This past weekend I was spurred into action by my boyfriend to exercise. My lack of motivation was definitely apparent, therefore I had to get motivated quickly. I am a professional fitness trainer while he has type 1 diabetes. Consistent exercise is important for both of us, and sometimes we all need something or someone to drive us into action. In one word, we need motivation.
a. The reason one has for acting in a particular way
b. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
Making healthy choices everyday takes enthusiasm and drive. Why does it seem that engaging in healthy behaviors comes so easily for some and is a constant struggle for others?
How do we motivate ourselves into action? Understanding your primary motivation style or what style of motivation you operate from, helps us to learn how to set goals and to accomplish them.
***3 types of motivation***
- INTERNAL MOTIVATION
This type of motivation is ideal and is based on 3 psychological human needs.
- The need or desire to control your environment
- free from outside influence
- Perceived self belief in ones abilities
Individuals engage in healthy behaviors because of internal factors. Examples include enjoyment of the activity, curiosity, desire to learn a new skill, personal goals and your beliefs. This type of motivation is very effective. I try to help my clients see other motivators for exercise and healthy habits besides just the “typical results” like weight loss.
- EXTERNAL MOTIVATION
Driven by external forces. This is less effective than Internal Motivation. This type of motivation is driven by things such as trophy’s, accolades and bragging rights, awards, rewards and money. An example of external motivation might be buying new work out clothes if you average 3 workouts a week for 1 month. Or a fancy dinner out if you are successful at your weight loss goal.
Lack of motivation. Hey, and lets not pretend…we’ve all been there!
As a trainer I see many different styles/levels of motivation. It helps to know what drives you. Do a quick online search for a motivational test to see what your style is.
- Quick tips to help with motivation to exercise and eat healthy.
- Get an exercise partner or nutrition buddy. This worked for me this past weekend because if it wasn’t for my boyfriend I would have laid on the couch and watched football while eating Cheetos. If its nutrition and making better eating choices you want to improve, find a friend, share recipes while grocery shopping together. You could have monthly power cooking dates and make a bunch of food, freeze it and each take some home with you.
- Accountability. This can be either your exercise partner or nutrition buddy, or could either be your Mom, brother or a Personal Trainer you hire. Give someone the right to bust your chops if you don’t do what you say you want to do. A little tough love for sure, but effective for some.
- Record how you feel before and after exercise, or after a healthy meal versus a not so healthy meal. This remind you or point out that you feel better during the day after you exercise in the morning and you make better food choices as apposed to mornings without exercise.
- Keep it simple. Start small with goals and have small success’ then add more once you feel comfortable. Its really about consistency over time. Don’t over commit yourself.
- Fake it before you make it. Adulting is hard and takes its toll. We don’t have to be perfect but sometimes we have to forge through when we really don’t want to. You probably won’t feel like exercising more than you do feel like exercising. Trust me you will be happy in the end knowing you did something good for yourself and your family. You just need to get the ball rolling.
- Find someone who motivates you either on tv, instagram in magazines or you everyday life and stalk them. LOL For me, its The Rock (TV personality) therefore I follow him on Instagram and he makes me want to eat better as well as go to the gym every time I see him. If you are curious, the link is below
7. Be grateful. Whenever I don’t want to exercise or eat healthy I remember that I would be pretty upset if for some reason those choices were taken away. Change your mindset. Feel lucky you can move around and then go home and make a salad!!
Good luck with exercise and keep up the good work!
Certified professional fitness trainer with knowledge in specific exercise programs, diet and nutrition.