“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”
~ Zig Ziglar
One of the most common excuses I hear from people for not exercising is that they lack motivation. If only they were motivated, they would start. But is this a sound strategy? Should we wait until we are motivated before we start an exercise initiative? When you understand what motivation is, you will see the flaw in this strategy.
Motivation is defined as the enthusiasm to do something. Therefore, it would be normal to assume that the motivation comes first and the action follows. Sometimes this is the case, but not always. Motivation, enthusiasm, desire or whatever you want to call it is an emotion – energy in motion. If we know how to stimulate this type of energy then we can have it in abundance. What are some natural and healthy ways that can boost motivation? There are several motivators and I’ll share some powerful ones with you today. To make it easier, I’ll divide them into body, mind and spirit motivators.
The physical body is designed to move but its instinct is also to conserve energy. In other words, there is a magnetic pull in both directions – move and rest. When you say you are not motivated to move, it could be that your body is stuck in energy conservation mode. In this case, you need to start moving more. Think of it this way. The less you move, the less you want to move and the more you move the more you want to move. For my V1-V3 (beginners) group, I get them to simply walk as many times as possible during the week. I want them to move consistently so that their bodies start to enjoy it and yearn for more. Remember, movement breeds motivation.
As for the mind, it thinks. Thoughts are a form of energy release and they can significantly affect your motivation. Thoughts can trigger all types of emotions. The average person thinks thousands (about 50,000 - 70,000 according to some experts) of thoughts per day and most of these are negative. If thoughts trigger emotions and most thoughts are negative then it would be difficult to create enthusiasm in such a negative state of mind. Meditation is the practice of mindfulness. In meditation, you learn to become aware of both your thoughts and emotional state. The more you practice, the better you will be at recognizing how certain thoughts and beliefs can affect your mood and vice versa (It’s like a snowball effect, thoughts and emotions feed off of each other). You think a negative thought like you’re lazy, what’s the point of starting when you know you will quit after a few days anyway and this triggers a sense of hopelessness and even more negative thoughts and emotions. How can this possibly motivate you? In this example, you are ‘Your Worst Enemy’. If you want to boost your motivation to do something (like start an exercise routine) then you have to be mindful of any self-defeating inner-dialogue and replace it with uplifting self-talk.
Finally, the spirit is where our deep, authentic passion comes from. If you want motivation then do stuff that is soulful and stirs positive emotions. Choose activities that resonate with your heart and create an environment that only magnifies the positivity. One simple example is listening to music that you love. What songs stir your soul and get you pumped? Create a playlist of as many of them as possible. Music has a special way of tapping into the source of all our energy so why not use it to boost your motivation?
There are many strategies we can use to boost motivation. We are all unique so we will respond differently to some strategies than others. In the end, you need to discover which ones work best for you and implement them. So what are you waiting for? Think better, press play and get moving.
Your V10 Health Coach,
P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zraahWQRWU