There is one major difference between clients that seem to coast through their sessions and clients that truly make changes in their physique/attain their fitness goals; that difference is found in their motivation.
I don’t remember exactly when or where I learned this, but the difference in effectiveness of intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation fascinates me.
For those that may not have heard of this, or don’t recall exactly what it means:
- Intrinsic Motivation: Engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding (i.e. you do it for the sake of doing it, or because it makes you feel uplifted doing it).
- Extrinsic Motivation: Engaging in an activity or behaving in a way because it rewards you externally (i.e. doing well on an assignment to get a good grade or not doing something in order to avoid punishment).
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How motivation plays role in fitness journey
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to work with a number of clients, ranging in their motivation from wedding fat loss to fit in a dress, to bulking up. Now, the interesting part is where the motivation is coming from. For example, while a wedding may be motivating, that motivation could come from deep down inside oneself, or externally.
Quick story founder of Era fit, Eric Richard Allen shared: One of my clients had a wedding coming up in about 3 months. She, like many other clients I have had, decided it would be best to go with a 12-pack to get 2x a week for 6 weeks, and then she would reconsider buying a package. In those six weeks, she flipped her life upside down – she stopped drinking, she did her homework (at least 1x a week extra), and truly invested herself. Why? It was about so much more than getting into a dress (extrinsic motivation) – she was determined to be the best version of herself on that wedding day. She lost 3.2% body fat and gained 6lbs of lean body mass…in 6 weeks!!! It was truly exceptional getting to work with someone so passionate and ready to do what she needed to do, to get to her goals.
Let’s get to a point here:
FIND YOUR INTRINSIC MOTIVATOR! There were even studies done proving that intrinsic motivation plays a bigger role in success than extrinsic. It’s that drive that keeps you going even when all you want to do is give up. It’s that thing that pushes that sugary treat away because the ultimate goal is better than the short term reward.
Here are is a question I would like to pose to help you find your intrinsic motivators:
Like a child might do, ask yourself this question repeatedly until you pinpoint why it is that you do what you do. If it doesn’t boil down to something like, ‘It makes me happy’, or ‘because I have to prove to myself…’ (For example); you may not be intrinsically motivated to reach this goal, continue this job, be in this position, etc. This can often lead to compounding stress – which, as we know, can lead to all sorts of physical issues – and result in being defeated by oneself.
Foolproof ways to stay motivated on your fitness journey
Here are tips that will help you stay motivated, as motivation is something we all struggle at one point or another.
Even fitness enthusiasts sometimes have a problem finding the motivation to continue their fitness regimen.
1. Recall the purpose of exercising
There must be an objective or a core purpose of why you have started exercising? The goal can be anything from wanting to shed extra pounds to improving health or gaining healthy body mass. So dig deep, and remember why you started the fitness regimen in the first place.
2. Follow the 3 * 10 rule
We all understand we can be short on time sometimes or sometimes become too sluggish to carry on the rigorous workout. So instead of ignoring it completely, follow the 3*10 rules. It states to take a 10-minute walk three times a day. But swap out the evening walk with a few squats, pushups and punches.
3. Post it power
Label sticky notes with some positive messages about working out. Plaster on the alarm clock, computer at work or bathroom mirror. They’ll constantly remind you about how crucial it is for you to never skip on the workout.
4. Gather your squad
Different studies suggest working out becomes more seamless when you work out with your squad. More so, studies suggest finding a fitness buddy and exercising with him increases the time you spend on exercise.
5. Create a visual reminder
Ever since I started my fitness journey, I have utilized this method to stay motivated. Physically seeing a reminder of your goal helps you a lot in staying motivated; various reminders can be utilized as a physical reminder, including your phone’s wallpaper or a bracelet.
6. Take progress pictures
Taking progress pictures is super essential and plays an instrumental role in keeping you going towards the fitness goals. Often, we cannot figure out how far we’ve gone until we compare our present selves to our past selves. Upon realization, you have successfully made a physical difference that can trigger your motivation to keep going. Take pictures throughout the entire fitness journey but take in the same direction for more accurate results.
7. Mix up workout
We all are adamant to the fact that boredom is the massive cause of motivation loss. Switching your workout to more intense or easy exercise can wade off the impact of boredom. You can try some new exercises on the internet or go with an entirely new form of exercising like swimming. A little change can help you alter your mindset about working out.
8. Build in a reward system
Rewarding yourself along the way plays a pivotal role to keep you going and is also vital in achieving long-term objectives. Whether rewards come in the form of a cheat meal or a pair of leggings you need, it is integral for a successful fitness journey. It’s impressive and highly motivational, instead of waiting for someone else to reward you for the intense work you do! Reward yourself.
This blog is meant to give you ideas of things that can ultimately change the way you live your life in a positive way!
Small, consistent, long term changes produce the best long-term results.