10 ways to get motivated and stay motivated.
M. Stands for Mind-set
One of the most important factors that influences weight loss and fitness success is your attitude – whether or not you believe (and keep on believing) that you can make the changes you need to make to lose weight or get fit, and that they are worth doing. This is because what you think, affects how you feel, and in turn the actions you take. Learning new habits and ways of thinking about things takes time. Do you often eat one ‘bad’ food or one missed week at the gym and felt so guilty you binged or gave up. This ‘all or nothing’ thinking signals the end of the current diet and fitness regime and the start of more negative feelings – and overeating. Unrealistic expectations and guilt around food are usually the biggest problems. By no longer viewing food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you are able to develop a healthy relationship with it. Ditch the diet, write a food log, plan your week for training and eating and you will start to change your mindset, it’s almost like a trigger that goes off, you will get there just keep a healthy mind-set.
O. Stands for Open
Everyone gets into ruts of doing the same thing over and over. Try something new - there are many ways to mix things up, change your routine and challenge yourself. Examples are, signing up for a new exercise class or joining a new social organisation to taking a walk in your lunch break, walking to the shops instead of driving. Here are tips a few to build your confidence:
• Overcome fear. Any new adventure or activity involves some risk and uncertainty — but don't give up because of feeling embarrassed or being less than an expert, or for fear of holding back others or failing. Instead, approach it as an experiment. Let go of preconceived judgments of how something will turn out. Take away the ideas of failure, and take time to learn what works and what doesn't work.
• Make it Fun. Focus on the enjoyment that can come from trying new things. Do you ever wonder what the best stress management technique may be for you? It's likely a technique you enjoy or something you gain a benefit from. When people find enjoyment in their habits, they are more likely to stick with them over the long term. If you're not having fun yet, now is the time to get started!
• Experience the benefits. Trying new things leads to increased confidence and self-esteem. It reduces boredom and loneliness, and it's a major driver in personal growth. Exercise and a good nutrition plan may be the most important variable to improve health and prolong longevity, especially as we age.
T. Stands for Training
Studies have shown that people with incredible willpower have different brain activity than those with no control, and that "training" the part of the brain that controls willpower can ramp up brain activity. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain responsible for the brain processes involved in planning, impulse control, willpower, and abstract thinking. If you want to train your brain to choose healthy foods over fattening ones, be specific. "Scientific research shows us that there are two kinds of intentions: ‘goal' intentions which are broad (‘I need to eat better') and ‘implementation' intentions that are more specific (‘I need to only eat meals that I cook myself')," When you are too general, the brain is less likely to change its behaviour, however, when you are more specific, it has to do less work on its own to help you achieve your goal.
Studies have found that exercise can lead to neurogenesis - the creation of new brain cells - and exercising your brain can lead to increased willpower. So, exercising both your body and your brain together can help you push yourself even harder.
"You don't have to train your brain for dieting and weight loss with thinking alone," "When you exercise regularly and for a duration of at least six months, this actually changes your brain to respond to food cues less often."
I. Stands for impress
Who are you impressing? You really want to eat that chocolate cake, and you think “I really need to stay in shape for when I go to the beach next weekend,” you think to yourself. You’ve made the right choice for your health, but you made it for the wrong reason.
It can be difficult to find the motivation to eat right, to exercise, and live a generally healthy lifestyle. Often times we will attempt to get in shape because we want to impress others. Which thought process do you think is more common: “I should do these bicep curls so I can get huge and have girls hanging off my arms!” or “I should exercise today because it will make me live longer”? or another example, ‘I should do more squats so that I have guys ogling over my pert posterior’ or ‘ I should do more squats as it will strengthen my glutes and prevent lower back pain, make me feel better about myself, and make me healthier and stronger.’
Unfortunately, too few people are self-motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. And there are very real consequences. If you only practice healthy behaviours to impress someone else you will be disappointed! Learn to love yourself and do it for you! There is a great article on this at http://feelhappiness.com/wrong-motivation-getting-in-shape/
V. Stands for Value
You’re always with yourself, so you may as well enjoy your company. Our bodies can transform from unhealthy to healthy. They can transition from obese to athlete. Our bodies can produce life, heal us from the common cold, or fight our way back from serious illness. We can build muscle, improve our cardiovascular fitness, and get stronger. Too often we take our bodies for granted, not taking time to think of what our bodies can do for us. When you make a conscious choice to appreciate your body for all that it can do, you can change how you treat your body on a daily basis. After all, I believe a perfect body is the body that you are happy with….Value it!
