Finding (And Keeping!) Your Motivation

At some point or another we have most likely muttered the words, “I have no motivation to…”  In my opinion motivation is a lot like will power. Some days we have ample amounts, and some days, well let’s be honest, the well is dry!  

Lacking motivation and/or will power for a day or two, or even a week, when it comes to our diet, exercise, sleep, etc, is understandable and acceptable. That said it can also be a slippery slope when we allow it to go too far and can potentially lead to bigger health risks. Here are a few ways to address motivational issues when it comes to keeping up with a healthy lifestyle. 

Get Started and Keep it Going:  

I ride a part draft horse. She is a big girl and would prefer to remain motionless versus moving forward. During every lesson I am reminded that it is easier to keep forward momentum (1500 pounds is hard to get moving!) than it is to have to start over again. This is true of most of us when it comes to maintaining our health-based routines. Once we get the momentum toward our goals and learn what we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is much easier to set a routine to stay on track as much as possible than to derail and find the energy to start again after a long break.  

Enlist Help:  

Recently I had a conversation about getting started with a group fitness class as an adult. This person shared with me that after 20 minutes in her first class she excused herself to the bathroom to lay down and catch her breath on the bathroom floor. She was ready to ‘give in.’ The goal didn’t seem worth it because it seemed to far out of reach. I told her to have a conversation with her trainer/instructor to help set herself up for success versus feeling like a failure on the bathroom floor. Every goal that is worth it is usually work. We often think that if we want to start a new exercise goal or diet, we need to go all in.  Often times this can be overwhelming and we lose our motivation to stay on track, thus starting over again and again. Finding a professional to have open conversations about how to best do this can help with being successful and having to lean less on our internal motivation and will power and more on the small goals along the way until we have the skills needed to set bigger goals and to get to the point of maintenance.  All of your instructors at Catalyst continue to use the assistance of coaches, instructors, or each other, either in person or via online, to keep us on track and motivated.  

Give it a Rest:

Ok, I’m not a scientist and have no actual proven research here, but I’m a firm believer that we have a limited amount of motivation and willpower. The output of this seems to flow even faster when we become tired or stressed. Be as ready for this as you possibly can. If you know that you have a lot of schedule changes, extra workload, moving, vacations, etc, coming up in your future then decide now what your new ‘health routine’ is going to look like. Maybe you take this time to cut a day out of your workout schedule so that you can have a day that you can get an extra hour of sleep.  Maybe you focus on water intake verses maintaining a strict diet.  Whatever it may be, talk it over with your nutritionist, instructor, trainer, friend, etc, and make a plan so that when things level back out a few weeks from now you don’t feel like you are starting over but that you are energized and feel good about getting back into your regular routine.  

Find a Community: 

Believe it or not this is the easiest thing that you can do to find and keep motivation towards your life long health routines. I have said it in other blog posts but my goals were and continue to be met because I found a community to support me. It’s no surprise that community has become life long friends and people that I will always lean on when needed!  

If you have a goal to start to exercise, do it with a friend or family member. Don’t have one? No problem…go join that new studio (of course Catalyst Strength!), and be open to developing those new and eventually mutual relationships. I have yet to enter into Catalyst without KNOWING that everyone there is ready to carry the person next to them regardless if they know their name or not.  There will be times that YOU will be the motivation that someone else needs, and there will be times that they will be your motivation to pull yourself out of bed to get to class.  

Let us be a part of getting back on track after your summer or starting over again after a long break! For other ideas and thoughts on creating and keeping yourself motivated in all areas of your life check out the following article.

author: Cara Flynn