Developing solid workout motivation, the kind which keeps you positive, disciplined and determined, is a result of doing specific internal and external things. Yes, things which keep you hungry for more, and thoroughly fulfilled each workout you perform.
Getting and staying in shape is a life and lifestyle commitment—a commitment which aligns desire, will, and subconscious tendencies to fuel success producing actions...generated consistently!
The bottom line here? Muscular and fitness development demands effort. Effort demands subconscious conviction. Subconscious conviction demands self programming to establish an instinctive motivational, goal driven mentality. Not just, "Hey...I want to," but "I have a way to keep a juicy, delicious 'carrot' in front of me, so I naturally, enthusiastically will!" As such, here now are 4 factors to directly help you develop this thriving, positive success workout motivation...so you become the one whose effort produces decided improvements in your fitness level and physical shape.
TAKING STOCK OF CURRENT TENDENCIES
First, it's important to identify your present level of workout motivation. Unwavering exercise motivation starts in the mind with an inspiring thought and energizing feeling -- a "mental/emotional framework" which naturally moves you into regular positive action toward a chosen objective.
The quality and richness of this framework is affected by factors such as commitment, enthusiasm, determination, expectation, attitude and the belief that you're an achiever. So to better understand the extent of these factors in your present "mental set" regarding exercise, complete the following questionnaire:
1. On days you had intended to work out but, for whatever reason, you don't feel as up as you'd like, do you discipline yourself to vigorously exercise as you had planned? (As opposed to making excuses and reasons not to exercise such as - it's too demanding, I'm too tired, my favorite TV show is on, etc.)
2. Do you feel the underlying motive for you going to the gym is entrenched in the thrill and benefits you'll enjoy from exercising?
3. Does the thought of going to the gym and vigorously exercising have an accompanying feeling of enthusiasm and positive expectation?
4. If you exercise after work, on the days when you planned to exercise and undue conflict arises at work, do you resolve the conflict and emotionally stabilize so you pursue after work activity with a clear conscience? (Not allowing the conflict to linger and squelch your workout drive?)
5. While you're working out, do you focus on the feeling of exertion, emotional involvement and mental rapport with the exercises you perform?
6. Is your mind free of undistracting thoughts and unrelated feelings during your workouts? (As opposed to frequently considering unrelated things such as, for example, new clothes or new boyfriends.)
7. Are your energy levels - physical and emotional - sufficient as you begin your exercise sessions?
8. Is exercise something you really want to do? (As opposed to something you feel you have to do - ex. "I have to lose weight," "I have to reduce my thighs, waist, hips, etc.")
9. Are you exercising strictly for your personal enjoyment and improvement? (As opposed to, for example, alleviating guilt, avoiding dealing with other things by "running off to the gym," or feeling if you don't workout you won't be attractive or desirable to your husband or lover.)
10. Do you have clearly defined workout goals and a strategic plan to reach them?
11. Do you pay attention to fitness related concerns such as proper nutrition, relaxation, sleeping, self image strengthening?
Always Occasionally Infrequently
Always Occasionally Infrequently
Always Occasionally Infrequently
If you scored a majority of "Always" responses to the questionnaire, you're no doubt enjoying the benefits of looking and feeling great which come from staying motivated and exercising regularly.
If an abundance of "Occasionally" or "Infrequently" responses were registered, the following exercise motivation building techniques will help you reverse this situation so working out regularly and enthusiastically becomes a natural, spontaneous, enriching part of your life.
To reap the full degree of enjoyment and benefits possible from exercise, it must be related to as part of your lifestyle -- as natural an activity for you as eating, working, dressing, showering, etc. Not "something I have to do to look good," but "something I want to, and love to do because it makes me better!"
So as you begin an attitude shift to where exercise becomes accepted as an enriching lifestyle activity, use the following sections to develop the high level workout motivation which finds you consistent and enthused; feeling great and making progress!
A. Incentives: Creating Tailor-Made Inspiring Goals, And Establishing A Purpose
Goals provide a reason to expend energy. The greater the payoff (perceived value) the goal holds for you, the more you're naturally inclined to act toward achieving it.
For example, an actress who was promised a part she wanted for so long if she'd lose 20 pounds would be naturally motivated toward the goal of weight loss. Her attitude would be, "If this is what I have to do to get what I want, I'll do it gladly and enthusiastically."
How about you? What are the health and physical appearance goals which would have an enticing enough lure for you to stay motivated toward achieving them? In this section you must first establish them, then break them up into short and long term proportions.
Short term goals are easier to reach and provide payoffs of quick self satisfaction, reinforcement of your intentions, and decided results — and add fuel, because of successful accomplishment, to your motivation to continue. They can be, for example, to lose the next pound, to do one more rep or add five more pounds in the exercises you perform, to push yourself harder during your aerobics class, to workout for five consecutive days so you can experience the kinesthetic joy of a regular endorphin high, etc.
