I am 200% sure that you would have heard phrases and sentences like
I need to lose weight but I can not find motivation
I start workout but I lose motivation
I wish I had the motivation to do exercise
& so on…
Some people would even wish motivation was sold in the super-markets. But unfortunately it’s not sold but very very fortunately you can get it for free if you are willing to explore ways of finding it. It is not the lack of knowledge or some equipment or a perfect trainer that is stopping you from becoming FIT, it is the lack of self-motivation. Because when you are motivated you will find all the answers and resources or the ways to work around stuff you can not find.
Here in this article I have broken self-motivation down in to simple and actionable steps.
Let’s not traditionally define what motivation is, we all know what it is so I will get straight to the point. Motivation comes from Excitement. Excitement delivers a great deal of energy that normally is invisible and you think it’s not there when you are not excited. The following example will shed more light on what I am trying to imply;
Let’s say you have a childhood dream to become an actor and you somehow get a break in the movies to do one of the introductory roles. Prior to the day of shoot you spend the whole day with your family in the zoo and then dine out and then shopping. You hardly get a couple of hours of sleep before you have to wake up to go for the shooting. Unlike other days, where you can not wake up for the job (you hate) even after 7 hours of sleep, you wake up before your alarm clock goes off and you go off to the shoot. You spend about 15 hours on the sets to get your part shot. After that you come home and drive back to your home which is a 3 hours drive from where you are. And just when you are about to reach home you get a call from the Producer who gives you the good news that because of your superb acting we have decided to cast you in one of the major roles for the next movie but you have to come today asap to get the paperwork done. Usually you should be dead-tired half sleep already waiting for the bed BUT you get a gush of endorphin and dopamine (the happy hormones) to charge you up and you take a U-turn to go again to get that paper-work done before anyone changes their mind. You (in the state of sleep-deprivation and being extremely tired) are willing to drive for 6 more hours and spend an hour at the office for the paper-work. That my friend is the energy you get from excitement and this is the excitement which makes you motivated.
So here we will talk about how to get that excitement which will give us the energy to get up put on our shoes and start our fitness journey. From my personal fitness journey where I lost 28 kg weight, around 50 inches across my body and 12% body fat, and other daring encounters that I have had like quitting my lucrative job to start my own company etc I have concluded that Excitement comes from two things and they are ‘Having a massive goal’ and ‘the Belief that you can get there’.
1. Having a Massive Goal
This is where the majority of people fail. We often set mediocre or small goals for example, the goals of just getting to the acceptable point. Like if someone needs to lose 10 kg to just to touch the upper limit of their ideal weight range then that is their target. This is not exciting at all. It may also result in procrastination because you think to yourself, ‘oh this is not such a big deal even if I start after finishing my exams in two months I would be able to do it’ or ‘I will start it tomorrow I can achieve this in a couple of months any way’. That tomorrow or two months later never come.
Having a mediocre goal is a killer of motivation. I would say even if someone is obese like 50 kg overweight, their target should be to get a SIX PACK. No, I am not joking at all. A lot of people have done it before. People even have done the impossible (e.g. Wright brothers making a plane to fly), and this is something millions of people around the world have achieved.
Another important point here is to find your WHY? Like why do you want to lose so much weight in the first place? What are those plans you have once you have lost this weight? This has to be a strong reason not just ‘I wanna look good’ or ‘I wanna wear size 0 dresses’. Your why could be related to having a great health when you are in your 80s. You want to enjoy world-tour with your wife/husband when you are old. You want to be able to dance in the wedding of your children and even grandchildren. You want to get in to the movies and make a name. You want to be a fitness model and so on… Answering your WHY will help you set a massive goal. This leads us to the second (extremely important) point;
2. The Belief that You can get there
A goal (however big) without a belief is just a desire. You may argue that I have a big goal but it doesn’t make me feel excited. The reason is that you have a massive goal but you lack the belief that you can get there so obviously a desire alone will not make you feel that excitement.
Yeah I would like to drive a Ferrari
I wish I had six pack
I would love to have my own company
Will any of the above make anyone excited? Off course not. They will if there we remove the words like wish, would like to, would love to and add a belief in there and I am not talking about the universal belief that ‘yes everything is possible’. I am talking about the inner feeling, that uncontrollable emotion coming from the inside that YES you can get there. You can actually visualize yourself to have the six pack, that fit and toned body having fulfilled that WHY you wanted to do it. You can actually feel the fitness, the freshness. I am talking about that kinda belief.
Turning your belief around can be done in many ways but I will talk about some of the most important things to do (or not to do) to turn your beliefs around.
The first thing you must do is stop with the self-limiting self-talk (not with others, not with yourself). Self-talk is generally based on the opinions of the others and here I remember Leroy Washington’s quote that he said to Lesley Calvin Brown, “Do not let someone else’s opinion become your reality”. Les Brown who was labeled as Educable Mentally Retarded in grade 5 and not having a college’s degree went on to become (and is still is) one of the top 5 motivational speakers in the world. Coming back to the topic self-talk contributes to our self-image (our beliefs of who we are and what we can or can not accomplish as a result).
The second tip for turning your beliefs around is actually visualizing your desired results. In this case visualizing yourself with an ideal body doing the stuff you wanted to lose weight for (remember your WHY). Visualize with feelings. Many modern studies prove the power of visualization. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, Imagination encircles the world”. So start imagining yourself day and night with the ideal results.
There are other ways too which can help turn your beliefs around for example cutting out negative people, finding role models, studying them etc but I will leave that for your research or wait for when I write a whole article about that. Applying the above-mentioned two tips would be a great starting point as self-talk and visualization both are great tools to communicate with the subconscious mind (specially the visualization as subconscious mind operates on vivid and emotionally charged images). Self-talk also gets translated into images if you observe closely. So applying the above tips will put your desired results in your subconscious with the belief that you can do them and as a result your self-image and behavior (both governed by the subconscious mind) will start to change.
Winding up! HAVING A MASSIVE GOAL + THE BELIEF THAT YOU CAN GET THERE will result in the EXCITEMENT which results in (happy) MOTIVATION and you get the gush of ENERGY required to get up and get going!
Inactivity is deadlier than obesity
Wish you the best of luck with your Fitness Journey – remember fitness is for everyone, not just the overweight and obese.