I think Motivation is a good subject to tackle because it seems that a lot of people wait for “motivation” to start something like a fitness or healthy eating routine. You know that sudden burst of “I can do anything! I can’t wait to see results! This is going to be great!”. You may have had that feeling before. and it may had nudged you towards making changes.
But you also probably know that the “motivation” can also be very fleeting and short lived. So what do you do once your motivation goes out the window and you can’t even remember why you had this crazy idea to work out in the first place?
I think there are several very important things to focus on when starting a new health regime, and what I want my clients to focus on the most is: what IS your motivation?
I’ll tell you right now, if your motivation is to “lose 20lbs” or “be more toned” or “eat better”- these goals aren’t going to see you through the difficult times when motivation is wavering. If your goal is to lose 20lbs and the scale is going up and down you are going to get discouraged in about 2 weeks and want to quit. What is your TRUE desire and deepest feelings towards reaching this certain goal? You need to find something that lights a fire in you no matter what and whenever the going gets tough. What are you doing this for? Why are you doing this?
I’ve been on my fair share of diets throughout the years and I remember every new diet sparking this magical motivation that I would be “skinny and confident and wear anything I like!” my first mistake is I thought being thin equaled confidence. For me it actually worked the reverse, and the thinner I got the more self conscious and hard on myself I was. It’s a whole other blog post on how I found confidence and self-love, but trust me when I say losing 10lbs is not a stepping stone to confidence.
I think being focussed on how you are feeling, how much more energy you have, how much better you are sleeping, how strong and capable you feel is a much better goal. Establishing fitness goals instead of weight loss goals is an amazing way to empower yourself to feel stronger, faster, and more confident in yourself. I have this amazing client who contacted me and wanted to start training for Tough Mudder. She’s never mentioned losing weight. She’s always been super focussed on working hard, and getting fitter and stronger. This goal has seen her through months of training and we are going to have an amazing time at Tough Mudder at the end of it! Not to mention the other day she said she needs to buy new clothes cause they are falling off! Wouldn’t you rather have fun and kick ass and get stronger instead of counting down the days till your next weigh in?
The most important thing I think about when it comes to motivation is HABIT. Do I wake up everyday super excited to hit the gym and work out .. definitely not. It’s purely a habit that makes me feel amazing and I know I’ll feel better after I do it. Once you start working out consistently, you can’t imagine doing anything else because of all the amazing benefits you experience. Habits take a long time to establish, and that’s the thing about habits- you can’t stop! It’s totally fine to take breaks when you are injured, but do you stop brushing your teeth when you are feeling a little stressed? Or on vacation? No! Think of your workout as an essential part of your routine that you just do. No if ands or buts about it. Motivation is what gets you started, and habit is what keeps you going!
If you find your deep motivation, love your body TODAY unconditionally, and make your fitness/healthy eating into a habit; I can guarantee you will reach any goals you set and you will feel amazing and happy while you do it!
I’ve been thinking about my motivation lately. I’ve found I’ve had to switch gears because I’m no longer motivated by weight loss (don’t weigh myself) or getting thinner. I think a lot of us really just want to be HAPPY. And when I think about what makes me truly happy its the following:
-working up a sweat everyday between all of my favourite things: plyometric workouts, TRX, running, stairs, walking, hiking, spinning and weight lifting, and being outside. These make me feel strong and amazing.
-teaching classes! Nothing better.
-Eating all my favourite delicious healthy foods- when I’m hungry- and paying attention to hunger/fullness cues.
-Enjoying and savouring those amazing desserts that you really LOVE. (Milestones White Chocolate Brownie come at me)
-Trying out new recipes and getting excited about each meal
-Getting lots of sleep (I’m beyond grumpy and non-functioning with out it)
-spending time with my family, friends, and boyfriend
-being productive and getting lots done in the course of a day, going to bed with that proud accomplished feeling.
-getting my alone time in for reading, relaxing, and journalling.
All of these things truly make me happy and make it easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle when I know that binging on chocolate is not going to make anything better, and neither is Netflix going to distract me from stress!
So- what is your goal? What is your motivation? What makes you HAPPY? Do these things align together to create a common goal? Put some thought into it and see if you need to change some goals or add in some more happiness inducing things into your days!’
I’m putting this photo in here to finish because I think its important to celebrate your body as it right now. I’ve been fitter and leaner before in my life, but I’ve never been this happy and confident and I think this photo shows that 🙂 Love yourself and find a way to create healthy habits that make you HAPPY!