It's that time of year again, when the gym is packed with loads of people trying to meet their New Years Resolution goals. But how do we get motivated, and better yet, stay motivated? For most of us, getting motivated to hit the gym can be a struggle at times. Whether you’re an early bird, a mid-day mover, or a post-work gym attendee, there always seems to be things that come up during the day that throw off our constant goal to stay consistent in our health and fitness efforts. Since I work out in the mornings, staying up too late at night is the main factor that will cause me to turn off my 5 am wake up call. Even when I do make it to bed at a reasonable hour, the sound of the alarm isn’t exactly the most exciting noise to hear and doesn’t provide me with the drive I need to make the most out of my morning workouts. An effortless trick that I’ve found to be rather persuasive is to label my alarm, “you’ll thank yourself later.” Aside from this immediate reminder, I’ve found that asking myself two questions can provide me with the internal push I need that does in fact allow me to thank myself later!
QUESTION #1: What’s my purpose?
We often engage in activities purely out of routine or may do certain things because we feel like it’s what we have to do without giving thought to the reason why! Making a conscious choice where to put our time and energy creates a sense of direction & purpose, which is what provides us with focus & determination to move towards a certain place rather than just to move in general. It helps distractions and excuses melt away and instead of just going through the motions of things, purpose allows us to complete something effectively. Some may immediately think well duh…my purpose is to lose ten pounds or to be able to lift a certain amount! The main advice I will give is that purpose is neither tangible nor temporary.
When you begin to understand why you are trying to change something, that’s when you will undergo transformation. So how do we decide the purpose? Perhaps you were the person that initially would have answered that your purpose of exercising is to lose ten pounds. Why do you want to lose ten pounds? More simply, what feelings are you hoping to generate by reaching that end point? Instead of chasing the goal, chase the feeling that you hope reaching the goal will give you – that’s where the purpose lies!
QUESTION #2: What will I gain?
This question goes hand in hand with the first. Have you ever heard of a line of questioning? A lot of coaches in the NFL use this method of extrinsic motivation for their players. The practice involves encouraging ideas & concepts, but from the viewpoint of the player. Using a sequence of questions, the coach will point the player in the direction of realizing how certain choices can benefit them and what they will gain. We can use this same exercise for ourselves.
Think about the purpose you’ve created above in the first question & break this down into smaller pieces. What you do on a daily basis ultimately becomes your progress long-term
. When you can’t find that drive on a particular day, ask yourself – will skipping this workout help my purpose or hold me back? You already know that answer to that. However, verbally asking yourself this question & forcing yourself to admit it will help you focus your energy on the small daily activities that, in large, will help fulfill your purpose!
I hope these questions help each of you discover your maximum potential that is already within you! What motivates you?
We want to hear in the comments below!