Without motivation, there is no drive and without drive there is no real reason to push on and succeed Photo / 123RF
If you are looking for health and fitness motivation, you first need to ask yourself “why”.
After all, without motivation, there is no drive and without drive, there is no real reason to push on
This is the reason many people who embark on a fitness or nutrition programme end up abandoning it long before they get to see and experience the results. They start down the path to improving their health only to find that suddenly they have too much to do to go to the gym today or they are just too tired or busy or whatever.
If this sounds familiar, then it is time to dig down and find your “why”.
This “why” bit is the single most important aspect of any fitness or nutrition programme yet it is seldom considered and the most neglected. It is the driving force that will get you out of bed an hour earlier to get to the gym or plan ahead with meal preparation or simply not devour that packet of chocolate biscuits.
This is the one crucial element in your approach that will push you past where you have been before or even beyond what you ever thought was possible or you were capable of.
To find your “why”, you must first ask yourself this question, “Why am I starting this fitness or nutrition programme?” Why will you make it a consistent priority in your life? Is it to lose weight, improve your health, sleep better, reduce stress, sleep better or set an example for your children?
The typical answer will be something like this if your goal was to lose weight:
• I want to lose weight
• I want to be healthier
• I want to fit into my old skinny jeans.
Now, these are all good reasons but they are not quite yet your “why”. At this point, and based on the answers above, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
• “Why do I want to lose weight?”
• “Why do I want to be healthier?”
• “Why do I want to fit back into my skinny jeans?”
When you add “why” in front of these questions, it forces you to dig deep inside for your true health motivation. For example, when you ask yourself why you want to lose weight you might get answers like: “I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I want to look my best.
Other examples of why you might want to get healthier could be: “To reduce the likelihood of my life being cut short by some awful disease. So I can be around when my grandchildren are born. So I can come off medications and stop worrying about my health. Or, I’m worried about having a heart attack as my blood pressure and cholesterol are high. I have a young family and cannot imagine leaving them on their own.”
Now, these are the true “whys”. These are powerful and emotional reasons for following through with your fitness programme or nutrition plan.
Remembering that you are sick and tired of being overweight or that your health is at risk as your doctor has warned that you are in danger of a heart attack is how you create the unstoppable drive to stick to your fitness programme and get your butt to the gym.
So if you are trying to decide if it’s time to improve your health, or if you have already started a fitness programme but you are not getting it done having lost your motivation, then it’s time to revisit your “why”.
1. Ask yourself “why you are doing this”.
2. Then ask yourself “but why am I [insert answer to the above question]”.
3. Repeat as often as needed (even several times a day) until you have found your true drive and motivation.
Create yourself a goal so significant to yourself, that no amount of effort or challenge will keep you from reaching it. If your why is strong enough, you can tolerate any how.
Make yourself a force to be reckoned with but you first need to get very clear on what you want to make possible for yourself. Do not limit yourself – stretch and challenge yourself. And Begin.
Carolyn Hansen is co-owner at Anytime Fitness