“I need motivation to workout.”

This was part of a conversation I just had, pre-COVID, with someone who wanted to workout and get in shape.

Let me give you some background.

She called up and wanted to get in shape; she was in her early 40’s, wants to lose some weight and gain some muscle. Wanted to lose her momma pooch and get rid of the flabby arms

I asked her why she wanted to lose weight, and it’s because she feels ‘fat.’ Her clothes are getting tighter in places they shouldn’t, and summer is coming, which means bathing suits.

She has tried several different workout programs from Beach Body to aerobics in big-box gyms but has limited weight training experience.

She was talking about how she’ll do good for about a month, then lose her motivation and quit.

Sound familiar to anyone?

We chatted a bit more, and I asked if there was anything physical that she enjoyed, such as playing a sport, hiking, swimming, dance, or anything.

She replied nothing that she can think of.

I pressed for more info.

“Describe to me this mental picture that you have of yourself 6 months from now if you kept going and didn’t quit, tell me how you would feel.”

She said, “I would like to be 15-20lbs lighter with some muscle tone in my arms and just feel better.”

Ok….

Not much I know, but this is what happens when someone lacks motivation.

Now, I see what’s going on and what she needs, but I want to know what YOU would tell her to do?

Hint: I’m aware this is a very open-ended question, there is a lot that goes into this but read what her response was on the mental picture and think hard on that, it will give you an idea.

 

Think hard on this and scroll down for the answer.
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Answer… There is no clear image of what she wants.

Now, wait!!!

Before you exit out of this, this answer has some layers to it, and if you have EVER lacked motivation, I can assure you that one of these layers will hit home.

Right off the bat, you want to keep in mind that motivation is not something that anyone can give you, it’s not a tangible object that can be handed to you, nor would you want it to be.

Motivation is something that’s internal, and only YOU can get it. You never want your motivation to come from someone else because what happens when that person is not there? Then your motivation is gone, and your progress stops… you can see how this isn’t something you want, you don’t always want to be dependent on someone else.

There are times it will get hard, and there will be no one there but yourself to rely on, so motivation has to come from within.

But… how do you get motivation?

The lack of motivation will ALWAYS come down to the lack of TWO things.

  1. Lack of a clear goal that you’re emotionally attached to (this is where many people are at that need motivation).
  2. Lack of a plan.


The Clear Goal

In this person’s case, she didn’t know what she wanted BUT…

…SHE KNEW WHAT SHE DIDN’T WANT.

She didn’t want to feel the way she was feeling, but there was no clear image afterward.

So this is what happened with her.

She knew that she didn’t want to feel the way she was feeling, so she would workout for a month or two and lose about 5 maybe 10lbs, then she would press this internal self-destruct button and stop all progress.

Side Note: The internal self-destruct button is something that’s inside everyone. For whatever reason, when you/we are making progress with anything we want (weight loss, paying off debt, work, relationships), we/you press this internal self-destruct button to sabotage your efforts to start you back at square one. Why you press it is another topic for another time, but we all have it, and at one point in time, we have all pressed it even when things were going our way. What sucks is that you KNOW you pressed it, and you get mad at yourself for doing it.

In her case, she just didn’t’ want to feel the way she was feeling and wanted to get out of that situation, BUT… it wouldn’t take much to get her out of the situation. Lose 3lbs and BAM you’re out of your situation so you can stop until you regain that weight, and you start over. Make sense?

This is very common, more common than you realize when people start working out.

Now, if you have someone that has a clear goal of what they wanted and an emotional attachment to it (meaning that goal has a deep meaning to them, it wasn’t a superficial number they randomly thought up), then they don’t stop until they’ve reached their goal.


The Plan

Honestly, this part is easy because this is why we at RTC are here. We are here to be a guide, mentor, coach, and write that plan to get you to your goal. If you ever have a clear goal in mind of something that you want or desire, then get a mentor/coach to guide you and help you build a plan to get there.

This doesn’t have to be just with fitness, but for any goal, you want in life. (think about how many times you had a mentor in a career or business goal and how far they helped you go)

Because when you have a clear goal of what you want and then you get a plan on how to get there…

…well then you don’t need motivation. You become self-driven, almost obsessive; nothing stops you.


So What Wid We Do?

When this situation happens, we try to get a few wins under our belt and let motivation come from that. For her, it was celebrating her first pound lost (seems small but you have to lose 1 pound before you can lose 20), her first full week of workouts, her first push-up. We celebrated the little wins with the intention of the little wins keeping her motivated.

People think that motivation comes before success when, in fact, success comes before motivation, hence why we celebrate the little wins. We celebrate the winning streaks.

What we were going for was to keep her seeing and celebrating wins, then over time, the long term goal would become more and more clear, and when that goal becomes clear… well, then the game is different and amazing things happen.

She was doing well, had lost 4lbs (she was 5’2″ so 4lbs is a good start), then COVID happened, and due to life circumstances, she had to relocate to another state for family.

 

What Should YOU Do?
If you’re in a similar situation where you always feel like you need motivation, then I want you to get VERY clear about what it is that you want.

Now, don’t just pick a random goal, but pick a goal that means something to you; this goal should be something that you think about… a lot.

I’ve had some members that wanted to wear a size 6 of designer jeans. Some wanted to look good for their 20 year HS reunion to make their ex jealous (hey we all thought it). Some had overweight children, and they wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle by example. Some that wanted to climb a mountain… It doesn’t matter what you pick; they are YOUR goal, but pick something and get clear about it.

Once you have a good clear goal, then you’ll notice it’s like someone lit a fire under your butt and your wanting and willing to everything it takes to get there; it’s all you think about.

This won’t happen overnight; in fact, it could take months to narrow it down. That’s ok! In the meantime, focus on small wins that are leading you away from where you DON’T want to be.

Because…

…every step you take that gets you away from where you don’t want to be is one step closer to getting you where you SHOULD be.

 

In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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