Thursday, April 1, 2010

The enemy within - staying motivated

"Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will."
~ Norman Vincent Peale

Getting motivated to begin working out is pretty easy for most people. They just look in the mirror, take note of their health or feel their clothes tight on them and decide that its time to do what they know they should've been doing all along. So, what happens to unmotivate someone from that mindset?

In large part what happens is that people come into their decisions from a desperate point of view, they are looking for change at any cost. It's why the diet and diet supplement industries are both multi-billion dollar industries. These industries provide a well needed service but also literally bank on their customers being repeat customers. They know a large portion of their customers are those desperate customers trying out their diets and supplements and know that most customers will fail but still come back to give it another try.

Going into working out from the desperate mindset also sets you up for unrealistic expectations which is another major motivation killer. People watch shows like The Biggest Loser and see people dropping double digit numbers and fail to realize that this isn't normal or even safe. It's a TV show designed to motivate, etc. but at the same time, the contestants are under constant medical supervision and are putting in 8 hour workout days. That is how they get those large numbers. The average person cannot put in that type of time and shouldn't. Then there are ads touting big results and showing before and after pictures and although the ads say that these results are not typical, advertisers know that the pictures will speak more than the small print that says these results aren't typical.

Chances are you will begin or have begun a workout routine under the conditions I said, its just human nature so nothing wrong with that. How do you stay motivated though when you don't see the large number drops that you thought you'd have or when your body isn't responding and changing as fast as you expected? Well first, I would say that what you need to do is realize that the keyword in working out is WORK. There's no getting around it, to get your body back to where it was or where you want it to be will take work. You must learn to discipline yourself for this task just like anything else. The best way to do that is to set small attainable goals for yourself. This way as you reach your goal, you can set another one. This can be setting a goal of losing 2 pounds this week. A 2 pound weight loss doesn't sound like much but do that right and you will have dropped 8 pounds in 1 month. 16 pounds in 2 months, 24 pounds in 3 months, etc. Think about it. When was the last time you did that? It's all about consistency, determination and small attainable goals.

Doing these small attainable goals will help keep you motivated and seeing results. These small goals will help you reach the big picture goals that you might have not reached if you had just tried to focus on the big picture results. Consistency and self-discipline will get you there. Of course, it helps to also have support but I will tackle that aspect in next month's entry. You can do more than you think, you just have to adjust your view and fine tune your focus into something more tangible and the results you will get will do the rest.