How to Get and Stay Motivated!
If you let a "but" get in the way of losing your "butt," you won't get far towards meeting your weight and fitness goals. My clients often confide, "Every time I start an exercise program, I lose motivation after a couple weeks." It's not that these individuals don't know how to exercise - they do. "If only I could keep motivated," these people say, "I could really get my body into the shape I deserve." Such a common problem needs a common solution, and "get over it and get to the gym" doesn't really cut it in this sort of situation.
The truth is that motivation is not something anyone can give to you. Even the most motivating coach cannot make a team play well if the team won’t co-operate. You have to unlock the ability to motivate yourself and that begins with your attitude. If you are filling up your mind thinking about your lack of motivation, you sure aren’t going to get any better. Stop using motivation as an excuse and start telling yourself it doesn’t matter. The health of your body shouldn’t be punished because you are not motivated. Exercise anyway. You don’t have to be motivated to do some sit-ups or go for a walk. You just have to be willing to do it. Motivation is not about willpower, it’s about want power. What do you want? Weight Loss? More Energy? Better Health. Once you start exercising, you will feel better and then you’ll feel motivated.
The word "Motivation" comes from the Latin verb "Moveo," to move. When trying to get in shape, this takes on a double meaning: you must move yourself internally in order to moves yourself externally, putting yourself into a position to be able to lose weight and get your life on track. The trick is knowing all the benefits and reasons to get up and get moving, then making yourself find a way to feel like doing what you already know is possible.
Motivation comes from within you. It can't be imposed from someone standing outside you barking to run faster and harder (well, except in the case of a personal trainer, where it's easy to find motivation from the simple and direct orders of the person you're paying to make sure you work out). Even with the best trainer, you may find that there are days when you just don't want to get out of bed and go to the gym. How can you solve this problem and motivate yourself to take your exercise and fitness seriously?
The first step is to stop using motivation as an excuse, and start telling yourself that whether you "feel" like working out or not doesn't matter. So what if you're not "inspired" to exercise, not motivated to get your heart pumping? Do you think every famous actor or athlete is motivated to get up every day and do their job? (Hint: Are you motivated to go to yours, every day?) The answer is no, they're not. But it doesn't matter. Your health is like a job. Do it poorly and you’ll be terminated. Do it well and you’ll be rewarded.
The reward is a body that's in great shape, feels healthy and saves you money on medical expenses. Being a healthcare clinician affords me a unique perspective into the health choices people make. 60% of deaths comes from lifestyle diseases!
It doesn't matter if you're motivated to exercise. Nine times out of ten by the time you start working out, the natural endorphins your brain releases will do the job of making you feel motivated, healthy, and excited about the workout you've undertaken. You'll be surprised at how quickly you start to feel the natural endorphins released by exercise. But just like a professional in any field, you can't wait around to be inspired to produce exercise. You're not working toward a paycheck in this situation, you're working toward the most important resource you have in life - your body.
Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.