Motivation is a psychological concept. There is no single accepted definition but sociologists assign the properties of intent, effort, and tenacity in describing motivation. Motivation is the feeling or feelings that push you toward a particular goal or objective. Be motivated and push yourself to an action. If your needs are unsatisfied, the push to satisfy those needs is motivation. There are almost as many definitions and descriptions of motivation as there are exercises that are supposed to motivate weight loss and control.
Studies on motivation have been done for over five decades, and these studies prove that motivation is high at the beginning of a project, falls off in the middle, and increases again toward the conclusion. The steps in motivation are different depending on how close you are to reaching your goal. If your efforts are yielding great progress, it is easy to keep up motivation. When you feel like nothing you do increases your efforts, you tend to let motivation wane. How do you measure and master motivation? Is it dependent on how much you have accomplished or how far you have to go in reaching a goal?
Now the goal is to actual master all stages of motivation. Using motivating strategies we can lose weight faster, motivate our work mates and learn to work more effectively. Ideas for keeping up motivation might be offering rewards for milestones when exercising or running a marathon. As a very simple example, when in the middle of running a marathon, look back at where you were. You may be amazed at how far you have run. This is a reward. Do this periodically and it might just give you a better perceptive plus motivation to keep going.
Strategies for Mastering Motivation
Trying to lose weight or get in shape is distressing and often very disappointing. If you want weight loss motivation, don’t use your personal trainer as your benchmark. Unless you are seeking to be a personal trainer and you can work out eight hours a day, you will never gain the ripped and chiseled back, legs, arms, abs of a professional. That’s okay. Instead look to someone in your size and weight class who hates working out and despises gyms, but has made huge strides in weight loss and body image. This is your benchmark or motivation.
If you hate going to the gym; nothing seems to motivate you to go and work out, find a class in the gym experience and make friends. If there are others who are watching and working out with you, you will feel motivated to keep coming. You have begun to use social interactions as motivation, plus you do not want to disappoint your new friends.
Try a yoga class. You hate yoga. It hurts, you are not graceful, and you cannot do the poses. Yet you love yoga class. Why? Most of the students are just like you; on an adventure to becoming fit. Make friends, provide encouragement to each other, laugh when you fall over, and be excited about the next class. This is motivation; a desire to keep going with others.
- Working out is a great time to socialize but you can also use work outs as alone time. You may want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and use your exercise regime almost like a meditation sessions.
- Find something entertaining about your workout. Don’t be bored. If you are bored you won’t work out. Challenge yourself to try something new in the gym. Like to run but hate to swim? Try taking swimming lessons as a motivational exercise.
- Listen to music as you work out. Utilize books on demand or listen to a pod cast. Work out and enrich your mind at the same time. One gym-going hater described her motivation as being able to just zone on the treadmill as she listed to a detective novel. Now she runs, listens to a book, and gets motivated to come back the next session to finish the book. She only listens to the book during workout sessions – a great motivator.
Encouragement is awesome and you need to encourage yourself. You are your own worst critic, so they say, and it now time to congratulate yourself for just showing up at the gym. If you are feeling pain when running the treadmill, re-frame your pain. Think about fat melting away. Visualize how you want to look when you have accomplished your exercise plans.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed and beginning to lose motivation, break down your exercise plans into small bites. Give yourself permission to be a little tired or unmotivated, but just push yourself. Have will power. Maybe just go to the gym and sit. Take the next few moments to change. Walk up the stairs. Turn on the treadmill. Just keep working through your difficulties.
- Determine what is you want and find your deeper purpose. When you realize why you want to go to the gym, it becomes easier to ignore the voice in your head that tells you to quit.
- How many times have you seen the saying, “just do it?” Work out anyway. Literally force yourself to the gym or your workout station and do it. Once you get to your destination, motivation kicks in. Now you can say, “I did it”
- Motivate yourself by making it a choice. If you want to make exercise a lifelong process you need to make exercise a choice instead of a chore. Let yourself be the type of person who does not quit. You are the “healthy one” you keep going. Yet give yourself the choice. “I can quit if I want.” You may find that giving yourself a choice will actually provide motivation.
Motivation is great, but it is dependent on emotions or the thoughts inside your head. Motivation disappears and fluctuates from day to day and even minute to minute. Your momentum and motivation has swings just like moods. Manage motivating by not stopping. Just do it.