A. Stands for Attitude
Our personality impact the way in which we choose to manage our health and the way we react to illness. It seems, however, that most of us don’t often think about how our personalities and behaviours influence our health and the ways we cope with illness. That is an unfortunate fact because we might all do a better job of staying healthy if we understood more about how our health is affected by our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and the world. If you take someone that is very pessimistic by nature, who does not expect events in their life to work out well and so when they don’t, they just sees it as proof of what they already knew to be true. If by chance something does work out well they see it as a fluke, and they certainly don’t expect it to work out that way the next time. Take this personality type and imagine how that translates into how they view their health. Do you think they are someone that watches what they eat, exercises, or gets a check-up once a year? If you said, “probably not” you were right. They would probably say “Why bother. I’d go to all that trouble and then get hit by a car.” If we take that a step further and have them diagnosed with a serious disease, how do you think they might handle that? My guess would be that they wouldn’t be very conscientious about taking medication prescribed by his doctor, that they might not always show up for treatment or rehab, and would not expect to survive. If you were a betting man or woman how do you think they would fare compared to someone who had a much more optimistic personality? I’d bet on the optimist any day!
T. Stands for Targets
Goals or targets are something that tends to be very personal to the individual who sets them. Whether you want to lift ten pounds more on your bench press, decrease the amount of body fat visible on your upper arms, or increase your mile-run time by 30 seconds, each and everyone one of you should be setting a goal or target based on what you hope to accomplish.
Lack of goal setting in transitioning from unhealthy to healthy is essentially like taking a drive with no end point in mind. You'll burn up a lot of energy and not get much accomplished. If you're just there for the scenery, this may be fine, but if you want to get results from your trip, you must set a goal. Make these realistic and achievable…..’I want to lose a stone in a week’ or ‘I want to get a six pack in a month’, these are unrealistic and you will fail and how will that make you feel? Not great and ready to give up! ‘I want to lose 7lbs in a month’ or ‘I want to improve my core strength and get a little definition in a month’, that is more achievable….small steps will lead to greater and more sustainable results.
I. Stands for Intrinsic
Intrinsic motivation, the most internalized form of motivation, is dependent on the fulfilment of three basic human needs: autonomy, competence and relatedness. If these needs are indeed fulfilled, self-determination to engage in a particular behaviour is much more likely.
The internalization process of motivation has three main types of motivation: amotivation, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
Amotivation refers to the complete absence of motivation for a particular behaviour.
Extrinsic – regulators include rewards, such as money, prizes or perhaps status like winning a competition.
Intrinsic - Someone who is intrinsically motivated does not really need encouragement because the activity itself is enjoyable or are motivated to be healthy and eat right. Typically, this individual’s needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are satisfied.
It is important to understand your barriers to exercise – read the blog common barriers to exercise. These barriers will help to change to intrinsic behaviours. Intrinsic behaviours are summed up by everything that we have been talking about in this document: - your attitude, how you value you yourself, who you impress.
O. Stands for Organisation
The more control that you perceive you have in your life, the more satisfaction and less stress you are likely to experience. You also have more mental energy because there is less worrying that you might forget something, or procrastinating on something important. You can rest assured, knowing that the important task has already been prioritised. You also know what day and time you will be addressing it. No longer are there the nagging thoughts, in the recesses of your mind, reminding you of what you need to do, or to not forget something. This often drains our mental energy and contributes to increased stress, this leads to many people saying to themselves ‘There is much more important things to worry and think about than being healthy, I can worry about that later’. Organise yourself and make time for your health, make time your training, make time for yourself.
N. Stands for Never
Never give up! If you are working out but not seeing results, simply back off for a few days and reduce your intensity. Continue to work out at a lower intensity in order to give your body a rest and then slowly start to increase your workouts over a week. It sounds counterintuitive to do less, but you need to allow your body sufficient time to recover then adapt and improve.
Doing the same thing over and over can easily start to feel boring. Repeating the same workout can also cause overuse injuries and slow down the results process. When you ask your body to consistently do more, it physiologically adapts to the increased demand.
It’s easy to lose track of the reason you’re working hard, so writing down your ‘why’ – it can remind you of the importance of your personal fitness goals. Refocusing on your big goal (and the smaller ones along the way) will help you regain momentum.