Struggle with motivation to exercise? This is for you.
Motivation is a common question that gets asked ALL the time.
How do you stay motivated Ed?
Why do you go to the gym on holiday?
Well, we’ll get onto that later but let’s start with the Q. What is motivation?
It’s derived from the word motives. in simple terms it’s what gets you up in the morning? what needs to be done or we do we want to do?
EXTERNAL VS INTERNAL
Motivators can be broken down into 2 main categories. External and internal or sometimes called intrinsic and extrinsic.
External motivators are linked with rewards and punishment. For example at school if you do your homework you hopefully get rewarded with a good grade unlike myself! If you don’t do it you’ll probably get detention.
Compare this to your physique. If you lift weights regularly the reward is you’re going to look nice in that dress or on the beach(as long as you don’t overeat!). If you don’t train you won’t look so good in it. especially in the summer when we wear less and hit the playa. This is a big motivator for a lot of people. Some of the most motivated clients I’ve had were women about to get married as they wanted to look nice for that special day.
External motivators are a great thing to have BUT often we need intrinsic motivators to help us sustain them.
Health and fitness is Mo Farah not Usain Bolt. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Most of us want to live a long, active and healthy life and in order to have this we need to have good habits and ones that we enjoy so we can keep doing them week in week out.
That’s why it’s fundamental that you enjoy your diet and the type of exercise you choose. The cabbage soup diet doesn’t work because people can’t stick with it. Being hungry, low on energy and having gas problems isn’t enjoyable for most. lol.
So what do people who have success have in place to help them with motivation? What motivates people to play shit video games about farms for hours? face palm.
It’s called the RAMP model.
The things you need are
R - RELATEDNESS - In order to be successful in your goal you need to hang around with people who do what you want to do or act how you want to act. Want to be fit? Place yourself among people who exercise frequently and eat healthily and don’t smoke etc.
A - AUTONOMY - Someone telling you ‘You need to move more and eat less’ rarely helps anyone even if it is true. I try to lead by example to my clients and followers and give them options to find their best way to get to their goals. Everyone eventually has to find what works for them in order to sustain their goals.
M - MASTERY- Everyone wants to get better and see their improvements in something they put time into. I remember when I couldn’t do one chin up and once I could it felt great. One of my clients couldn’t a squat when I met her. Now she can do a single leg squat with 10kg. This is why that person next to you on the tube is addicted to that shit game you don’t like, they want to keep getting to the next level.
P - PURPOSE- This one is really important. You need a deep ‘why?’ aka a life long reason. WHen i start off with someone I always try to discover their why. Here’s how you can do it. If it’s for fat loss.
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight? Then ask again 4 to 5 more times ‘why is that important?’
Eventually you’ll get to a meaningful reason. It might be something like ‘ I want to play football with my grand children’ or ‘ I want to climb the hill we used to live on with my daughter when she’s older’ etc etc.
A strong ‘why’ gives you a purpose that motivates you.
Now, let’s get back to the original question I wrote at the start of this article. Why are you motivated to exercise on holidays and all year round?
It comes down to the levels of motivation.
There are 3.
INTELLECTUAL - This the weakest level. It’s where a lot of peeps sit when it comes to training. They know they should and it will provide them with better health but unlike nike they just don’t do it.
EMOTIONAL - This is stronger as it has an emotional link to the person. For example a close relative gets diabetes or like Fat Joe his best friend died from a heart attack caused by obesity (Big Pun). This gives the person a much stronger reason to change.
IDENTITY- So this is where you want to be eventually in order to have that internal motivation forever. When it comes to exercise I’m here (not wanting to brag). It’s harder for me not to train than it is to train. I love how it makes me feel and so i’m strongly intrinsically motivated and I’m a trainer and so I practice what I preach and exercise is something I do and it’s part of who I am.
So my task for you mi amigo is to ask yourself with regards to your nutrition or training etc.
Am i conscious of what i am or not doing?
is it painful enough for me to change?
start identifying with someone who does look after themselves, who does exercise, who does eat healthy foods.
You can do it.