Motivation is a big word – and important to have for a lot of things, not just for a healthy lifestyle. But what does it even mean?
According to the dictionary MOTIVATION is
a) a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way or
b) desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm.
But where do we get motivation from? What are the factors that motivate us? Often our motivation is very short lived. We might set some New Year’s resolutions or something new seems very exciting, some big event is coming up and we want to fit into a certain outfit, or we want to feel comfortable in a bikini, or we are unhappy in this very moment… but all those goals we set are usually very unspecific.
What keeps us going is positive affirmation, for example: it makes me feel better, I am loosing inches, I am feeling stronger, I can see my friends when I go to the workout class, etc.
So the key to keeping the motivation going for a long time is to set SMART goals.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – time-based
“I just want to feel better” is not necessarily helpful. You need to think about – WHAT makes you feel better. Is that fitting into a certain clothes size? Then you need to think about how many centimetres circumference you would like to loose. Or is it being able to run up the stairs in your house without feeling breathless? Then you need to find a way to measure that, eg. count how many steps you can run up now before feeling breathless and then slowly build it up.
Is it achievable and realistic? Please make sure you are setting a HEALTHY goal. There are plenty of health professionals out there who can help you specify what is healthy.
And in what time frame would you like to reach your goal?
The next step after setting your SMART goals is to think about HOW you will achieve those goals and how will you track it.
This is so important to keep track of, because then you will get the positive feedback and your MOTIVATION will stay high.
Seeing that what you are doing is working will help in moments where you feel your motivation is lacking, to get back up and keep going.
And the last step I find extremely helpful is having an accountability buddy. It’s not about having to prove what you do. It’s about knowing someone will ask you about it. You will stay on track more often if that’s in the back of your head. Accountability can also help you stay strong in tricky situations 🙂 This person doesn’t have to be a trainer, it can be your best friend, your partner, anyone really who will ask you about it again and again. And someone who will cheer you on!! 🙂
To the keep the motivation going use those 5 Steps:
- What is your Reason?
- Set SMART goals
- Make a plan how you will reach your goals
- Track your progress
- Find an accountability buddy to help keep you on track.
I honestly believe we often stop pursuing dreams because we don’t write them down, we don’t make them clear and measurable, and we don’t want to be accountable. They stay dreams/ideas instead of goals. And sometimes, despite making an effort, we feel like it’s not working. That could be because there are priorities in our life we feel are more important, or we got used to them being more important, but this might be the time to re-evaluate how we spend our time.
And maybe sometimes we are afraid of failing. And that’s when it becomes so helpful to find someone who can support you, who will help you to be realistic and achieve your goals. You will be surprised what is achievable with a little help.
If you need help with setting goals, or would like to start an exercise program to reach your goals, I would be more than happy to help you.
Stay motivated and reach those goals,