Motivation has to be the hardest thing to find during your fitness journey. Usually when starting any type of fitness or diet program it is always pretty easy to keep the fire lit for the first 30-90 days. After you start getting quick results and reach a short-term goal, your motivation may decrease. If you haven’t seen the results you want, you start to resent the soreness, fatigue, early mornings, prep meals, cravings, and isolation. You even begin to wonder why the hell you’re going through this self-torture. That once so brightly lit fire starts to slowly smolder out.
Unless you are the perfect human, I’m sure you have begun a diet and fitness program only to quit a few weeks later. You then probably waited a while and tried a different health and fitness program. The reason you have had a roller coaster relationship with health and fitness has to do with not tapping into a deeper connection to WHY you are doing it to begin with. Let me explain…
Finding your Why – Go past the surface
Digging deep to find what will keep you motivated when the journey gets hard isn’t easy. We often realize that we started our fitness journey for other people. When asked, most people say, “I’m trying to lose weight…”
- For my children
- To lower my health risk
- For my significant other/spouse
- For my trip or event
♥For my Kid: As your kids age, you age as well. You begin to notice that you can’t chase them around the park like you used too without huffing, puffing, and gasping for air, so you decide that you need to get in shape. The problem is that your kids can’t hold you accountable for eating right and working out regularly. In fact, the busy life of being a parent (helping with homework, sickness, activities, providing, cooking, and cleaning) is the reason why you typically might miss gym visits.
♥Health Scare: No one likes to think that they are in danger of dying soon. Visiting the doctor for a routine checkup and not getting a clean bill of health can be scary. It can also make you want to change how you eat and exercise. The problem is that you were living your best life until you received news about your health that is now FORCING you to change all your existing habits. But what happens down the road when everything is back to normal? Do you go back to your unhealthy lifestyle? Where will your desire to stay fit come from now that you are no longer having a health scare?
♥For Significant other: Typically, the catalyst is after the honeymoon stage in your relationship is over you get a little comfortable and start to feel that your partner’s level of attraction is fading, or your spouse tells you to lose weight or change your body. The problem is that hearing you need to lose weight puts more stress on you and makes change even harder, especially when it’s your relationship on the line.
♥For Trip/Event: Typically, you try to get in shape for weddings, reunions, and trips to exotic locations. You want to look good for a group of people or strangers, so you can avoid being judged. But once you reach your goal weight or clothing size for the event, what is going to motivate you to keep it going? Are you going to gain it all back and start again for the next destination?
It’s not that the reasons listed above aren’t great, but the issue with each of these reasons are that YOU are not doing it for YOURSELF. Each reason above is because of someone or something else. Therefore, all these reasons are inspirational and not motivational.
Inspiration vs Motivation – What is the difference?
Inspiration means the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative – meaning that some other force gave you the thought then you decided to act on it. An action that caused a reaction = inspiration
- Your children inspired you to get in shape, so you can live longer for them.
- Your doctor inspired you to get in shape with a life or death ultimatum.
- Your significant other inspired you to get in shape so that you can keep their affection.
- Your upcoming event inspired you to try and look your very best.
Motivation comes from within your mind, heart and soul. It is a feeling that stops laziness and stagnation. When you are motivated you do whatever you need to do no matter what. Motivation can only be found from within. The problem is so many people look to others for motivation when all other people can give them is inspiration. Starting a fitness/health program because of someone else means you were inspired but not motivated, and as a result you will QUIT every single time.
Developing a Why- This is Hard!
Developing a why starts with acknowledging what you are doing to contribute to the problem. Many of us can’t put our pride to the side or see our own faults; therefore, it is difficult to learn where the problem stems from. But once you pinpoint the problem, say it out loud and write it on a sticky note to make it real. Put it on your bathroom mirror and look at it every day. Then make yourself a promise that regardless to what challenges life throws your way, you will continue to work on your health and fitness no matter what. Commit to not giving in or up and to always making fitness a priority.
Remember your fitness should not be a priority because someone else said so. Instead, it should be a priority because of the self-love and self-respect you have for your temple.