Motivation - What gets you going?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And what KEEPS you going?

Motivation is a word often tossed about on fitness blogs and weight-loss posters, but how many times do you leave said sites without any clear direction on how to get your motivation revving?  Wait, is that just me?  Hmmmm.

Regardless, I thought I'd start our discussion on motivation by actually researching the true definition.  According to, the definition is:


So in other words, it's what gets your butt in gear to achieve whatever it is you are setting out to achieve.  And that, then, leads us to the first step in finding your motivation.

Step 1)  What do you want to achieve?

This is another way of saying, what are your goals?  What do you want?  What do you need?  What causes your pulse to quicken just a tad?  What makes your heart skip a beat when you consider the end result?  What, exactly, do you want to achieve?

Make it specific.  Picture it.  What does it look like?  What does it feel like?  What emotions do you experience?  Don't just say, "I want to lose weight."  When you picture your goal, what are you wearing?  What are you doing?  Make it as tangible as you possibly can.  That will make the next step that much easier.

Step 2)  Why do you want to achieve it?  

Again, be specific.  What about your goal excites you?  Why do you want what you want?  And keep drilling it down; keep asking why until there's no more you can dissect.

Let's take the weight-loss goal again.  Why lose weight?  Some may say, to get healthy?  I say, why?  To lower cholesterol?  Why?  So you don't have a heart attack?  Why?  So you don't die young?  Why?  What is there to live for?  What moment?  What tiny little thing do you long for?

Maybe your "why" is vanity (and I say there's nothing wrong with that!).  But still drill it down.  Why do you want to look better?  Is there a certain piece of clothing you are dying to wear?  

Why, why, why, why, why?

Step 3)  Connect with your goal.

We've already discussed getting emotionally involved with this process.  We've nailed down exactly what you want and why.  Now, it's time to get connected.  Find ways to remind yourself of the what and why throughout the day.  Hang post-it notes (mirrors and my steering wheel are my favorite places), journal, set a daily alarm on your phone, or even set your wallpaper on your PC to something that resonates with your goals.  Keep them front and center.

Step 4)  Just do it.

You're emotionally invested.  You're reminding yourself daily.  Now, it's time to bite the bullet and just commit.  This is the hard part, where you test your emotional investment.  This is also the good stuff.  If you've really searched down deep and connected, then you'll know.  And you will reap the rewards of your commitment.  But it does take work.  And sometimes you WON'T feel like it.  But if you are truly, 100% honest in steps 1 and 2, your connection will be strong and will weather those times.  And if not?  Well, that brings us to the last step...

Step 5)  Reevaluate.

Take a step back.  Go through the steps one by one.  If you can't maintain the commitment, find a deeper why, and deeper connection.  There is something there, in all of us.  Sometimes it just takes a little excavation.  Even if you still connect with your goals, you need to reevaluate periodically to keep things fresh.  

It's a cycle, a never-ending cycle.  Don't stop till you reach that goal!

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