Motivation: The Barrier Between You And A Better Body
When it comes down to getting a better body, there are no shortcuts. You need to exercise and you need to control your diet. Depending on how specific your goals are, you need to be even more strict with yourself. But dieting and exercise just aren’t fun for a lot of people. Not initially, at least. Motivation is what truly gets you there. It’s not just an abstract concept that some people have and some people don’t. It’s a process of tough decision making and dedicated thinking you have to go through every day. If you don’t “have” motivation, it will be the biggest barrier between you and the body you want. What do you do about it?
Be honest, don’t make excuses
The motivation has to come from a real desire to change. If you’re thinking about achieving a better body, then you likely already have some of that desire. However, it’s easy to think vaguely about what you want to change and why you want to change it. We don’t like taking a good hard look at the parts of ourselves that we’re not happy about. Starting on the path is about making a commitment to yourself about exactly what you want to change and why you want to change it. Take a look in the mirror and, awkward as it might feel at first, tell yourself what you’re going to change. Don’t just make it a track that repeats in the back of your mind. Tell yourself, figure out your goals, and start writing them down.
No more dilly-dallying
From there, you’ve got your current position and your end point. Then it’s about finding the right path to your goals. Too many people have specific goals but nebulous means of reaching them. You might want more muscle mass or a more toned figure, but if you’re just exercising aimlessly or eating healthily without really thinking about what you’re working out and what nutrition you’re providing, you won’t reach your goals. You will be healthier, yes, but for many, that’s only one part of it. We have an ideal that we want to get closer to. If your goal is muscle-building, you need this information if you want to learn how to get ripped fast with the right exercise, nutrition, and supplements. If you want to lose weight, you need to figure out how many calories you can eat a day and how many you should be burning by exercise.
Make the right choice first
Connecting the dots from your current state to your goal is long-term plotting. Where does short-term motivation come in? As soon as possible, is the answer. Everyone has an energy level that goes up and down (but mostly down) as the day goes on. In the evening, we’re more likely to be tired and unenthusiastic and more likely to just procrastinate than to work. From the moment you wake up, start making the right choices. Eat a healthy breakfast and you’re more likely to eat a healthy lunch. Wake up earlier to exercise earlier. Make the right choice first, as hard as it might be, and you’re likely to keep making the right choices throughout the day.
The right environment
To many, the gym is the perfect environment for working out. You have all the equipment, you have expert knowledge at hand, and you have an establishment full of people motivated and actively trying to reach their goals. However, it’s not the right environment for everyone. If the pressure of the gym is more of a distraction than anything, then you need to find the environment that works for you, whether it’s taking hikes in the wild or building a private gym at home. It’s becoming much less expensive to invest in versatile equipment that can give you a truly thorough balanced workout at home. You don’t need the gym if the gym doesn’t work for you.
Find your endorphin rush
If you’ve never really been into exercise, then you might look at the people who do it every week like they’re from another planet. They genuinely enjoy it. The truth is that anyone can get to that point with time and as you grow used to it. In the meantime, it’s about playing some trickery on the brain to make the stress more bearable. Music has played a huge role in making exercise much easier and finding your workout playlist has been scientifically proven to make it easier to go harder, for longer.
When it comes to “the carrot or the stick”, the carrot has been proven to work better with fitness goals nine times out of ten. However, the problem with rewarding yourself for sticking to a diet and exercising is that the usual rewards tend to fall in the self-sabotaging categories. A night of drinks or a huge muffin. When it comes to weight loss, following the “IIFYM” (if it fits your macros) law is key. You can have the occasional treat if it falls within your goals. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to think of non-dietary rewards that can make you feel good about your progress without actively working against it.
Find your community
If there’s a positive motivating force that works even better than rewards or listening to music as you work out, it’s having a community around you. People drive one another to try harder and make it a lot more fun and feel a lot less like work. If you’re dieting or following the same exercise plan as someone else, it can help you in keeping one another accountable as well to make sure old habits don’t encroach. It’s one of the reasons the gym is such an effective environment for some. If it’s not for you, however, then finding a team sport to join that provides a workout fit to your goals can make it a lot easier to find like-minded individuals and get another session in.
See how far you’ve got
Rewarding yourself for putting in the work and going to the gym or for meeting your weekly diet plans is all well and good. The best reward, and the best positive reinforcement for motivation is seeing the effect that your work is having. When you go through every day looking at yourself in the mirror, it can be hard to see the differences as they happen over time. That’s a big part of why progress photos have become an integral tool in helping so many people understand just how much progress they’re making. When you have pictures of yourself from a month ago, three months ago, six months ago and so on to compare to yourself now, it can be a tremendous boost to the ego and the fact that you are on the right path.
At the same time, you have to prepare for those knocks to the confidence and motivation. Yes, there are going to be times that you might miss a workout or eat too many calories. While you don’t want to slip into making a habit of it, you shouldn’t dwell on it, either. Focus on measuring the trends, not the individual data points. This is specifically true of measuring your weight, which can sometimes vary with little explanation even if you’re meeting your existing goals. The power of positive thought is crucial in developing long-term motivation and achieving all your aims. Keep at it.
Everyone can find, give themselves, and build motivation. Sometimes, it can be as demanding as the exercise and dieting. But once you have it, it makes the rest not easier, but much more doable.