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Over the years I have been asked a lot about where I get my motivation. Sometimes from friends, sometimes from clients who are desperate to learn the secret of getting motivation, etc. One thing, over the years, that I have noticed does NOT provide lasting motivation is a weight loss number for a goal. It provides a short term boost of motivation then the person realizes how painstakingly slow healthy weight loss is and the motivation falls. I think a weight loss number goal also doesn’t provide a ton of motivation because there are normally other factors going on, such as low self esteem, lack of self confidence, etc. Until you BELIEVE you can achieve your goals they won’t happen. All the negative self talk will win over. This is why I have moved to a motivation approach with my personal training clients. I also highly suggest clients have a physical goal. It gives you something to work towards and something to focus on that doesn’t just include weight.
So before I get into what motivates ME, I’m going to talk about ways to help get yourself motivated to workout.
1) Get in touch with what you actually ENJOY!
Not what someone told you that you enjoy or something you just do because others do it. What, in your heart, speaks to you. If you like nature, take your fitness outside for example.
2) Replace unrealistic IMAGES with attainable goals.
Let’s be serious right now. Not every body can look like Erik Stern (I love her, by the way!), on the cover of FitnessRX for women, not everyone who does Crossfit will look like Camille Leblanc Bazinet (Love her as well) and not everyone who does OCR’s will look like Ella Kociuba (love her as well). I don’t care what the magazines tell you. There is a huge dose of genetics (and strict contest prep dieting and a very low body fat percentage when talking about physique competitors) in the formula and some of us have it, some of us don’t. So instead of trying to chase down an ideal image that we have drilled into our mind, based on SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY, we need to work with what WE have and love our body for what it is.
3)Find a workout environment that caters to your needs and likes.
Some love the community of a Crossfit box, some love a studio, some love training outside. If you aren't happy with where you workout you won't be as motivated to go! Find somewhere you belong and that makes you happy to go!
(Hiking in the mountains in Australia. Great way to workout and enjoy it!)
4) Don't beat yourself up when motivation subsides.
Like all states motivation will vary depending upon our mood, health and many factors beyond our immediate control. Don't sweat it, your motivation will return and a rest may be the best way to come about it. Trust me, I can relate to this one. With insomnia and recovering from a serious back injury I have MANY days where I have zero to no motivation. What helps me is going back to why I do what I do and what my purpose in training is.
6) Find like minded people!
If you are the ONLY one in your group of friends that enjoys exercise then you are already waging an uphill battle. Find people that enjoy the same things you do and work together. There are tons of online communities for different interests…. I am even part of a great online community at 3…2…1…Sparta on facebook.
7) Stop forcing it!!!
You can’t force motivation and if you do it won’t last long. Again, find something you are passionate about, set attainable goals, be in environments that make you happy and surround yourself with like- minded people. You can’t go wrong if you do that. When you finally take a step back and really enjoy life and listen to your heart you will KNOW what motivates you, rather than forcing motivation on yourself.
I could go on forever but now it is time to talk about what motivates me!!!
I've been an athlete since I was 5. I was competing in figure skating and show jumping before I even knew what it meant to compete. I just figured every child grew up chasing championships and spending every minute after school training. I don't regret this upbringing for a second. What this meant for me though is being programmed to compete…. Being programmed to chase first place, overall titles, training when I don't want to train, etc. I have told Scott more than once "I don't understand why people do things for fun…. Why not do it to be the best?". The positive side of this is that I work my ass off, with or without insomnia, and while I DO have days that motivation weakens or I try and use insomnia as an excuse, I buckle down because I want to better myself and win. When I see someone post on facebook that they are racing in a race I am in or training for Crossfit, it makes me want to push harder.
Another thing that really motivates me is being a good role model for other women. I want to help inspire women to chase their dreams, no matter their age or limiting factors. If I give up because I’m tired, or if I give up because I don’t feel like training I am not the example I hope to provide for others. Life can be really unfair sometimes and we can be dealt cards that really knock us down. Health wise I’ve felt like I start to regain my footing then I get knocked back down. My sleep will start to improve then get worse…. It’s almost evil. I will sleep well enough for a few nights to remember what it is like to be rested or to train rested, and then I would slide back into a broken sleep. Or one injury will finally be fixed then I’ll get another injury.
How I deal with days that my motivation sucks:
Well, truthfully, it depends how sleep deprived I am. Some days I have to take the day off because it isn't realistic to train that tired… On those days I get pretty pissy. But most days even if I don't want to I put on my workout clothes and warm up. I tell myself if I am still miserable and don't want to train then I will stop. Most days, once I get going I push just as hard as any other day.
One thing I have learned is this : If you feel like you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on. Don’t ever give up on yourself or your potential. Find what speaks to you and motivation will come.
I have a group on facebook, called 3…2…1…Sparta with some of the most inspirational women I know. It is a great community developing there and I welcome anyone to join! We can be found at:
Doing things I love: