Create MOTIVATION!

Motivation. 

noun

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
    2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and claim it's safe to say we are ALL motivated by/for something. Would you agree? What those motivations are vary greatly from person to person. Love, money, success, recognition, health, competition, the list goes on and on, I could likely never list all that motivates us. All that being said how about we focus on one thing, health. Kinda the theme around these parts. 😉

Are you motivated to be healthy? To eat well, eat the foods that nourish your body in a way that helps it function at its best? To workout, to strengthen your muscles, to increase your endurance? I was inspired to write this post by a FB post I saw. "How do full-time working moms fit in exercise?" How does anyone do it really?

The answer is simple...all you need is internal motivation to workout/be healthy. Achieving that, now that's where it gets a bit more complicated. As we move forward keep your mind open to this thought...

I won't claim to have it all figured out, to know exactly what motivates every person, but I have some ideas to share on what has worked for me and worked for others I know. I hope one or two of those can work for you.

  1. Know your "energy time". In other words, what part of the day is the time of day you seem to have to most energy? For me, it's the morning. I function at my best from about 4/5am-2pm. After that my energy and focus seem to diminish substantially. That means ideally, if the day is going my way, my workout is in that time frame because I know I will be able to give a bit more to it than if I'm squeezing it in after that.
  2. Know your goals. You have to know what it is you are hoping to gain out of the time you dedicate to your health. Whether that's meal prep time or workout time, why are you doing it? What's the purpose of that activity that's taking up your time? Our time is precious, we can't waste it on something that isn't benefiting us in some way, that's my feeling anyway. If what you are doing isn't helping you accomplish a your goals it is going to be difficult to sustain doing it over time.
  3. Be your biggest cheerleader. Sure we have people in our life that support us and can help keep us moving forward but it's unrealistic to expect them to be "on" 100% of the time for us. Enter YOU! Cheer yourself on, give yourself positive talk. For example, after my son was born (2nd baby) I had a hard time being that positive voice for myself which made staying motivated pretty difficult. One day I wrote out positive talk on several post-its and posted them all over the house, in the bedroom, the bathroom, the fridge, my workout area, my car. If I spent any amount of my time there, there was a post-it. On my most unmotivated days I would see those and be reminded by my cheerleader self that I had someone on my side.
  4. Create your space. Speaking of "my workout area" it's important that you create your "healthy" space. For some that may mean creating a home gym of your own. It doesn't take much equipment to have a home gym. A balance ball is a great piece of equipment, very versatile. If that's all you have you have a great workout waiting for you. Maybe working out at home isn't your thing, perhaps group classes, the gym are more your speed. That's fine, create your "healthy" space by putting out the clothes you are going to wear to workout. I even recommend buying yourself some workout clothes that make you feel cute, comfortable, badass, whatever you need to feel ready to tackle your workouts.
  5. Find a buddy. For some I know having that workout buddy works wonders! Someone that keeps you held accountable. When that alarm goes off at 5am for your morning run/walk/workout you don't want to leave them hanging high and dry. Or maybe you're meeting up after work. Not to mention maybe you get in some quality time with a friend/family member/spouse while you work. Nothing wrong with that.
  6. Hire a personal trainer. I don't say this because I am one, I think everyone should experience time with a trainer at some point. Trainers help to educate you on HOW to workout. I see, way more than I like, people doing things incorrectly in the gym. I fear they may be hurting themselves. That could definitely diminish motivation over time. They can also teach you how to put together workouts that help you achieve your goals. Now, you want to make sure you are getting a good trainer but that's a topic for another post. 😉
  7. Create competition. Do you thrive on competition? Ask a friend(s)/family member/co-worker/spouse if they want to compete in a little friendly health competition. It doesn't have to be about weight loss. Some ideas: who gets the most days in a week of workouts, healthy meal challenge (You each pick a meal, cook it and rate it. Highest score wins), weight loss (if that's a goal), sleep (who gets 7/8 hours most consistently, (yes, sleep is that important). Be creative, there are so many aspects to health a little friendly competition can be created with almost anything.
  8. Reward yourself. Have you figured out your goals yet? Once you do the next thing to do (after knowing how you will achieve them) is deciding how you will reward yourself once you reach your goal. I never suggest food as a reward but that's just me. Maybe a new outfit, going to see a play/musical/concert, new shoes, new book, new music, etc. Even though this is a bit external it will help to develop that internal motivation.
  9. Sign up for a race! Most all races are nonrefundable. Don't waste your money! 😉 Sign up for a race, give yourself ample training time, and set your sights on the finish line.
  10. Know you ARE worth it! Being healthy is amazing. It feels amazing. You are able to get through your day with more energy and more positivity. You are worth giving that to yourself.

Notice I didn't say do it for your kids/your spouse. Nope. Don't do it for them. Sure they will benefit from you being they healthy version of yourself you are striving to be but you have to do it for YOU. It doesn't work any other way. Once you decide to do it for you there will be no stopping you.

You have it. It's there. Now all you have to do is tap into it. Believe in you just like you believed in Santa. 😉

How do you stay motivated?