similar, when you’re too focused on your problem, your brain is so busy looking for solutions in parts of your brain that doesn’t have them that it doesn’t focus on other locations which might have a solution, it’s basically not letting you see forest for the trees. It’s too jumbled up and clouded to function (think) clearly, which includes not focusing on your goals, which are important to you, but are prioritized as low level due to the panic and stress hormones that are released, hormones that your brain doesn’t like having released, so it wants them gone and works even harder making you even more stressed. Get it? The more you’re stressed and focused on the stress, the more stressed you’re gonna be, it’s vicious cycle really.
So, what’s the solution to it? Well, as I mentioned before in the post, Fake it till you make it. Don’t stop your routine, don’t stop your diet and your exercise, even when you’re stressed and don’t feel like it, do something, something else that will take your mind off it, get to group fitness activities that help you to focus on something other than your problems, activities that help get your endorphins released. This will balance out your levels of stress hormones, stabilize your mood and clear up your thinking, in many cases, people have come up with solutions they’d never thought of before, once they got their hearts pumping and blood rushing.
This is why it’s said that exercise helps relieve stress. That’s the whole process (condensed above) which makes you relieve your day-to-day stress. But it takes a lot of will power to push through it. Once you do, you’ll see the difference and feel much less stressed and possibly come up with a solution to your problem, once your brain is free and relaxed to utilize it’s functions in a normal, efficient way.
Once you’re on your way, once you see the difference, feel the freshness and revival after a good workout, your motivation will return, you drive to achieve your goals will return along with it and before you know it, you’ll be an improved, stronger, more resilient version of yourself for having overcome your difficulties. Which will boost your self-confidence as well as your self-appreciation and self-esteem. Knowing you can overcome difficulties if you will it, that will make a huge difference in your behavior, in your career and in many other aspects of your life. Things that you thought you couldn’t do, will suddenly look easy and doable.
Remember, Change happens in your mind first.
Now moving on to the third and final reason;
Something prevents you from spending enough time on achieving your desired goals.
This really depends on what that factor is, it could be work, family, money (or lack thereof) or yourself (self-doubt).
Well, this is something that is entirely subjective to different individuals. But principles are the same, set your goals according to your situation. Setting realistic goals and following through are two most important steps in actually achieving them.
So let’s begin with explaining away the “issues” –
Work – There are ways around it, of course nothing worth having comes easy. A mini-workout wouldn’t take much time to do. Let’s say you wanna lose weight. Now, if you have a really hectic work schedule, you could set a realistic goal of losing 3 pounds in 3 weeks, if you exceed that goal, your brain will be extremely satisfied, rewarding you with the good hormones which will make you feel happier, more satisfied and give you a high sense of achievement, as a result, you’d be even more motivated to progress further, to feel that good again, your brain will find ways to make sure you make more time for your workouts, you’ll organize better, you’ll finish work quickly because you’d be looking forward to your workout session. Before you know it, your schedule includes an hour and a half of workout sessions everyday and you’re getting results that you once thought were not possible.
Family – This ones really simple actually, doesn’t require much explanation, if you can’t have alone time to workout, just include your family and make it a family workout session. Plus this would be beneficial for your kids health and your spouse’s health as well. So win-win. Plus, studies have shown that couples who workout together develop stronger bonds and find their spouse more attractive while watching them workout. Not kidding, it’s true. So family is not a reason not to workout, on the contrary, it’s the best reason to do so.
Money – This is the most common reason I come across here where I live. People don’t wanna spend. Mostly because many don’t make as much. Okay, understandable. But that’s still not an excuse. Why? Well, in this day and age where information is free, I mean look at my blog here for heaven’s sake! You don’t have to spend a single penny to read this. Here’s a shocker though… There are much better blogs out there too! O_O Whaaaaaaaa???? Shut up! Yes, as hard as it is to believe, there are excellent fitness blogs out there who provide excellent information for free and are light years ahead at what they do than most in the industry and they’re here to help you! All you have to do is search them. You’ll find youtube videos, you’ll find google searches, it’s chock-full of information, not all is good info tbh, but good quality free stuff does exist. All you need to do is VALUE IT! Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you take it for granted. Support the people who are giving you awesome information without asking anything in return. Make their efforts worth it by trying out what they write. Maybe, Thank them once in a while? (Hint-Hint?)… Okay so back to being serious. Money is not an excuse to lose motivation, there are ways around that as well.
Finally we arrive at the most difficult, the worst of all, your greatest enemy ever;
Yourself – In the end, it’s all you, you’re the one who stands in your own way. Defeatist mindset will take you down. Don’t let it take over your mind, your goals, your life. Push through it, be stubborn as hell and fight for your goals, fight for what you want, even if it is with yourself, fight and come out on top, take the first step, which is the hardest of all. Take the first step of actually acting upon your goals and your ambitions.
The best motivation doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from inside of you. You are your best motivator. All you have to do is not give up on what you want in life.
Alright. That’s it. I know this was a long post, but it needed to be written. I wanted to write it. So I did. Hopefully, you’ll find it useful and will help you in making the decision to take the first step towards your goals. If you made it through the whole post and read it all. I Thank you and I commend you for your commitment to reading 2242 words ^_^