When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.
Working in a commercial gym, I have the opportunity to talk about fitness with individuals from all walks of life. When I ask how their training is going, the number one obstacle they bring up is the big bad M-word: motivation.
In fact, many of them hire a personal trainer just to have someone to push them to exercise and eat in a different way.
But what is motivation? And how can you manipulate it to succeed in your fitness journey?
In this article, I will examine different types of motivation and how to harness the most common one to achieve your fitness goals.
The basics win fights.
How’s your training going?
Making progress, achieving your goals, enjoying yourself? Awesome.
None of the above? Then keep reading.
In this article, I will tell you three easy, inexpensive things you can do to improve your training instantly.
Curious? Let’s get into it!
For me, fitness is not just about hitting the gym; it is also about an inner happiness and an overall well-being.
When I was seventeen, I spent six months as an exchange student in America. I lived with two host sisters, one of whom went to the gym every day.
Whenever she was about to leave the house, I would wish her a good workout.
Every single time, she would give me an odd look and reply, “You don’t work out because you enjoy it,” as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Eventually, I realised what she meant. She only went to the gym because she was scared of gaining weight. Her main goal was to burn calories, so she ran on a treadmill for half an hour, counting the seconds until it was over.
Raise your hand if that’s you or has been you at some point in your life.
You can’t see me, but I’m raising mine.
We live in a culture obsessed with losing weight, mainly for aesthetic purposes. When someone dares to say they genuinely like exercise, they get made fun of.
But what can working out do for you besides weight loss and maintenance?
In this article, I’m going to explore three benefits that go beyond these usual suspects.
If you choose to fear, you will die slave of your own mind.
Since I made the decision to heal from my eating disorder, I believed that anything involving rigour and precision meant I was relapsing. I didn’t weigh myself and didn’t track my food intake or physical activity for two years. For many, that may be healthful: they were never strict and inflexible to begin with, so losing those tendencies would be a return to their true self.
However, I was strict and inflexible long before my mental health went awry. Trying to uproot those traits was like trying to replace myself with a person I couldn’t, didn’t know how, and didn’t want to be.
This attempt didn’t truly heal me. Forbidding myself to record what I was doing in any quantifiable way, I deprived myself of the only tool I had to get in touch with my body. Trying hard to fit into the mould of the “intuitive recovery warrior” only led to a partial recovery. I was still afraid of food, exercised in a way I hated, and felt insecure about my body. The only difference was that now my weight was either stable or going up instead of down.
It was only when I chose to track again that I truly took back control of my life. However, it’s still hard to tell whether I make a decision because I’m pursuing a fitness goal or because I’m still fighting my old disordered mindset. For this reason, I’m going to cover a number of helpful questions you can ask yourself to figure out if what’s motivating you comes from a place of health or disorder.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
A habit is an automatic behaviour repeated on a regular basis. It’s our brain’s smart way to work less to perform routine actions so we can invest more into new activities that expand our knowledge. However, forming a habit isn’t easy. No wonder habit-building tips abound on the internet, but how many times have you come across them and thought, “Ok, I’ve tried all this and it doesn’t really work for me. Now what?”
I know I have. Many of these articles assume there’s only one right way to build habits, and they don’t take into account differences between personality types. For example, some of us might do very well with written reminders on post-it notes, while others will forget to look at them. Some might respond well to an alarm; others will be ticked off and ignore it.
The good news is, there are many habit-building hacks, each of them catering to a different personality type. As a personality and general psychology nerd, I put together seven tips (plus one!) based on the science of habit formation, the MBTI, and the Four Tendencies theory. You have plenty to try out!
A personal trainer who likes bodybuilding, superheroes, and bread.
Want to work with me? Check out my services!