It’s the New Year, and you want to begin a new you. You noticed you gained a few extra pounds over the holidays, and it time to lose it. You start a gym membership, and your first week in the gym goes great until you get sore the following week. The pain is so immense; you rest more days then you planned on resting. Those extra days off helped you to heal, but now you tell yourself, “I will start going back to the gym tomorrow.” Tomorrow comes and goes, and you still haven’t gone to the gym. You have lost your motivation, or did you channel it into something else? So how to keep yourself staying motivated?
Most people end up usually channeling their motivation into something else, like relaxing at home on the couch. Following a recent online study conducted by Harris Interactive, 73% percent of adults in the US who make New Year’s resolutions give up before reaching their goal. So, you’re not alone. There are many reasons why people fall off the fit buss. Some complain they have difficulty following a program; others say it’s hard getting back into a routine, and the most popular reason not having enough time. But are they valid reasons or just excuses?
What is motivation? A feeling that inspires you on the inside to reach a goal. Did you know that you can control your inspiration? According to psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943, humans are inherently motivated to better themselves and move toward expressing their potential—self-actualization—by progressively encountering and satisfying several levels of need from the most fundamental, such as for food and safety, to higher-order needs for love, belonging, and self-esteem. (Motivation | Psychology Today.)
There was another study conducted by NWRC, and they found some interesting facts. 55% of register participants lost weight with the help of a fitness program. 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of exercise, walking. Over 1-5 years, these participants lost weight and were able to maintain it off. Why is this important?
The NWRC study shows that when a lifestyle change motivates a participant, then they are more likely to succeed in their goal. It also showed a program, along with increased activity over a long period, creates motivated weight loss success. So if you are channeling your motivation for a short period goal or procrastinating for the next day, then you have already set yourself up for failure. Your inspiration should be to improve your lifestyle by becoming more active one day at a time. Your motivation should be making physical activity apart of your lifestyle, not just some product goal that you achieve. Studies have shown that making a small change, like walking every day, will help you reach weight loss goals. Be patient and persistent, and your motivation for physical activity will develop just like it does when you get hungry and want food.
Also, give yourself room to make mistakes. Utilize the 80/20 rule to help you stay determined. We are not perfect, and things don’t work out as plan sometimes. So give yourself some room for a “you day.” Ensure that 80% of the week you stay true to your commitment and the other 20% do as you please. Utilizing the 80/20 is key to keeping you motivated.
All in all, success in any journey takes time, and if you genuinely want it, you will get it. Just stay consistent every day on trying to improve yourself, and you will find new motivation and purpose. Be honest with yourself and allow for cheat days. Remember reaching your goals for 80% of the time for the whole year is better than going 100% of the time for 1 to 2 weeks.