Everyone has different reasons for wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. In today’s post I’m going to discuss several different mindsets and the implications that arise with them. Regardless of your reason, it is important to clearly define it and use it as an effective tool to keep you going, when your initial “motivations” wane out.
Reason that keeps you going forward
As you progress over time, your primary reasons may change. It is a good sign of the development you have undergone. In fact, you will realize that many of these mindsets are connected and you will simultaneously improve in a variety of areas. Keep in mind, these psychological components are too often overlooked in the fitness industry. But they are instrumental when it comes to integrating this change as part of your daily routine.
1. Looking Good
Who doesn’t want to look good? This is one of the most common reasons I see people have when they start to work out and clean up their nutrition. I used this reason when I first began and it was an excellent way to keep myself accountable. All I had to do was look in the mirror whenever I need to track my progress. It also worked as a reminder of why I began in the first place on the days I felt like skipping a workout. However, you must be cautious when taking this approach.
First off, it can be tough to see changes when you look at yourself day after day. It is invaluable to make sure you have some progress photos and a friend/family member to recognize the differences as well. Also “looking good” is a very subjective phrase. Some people may like a certain body type, media may idolize another type, and you may want another type. At the end of the day, the only way you can truly be happy with your reason is to figure out what body type you want to have without letting external forces influence your decision. Other people don’t see and experience all the hard work you will do, so why let them dictate what your result of that should be?
2. Increasing Longevity
Another common reason I hear about is increasing longevity. People tend to have different ideas about longevity. For me, I think of longevity as being able to have a certain quality of life, with no major movement restrictions, allowing you to maintain independence as you age. This is a prospect that eludes many people though until it’s too late and they’ve already lost that independence. It can be tough, yet rewarding knowing that your reason is a preventative one. You may not see any major results on a frequent basis, but knowing the fact that there are no negative side effects can be an incentive. Especially, as we age and see those around us start to lose what they once took for granted, we will be glad we did it.
I shifted my reason after divulging myself in an active lifestyle for a few years. I’ve known what it’s like to be on the wrong path, not feeling like your best self. Now that is pure enough reason for me, especially when I can feel the difference immediately after indulging in a pizza versus some lean protein and vegetables. In addition, you will still be looking good as a side effect of this mindset. You don’t have to sacrifice much, but you will balance yourself out and gain tenfold in return.
3. To Be the Best
The third, and final reason I’ll be covering today is to be the best. What do you want to be the best in exactly? Is it to be the star sports player, perhaps in an attempt to make money from this avenue one day? Perhaps you want to win an upcoming competition for recognition. Maybe you just want to be the best, because you strive to be the best in whatever you do.
You must be careful with this mindset though. What actually determines you being the best, and who’s to say there isn’t someone better than you out there somewhere? What happens if you do become the best? Do you just quit, or continue to work hard to maintain that status? You’ve got to really ask yourself if you want this for yourself. Do you need it to survive? Or are you enjoying every moment of it? This can foster major-long term commitment but you’re never going to stick with something if you can’t just have fun with it once in a while.
Competing at a high-level is an admirable goal, but be careful not to burn yourself out, and be a little more flexible with how you approach your days during your attempt at greatness. You may learn something new or at least break up the monotony of an intensely, regimented training schedule.
In conclusion, I hope you were able to find some insight in these undervalued, yet powerful psychological factors. These are the types of things that will keep you accountable when there isn’t anybody else around. You can remember why you get up every day and work so hard. It is for you, and whatever your reason may be, define it and get after it.