Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hint #9: Unleash Your Motivation


The number one question I am asked as a personal trainer is “How can I stay motivated?” Guys and gals alike want to know how they can stay focused on their goal of losing weight, exercising regularly, or even eating better.

When I first started working with clients, I researched high and low in hopes of finding some magical trick for maintaining motivation. I wanted to provide my trainees with a fool-proof tip that prevented them from ever falling off the wagon. I combed through suggestion after suggestion, from finding a workout buddy and listening to music to joining a gym and adding variety to workouts, but none of the ideas made the grade.

And then it hit me.

We are all motivated by something different.

A former client of mine started working out regularly with me at age 68 to strengthen his knees so that he could take a week long ski trip in the Rocky Mountains every winter. My mom has wanted to lose weight for over a decade, and finally did it with portion control and nutrition alone. Her motivation is keeping the weight off. For me, experiencing the incredible feeling and energy that accompanies clean eating and regular exercise keeps me focused day after day.

Regardless of the goal – weight loss, improving physical fitness or simply becoming a regular exerciser – the answer to that commonly asked question is the same.

YOU have to figure out what motivates YOU.

Athletes likely have different motivators than non-athletes, just as men may differ from women in what drives them. If you are in need of inspiration, I challenge you to look within. What would make you want to exercise more or to eat whole, clean foods? It could be feeling good, running faster, having more energy, looking better, fitting into that old pair of jeans, reducing your risk of chronic disease, or something completely different.

One of my favorite quotes regarding motivation and the achievement of goals is quite applicable to this post, so here it is. "Obstacles are those frightful things that get in the way when you lose sight of your goals." - Henry Ford.

Do not let “lack of motivation,” be your excuse for living a healthy lifestyle. We all have motivators; the challenge is looking inward to find them. Now is your opportunity to discover what motivates you, and never look back.

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