People find motivation in many different ways. Abraham Lincoln was motivated to become a lawyer because he didn’t want to live the hardscrabble life of his father. Theodore Roosevelt was famous for driving himself relentlessly, whether it was in physical fitness, education or politics. His motivation came from the fact his father died young – age 47 – and he feared the same would happen to him.
Of course, getting motivated to get fit and staying motivated to stay on the path when friends, family, or the snooze button seemingly are always in the way can be difficult. Successful people find a variety of ways to stay motivated. Struggling? Try some of these.
Assume a fit identity
If you see yourself as a runner then you will do things that support that vision. Successful runners don’t hit the snooze button and skip runs. That works in a variety of ways. If you see yourself as a kickboxer, you’ll stick with the training program because that’s what a kickboxer does.
Learn how to say “no” so you don’t say “no” to your workout
Actor Jim Carrey starred in a movie called “The Yes Man” where he played a character stuck in his ways until a motivational guru convinced him to say yes to everything. It’s a cute premise, but most of us have the opposite problem. We want to be accommodating. We want to be seen as a “can-do” person by our boss, friends, or spouse. We rarely say no.
When you say yes to everything, you leave precious little time for yourself; the first thing that people typically cut out is workout time, your “me” time. You have a lot of roles to play in life – partner, parent, co-worker, spouse. But you can’t fulfill those roles unless you’re physically (and mentally) healthy.
Don’t look for a finish line
Do not view health and fitness as something with an end date. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds or to get in good enough shape to run a 10k, then what happens the day after? Look at the changes you are making as lifestyle changes, not temporary ones. Set small, easily achievable goals to get the momentum going and then keep finding new, more difficult goals to meet. Always keep the idea for your next fitness goal in the back of your mind. There is no endgame to living well.