Long term goals can be losing 25 total pounds, improving the contour of your thighs and buttocks, developing greater muscularity and trimness in your waistline, increasing your energy level and developing a positive self and body image, etc.
Write your goals down on paper; one sheet for short term and another for long term. The very act of writing them down makes them real and tangible. Be sure you've chosen realistic, practical, achievable goals which entice, inspire, and stimulate feelings of excitement within you.
B. Make Your Goals Real, And Act To Fully Achieve Them
Here you build and reinforce the foundation for exercise motivation by programming mental inducements for action. To stimulate regular, goal directed action, your mind must be inspired by a payoff which will both stimulate the imagination, and reinforce desire.
Your motivational payoff is the lean, shapely, radiantly beautiful body which results from your exercising. So, three times per day (as you arise, before you workout, and before retiring at night) take 5 or 10 minutes to richly visualize your goal as an already accomplished fact.
First, sit or lie comfortably, then from your toes upward, go in through each body part and turn it completely loose. Imagine each part you focus on as loose as a dangling rubber band. And with each breath you exhale, mentally repeat the word "c-a-l-m," allowing yourself to grow looser, and more thoroughly at ease with each consecutive breath.
After 4-5 "c-a-l-m" breaths (sensing you've wholly relaxed), vividly project an exact mental representation of yourself possessing the body you want. See yourself in front of a mirror, from head to toe, looking beautifully toned, shapely, healthy and vibrant. F-e-e-l the wonderful sense of physical attractiveness and radiant energy surging through you — through every radiant line, curve and contour!
Imagine yourself among friends as this vibrantly shapely you, and hear their compliments and praise; even their envy at how great you look.
After 5-10 minutes of this body-image success programming, take a deep breath, open your eyelids, reorient yourself with your surroundings, and engage your planned activities.
This process literally programs the subconscious action part of your mind, and helps to establish the basis for generating positive behaviors in line with exercising regularly and enthusiastically.
C. Self-Talk Conversion: Deleting Negative Thoughts/Projecting Positive Ideals
The next motivation builder comprises "feeding" your mind differently to stimulate different idea and behavioral responses. Thoughts are to your mind what food is to your body. And every thought, in some way, has a measurable physical reaction in the body. You've heard the saying, "Thought precedes action"? Well, literally thoughts create action!
So regarding exercising, start becoming aware of the thoughts you're constantly processing and determine if they either promote or deter action taken toward working out.
If you become aware of negative restrictive thoughts which are antagonistic to exercising (including excuses, alibies, rationalizations, etc.) - your objective is to convert them into a positive, motivational equivalent. By converting the context of your thoughts from negative to exclusively positive, you promote success inciting action, and use the same emotional energy which held you back, to advance you.
Negative Thought: Change to Positive Thought:
I've had a tough day at work, maybe I'll skip exercising and just kick back.
It's OK to miss a workout, I'll make up for it next time.
Exercise energizes me. As soon as I start my workout, I start feeling better...and vitally stronger!
Each daily workout brings me closer to my goal, so I eagerly look forward to and engage in regular vigorous exercise!
Every time you become aware that you're thinking a negative exercise related thought, quickly convert it to a positive, action inducing suggestion!
D. Connect With A Motivated Workout Partner
Having someone to push you and someone who you can push and blend your energy with, someone who will support and encourage you, and whom you can support and encourage nearly always makes the workout process more exciting, enjoyable and result producing.
Be sure you connect with someone who shares a vision similar to yours, someone who truly feels about training the way you do. Healthy competition may result, developing a very close friendship may result, pushing yourself beyond all your previous levels may result. And consistent performance, effort, and steady improvements will result!
Also, knowing you have another waiting for you at the gym naturally moves you to show up, and to train regularly.
It's up to you now; through applying the factors I've related, you can develop the high powered workout motivation which leads to you becoming the do-er who's looking and feeling great!
So ignite, and keep the flames of determination burning, and your heart compelled toward your goal. Indeed, the striking capacity, and the power to triumph resides within you now!
Note from Chris Cady:
Nationally prominent self help author, seminar leader, and personal change specialist, Peter C. Siegel was America's foremost sports and peak performance hypnotherapist. Unfortunately Peter has passed away but his work and his spirit live on.
You can review his acclaimed self help - personal success development - mega-confidence building programs at www.incrediblechange.com, or you can call 775-425-5263 to order programs or speak with his protege, sports hypnotherapist Chris Cady
The unique, results guaranteed assurance Siegel attaches to each of his programs…continues to stand the test of time!