When Motivation Leaves Town! How to replace motivation with intention and commitment.
Was you born with the ability to walk? To drive a car? To ride a bike? To read a book? To dance like a hyperactive chicken at a friends wedding?
No – you learned these abilities by repetition and effort, by intention and commitment!
Now let’s think about diet and exercise. Many delve ‘in and out’ numerous times, without ever learning the skills needed to succeed in this area.
Much of this is down to motivation.
Think about it – when do most people make solid vows to change their health and fitness?
In the western world it tends to be New Years Eve – when motivation and hope are at their highest!
However, this motivation soon wains and the reasons as to ‘why not’ to fulfil your resolutions grow!
So, how do we make our resolutions stick?
Well, for a start we don’t need to wait until New Years Eve!
We can make the change any month, week, day or even hour – the power is ours!
From working with clients from all over the world, on a whole range of fitness goals, I have noticed many common traits.
One that really stands out is the stages they go through when starting a new fitness program:
Stage 1: The client starts the plan, they feel excited and motivated, and follow the instructions to the letter! They are super motivated!
Stage 2: At some point, often between the 4 and 6 week mark, they just lose their motivation. It just gets up and goes! Doing their workouts becomes more difficult. Eating clean and healthy starts to stress them.
And what happens? They don’t exercise as hard. They make more exceptions in their diet. Or, they give up and quit!
This is so frustrating, as they are often on the verge of a break-through when they quit!
So, let’s address this. You didn’t start with the goal of transforming your body to fail, so why let it happen?
If anything in your life is important enough to you, you will make it work!
The main factor in succeeding at transforming your body isn’t the workouts or meal plans, but instead strengthening your mind so that it becomes a ‘must’ rather than a ‘maybe’!
So, if motivation and willpower won’t always be there to push you to achieve your goals, what will be? The answer – ‘intention and commitment’ – these will turn your goals into reality!
For example, when you create a massive goal (e.g. drop from a dress size 18 to a 10) your brain relies on precedent.
Did you fail in the past when trying to lose weight?
Your brain will search its data banks and pull out past failures which will knock your drive and send you into a state of learned helplessness.
If you fail enough, you start to expect failure!
However, following a specific plan rather than achieving an intended goal is different.
It’s basic processing, no different than taking a shopping list to the store and buying it!
You still have to put in the effort, and stay consistent – but it is clear what you must do.
When you make your goal simple, clear, and easy to follow, you set yourself up to make success the most likely outcome!
This will seem really basic, but often the most basic things work best!
Do this and over time you won’t worry about lost motivation.
Training your brain for success will build a mindset that will guide you to the body and health you want!
To take things further I’ve added some ways which you can set yourself up for success even when the inevitable happens and you lose motivation:
- 1. Stop thinking. Just do the plan! If you find motivation is lacking, just get started without overthinking it! As you get going you’ll develop the momentum!
- 2. Positivity. See the good in bad! When encountering obstacles, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them rather than complaining or revelling in your ‘bad luck’!
- 3. Track your progress. The mind will play tricks on you, but by keeping a track of your progress shows the truth in black and white.
As always, any questions fire them over.
Ian David Worthington: Creator, Owner and Coach at GymWolfPT.com