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Todays show is a follow up to the #021 show: The Motivation Myth.
I regularly get asked “How do you stay so motivated to exercise?”
I choose to be motivated. It doesn’t happen naturally. I consciously take steps – many steps – to stay that way because:
A) I’ve DECIDED I want the results.
B) I’ve ADMITTED motivation doesn’t last without work.
That’s the motivation myth in a nutshell – you don’t have it or not have it – you work to get and keep it. Or you don’t.
Today I’ll share the steps that work for me so that you too can: Bullet-proof Your Motivation To Exercise.
As we get rolling with the steps you’ll see I’ve split them into The FACTS and The EMOTIONS.
Both are vital. They work together… as such I’ve paired them together. Onwards with step one or more-so:
Fact one: Exercise is a Necessary Evil.
I believe it’s important to face the facts. Honestly, I actually get frustrated that people think they can NOT exercise their way to a fit, lean, healthy body.
You can’t buy a house or jet off to your dream overseas holiday when you stop-start and stick to your savings plan only 30% of the time… so why is it surprising that exercise results are any different?
Sincere brutal truth. Does anyone except that rare naturally skinny (not fit or toned, just skinny) 21 year old have the body and the health you want without working for it?
So once you have the facts lets get the emotions working for you…
First Emotional Leverage point: Spend time with people who have their motivation to exercise locked and loaded.
The people who motivate you. It’s contagious. Either way actually, so you definitely don’t want a training buddy who’s always whining and moaning and bludging. Seek out the people that encourage and support your progress.
Perhaps people who are an inspiration so far as the way they look, the way they train and most importantly their ATTITUDE.
The people that consciously focus on staying motivated and choose the language and the habits that keep them motivated even when it’s a little tougher – a little less fun – as it is for ALL of us from time to time.
If you don’t have face to face access to these people then the internet or podcasts (!) will also do the trick.
Fact two: Exercise will get easier when you stick with it… and stay hard when you’re inconsistent.
This builds on fact one. So you admit it needs to be done. Consistently. Then why make it harder for yourself than it needs to be by stop-starting or program hopping?
This is the fact that compels me to do my interval training when I really-super-don’t-feel-like-it.
Closely guarded truth. When your trainer or your fitness-freak-friend takes a break form training they 100% find it punishingly-gruelling-UN-fun-and-struggle-street to get back into it.
It’s the same for us all. I guess the difference to help you stick with exercise more consistently is to always keep at the forefront of your mind how tough it is to start over and also utilise the…
Second Emotional Leverage point: Remember how great you feel when you’re at your fitest, your strongest… even simply when it’s over.
You know you feel better long term when you’re regularly exercising right? Happier. Healthier. Calmer. More Positive.
The day you exercise you are also supremely more likely to feed your body the quality fuel it deserves rather than get sucked into the no-exercise-rubbish-food depressing-addictive-downward-spiral. The quality fuel that makes you feel… happier, healthier, calmer, more positive and more in control.
Equally, each day you exercise you get to feel that satisfaction, self belief and even “Go Me!” pride that you stuck with your commitment to YOU and to achieving your goal.
Fact three: Exercise is amazing for stress relief and increased efficiency and productivity.
The fact is you either feed the positive cycle or the downward spiral.
You can choose to use exercise to counter the unavoidable stressors in life and to help your achieve as much and at a high quality as you can each day OR you can resort to the things that make it all worse.
Lack of sleep. Energy drinks and processed food. Frenzied reactive fire-fighting work.
Secret benefit truth. Although the body may be what gets you into exercise initially – as seductive and appealing as that is when we’re younger… the older I get, I’m really starting to value exercise for the way it helps me combat stress, stay calm, efficient and effective.
Third Emotional Leverage point: Get massive emotional leverage on yourself and know you can veer slightly off the 100% factual path here.
Think: “Is it effective?” rather than just “Is it true?”
To explain, I use complex equivalents a lot to stay motivated. A complex equivalent is when you make something MEAN something else. They can be factual like: Doing my intervals today means I’m more likely to find them easier next time I’m due to do them.
Equally as effective they can be made up yet designed to compel you to take the action that gets you the result.
Such as: Sticking to all my scheduled interval sessions this month means my thighs will look lean and toned as I get to feel super confident rocking my short shorts.
Now factually those short shorts are even more dependant on my Shiraz and my food however that complex equivalent absolutely works to get me on the treadmill. As does this one…
Ditching my intervals session means I am a hypocrite who is not walking the talk or being an inspiration to my clients.
Fact four: Exercise is precious you time.
If I could some this fact or in fact the whole show and my entire approach to staying motivating in one word it’s: GRATITUDE.
You know by now I’m not awesome at succinct though… so, the no fail way to motivate me to exercise is an appreciation for the fact that I can.
I, as do YOU, have the physical capacity, the time, the money and the freedom to be able to exercise.
Even if you have injuries to work around. Or only 15 minutes a few times a week. Even if you can’t afford a gym membership. Still, I’m fairly certain YOU and hands-down-without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt I am pretty supremely lucky
for whatever gorgeous, precious, unapologetically-self-indulgent exercise time we get.
Hugely impactful truth: Gratitude is a superpower. It’s an instant Motivator / Pick-me-up / Reality-check.
It’s also the antidote to fear. You simple cannot feel both fear and gratitude at the same time so in my mind gratitude has got to be about the best power to actively cultivate.
Which leads me to the final point, the person who really doesn’t do gratitude so well…
Forth Emotional Leverage point: The Anti-Mentor.
This is the person you really don’t want to be. I think they are just as useful in fuelling your motivation to take the actions you know you need to take – to be the person you want to be – as the mentor you respect.
You’re going to encounter anti-mentors anyway, obviously you don’t want to seek them out however I’ve found that since they are not completely unavoidable then this is a good way to learn from them.
Whether your anti-mentor is Lazy. Self obsessed. Ungrateful. or just Negative, it’s fuel for you to not be like that.
The other even more emotionally compelling angle is the desire to not be an anti-mentor to someone else!
Even if they don’t communicate it in that exact ‘anti-mentor’ manner it’s the principal of always leaving someone better off for their interaction with you… rather than the reverse.
To get actionable today: How about we have some fun with the Third Emotional Leverage point: Get massive emotional leverage on yourself.
So this is where you can veer slightly off the 100% factual path… and create the complex equivalent or the ‘this’ MEANS ‘this’ that works most effectively to keep you motivated to exercise.
I’d love to hear your example. You can let me know via the comments below.
That’s it for me today, I hope you can join me tomorrow for the Friday FAQ show where I cover, Understanding Food Labels.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Motivation to Lose Weight: Effective Eating and Exercise Strategies.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.