Your Motivation is not just about pushing through against laziness. It is also about dealing with the fears that you already have in your mind. Every time you are about to skip on a scheduled workout session or every time you place too much food on your plate, you should ask yourself these questions: Why am I doing this? What am I afraid of?
In the process of answering these questions, you will be able to reflect on your present attitude, and this will lead you to keep working on your goal. By analyzing your thought process, you will not only help yourself prolong your motivation but also build a state of mind that allows you to control it.
As Zig Ziglar said, motivation is not permanent. Even if you succeeded in boosting your motivation today, you will need to do it again tomorrow. That is the nature of motivation. You have to constantly work on it. You can do this by using both internal and external sources of motivation.
It isn’t enough to simply know what you are afraid of. Thousands of people live every day of their lives in fear, knowing exactly why, but few people actually work to counteract fear. In dealing with fear, the biggest weapon you have is love. Think of some things that you absolutely love.
Would you go to any length to keep those things in your life? Absolutely! No matter what comes your way, love can keep you on track, and this doesn’t just mean romantic love.
It can also mean loving a certain hobby or activity. For example, perhaps you love to travel. There is nothing in this life that entices you more. However, your weight and physical ailments are starting to hinder you from being able to follow that dream.
In this way, your love of travel can be a profound motivator, strong enough to overcome any fear that you may have. Of course, familial or romantic love can be incredibly motivating as well. Perhaps your health is to the point that you don’t think you can go on like this and that you are of no help to your family and loved ones.
However, you love them, and you want to be there for them for many years to come. This can also be an incredibly strong motivating factor in deciding to become healthy. Every time you struggle to get started, just think of the people you love, and it will seem all the more worthwhile.
External and Internal Motivation
All this process of self-reflection will help you develop strategies that will help increase your external and internal motivation. External motivation is the type of motivation that we derive from sources outside of our minds.
This is the type of motivation that you experience when you feel like working out because you hear one of your favorite workout songs. The people and the things that surround us affect our external motivation. Although this type of motivation is easy to create, it doesn’t last very long. We should use it together with internal motivation.
Internal motivation happens when the principles and the values that you abide to become the reasons behind your actions. If you have this type of motivation, you do not need to hear any type of music just to start working out.
Though this type of motivation is more difficult to develop, you should still work on it because its effects last longer. To have a strong source of internal motivation, you need a combination of two things: constant motivation practice and a set of positive principles to follow.
Surround Yourself with External Motivation
At the beginning of your fitness or weight loss program, it is understandable that your internal source of motivation may not be strong yet. For the early part, you will need to make sure that the people and the things around you motivate you to work harder. You should also decrease the factors that demotivate you in your surroundings.
As we already mentioned, setting an alarm on your phone or mobile device is a great place to start for external motivation. Once that becomes the norm, though, you may easily just dismiss it.
So work on other external factors as well. Always keep your workout clothes ready to go. Put the shoes you wear for exercising where you can see them, in a convenient location. Start getting pumped with music even before you are planning on exercising.
Perhaps you were in shape at one point, and you have a photo of what you want your body to get back to. Post that photo where you can see it as a reminder that your goals are achievable. If this is the first time in your life you are trying to become healthy, then maybe you can keep a picture of a role model around to help motivate you.
Another external motivating factor for frugal people can be money. If you spend monthly to have a gym membership but are generally tight for money or just like to watch your budget closely, then you are more likely to try and get your money’s worth. Why pay for something if you’re not going to use it?
Successfully Building Internal Motivation
If we’re honest, probably all of us have lofty goals and standards that we try to live by. Regardless of your religion or culture, there are certain values that most humans try to attain. At the core of most of these values is living in such a way that you are making the world a better place, in one way or another. How can you use this most basic trait to build internal motivation to want to work out?
First, you will need to realize that you will never be able to live to your fullest potential without being healthy. One of the most basic things that keep us from realizing our dreams or making a difference is our health. Obesity and poor diet and exercise routines are at the root of many different health issues, as we already discussed. If you don’t live a healthy life, you won’t be able to make as big of an impact on the world as you otherwise would.
So how do you build internal motivation? One of the best ways of doing this is mediation. Meditation allows your mind to focus and contemplate. If you need some quiet time to reflect before your exercise routine, by all means, do so. Visualize what you can achieve and how much better your life will be if your body is functioning at its highest capacity. Use a meditation journal to jot down inspirational thoughts and ideas that you can look back on and reflect.
Another great way to foster internal motivation is by posting motivational quotes around you. If you are religious, look for quotes in your Scriptures that will help encourage you in your journey. This will help keep your mind focused on the values that you cherish.
If you are not religious, you may also find quotes from role models in your life to be very inspiring. There may also be some sayings that will help foster internal motivation. A few great examples would be
“Fitness is not about being better than someone else, but being better than you used to be,”
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
If you surround yourself with these types of positive ideas, then you are much more likely to maintain internal motivation and counteracting fear.