In the last part of our 3 part series on starting your health and wellness journey, we talk about Motivation. Thus far, we’ve covered Time and Money, both of which have a lot of variables. But, Time and Money can both be found by mixing things around and doing some prioritizing. Motivation, on the other hand, is internal (or at least it should be. You should NEVER, EVER, EVER do something because someone else wants you to.), and therefore much harder to find when you’re looking for it.
Although Motivation is an internal element that is dependent on each person’s situation and mindset, some of us can be effected by external factors to get us down the health and wellness path. For instance, maybe you have a wedding coming up, or a vacation, or maybe you’re pre-diabetic or have hypertension (technically these 2 are internal, but on a different level). These external factors could be a great building block for your health. For a lot of us, on the other hand, Motivation is just not there. I want to give you an idea of why your Motivation may be missing and what you can do to find it, so let’s get started…
Like I said before, Motivation is internal. But the majority of our internal Motivation is predicated upon our external environment and how we take it in. Let me show you how:
- Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter show you how you need to look – Social media is riddled with images and videos of fitness buffs showing their guns or flexing their 6 packs. It’s hard to look at your Pinterest feed and not see a half-naked girl doing the next best “Shredder” workout. What you don’t know (and they don’t know…or probably care about) is that this is demotivating to the majority of the general population. You see this and think “How can I ever look like that?!”. With this constant negative feedback, it’s easy your mind to shut down any idea of working out.
- Biggest Loser, Crossfit Games and America Ninja Warrior show us how we need to workout – As entertaining as some of these shows may be, it’s just not reality. Biggest Loser makes you think you need to workout a couple hours a day, as hard as you can, dropping weight at an insane (and unhealthy) rate in order to get healthy. This is TOTALLY and UTTERLY WRONG! We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that losing weight should be quick and your workouts should be long and painful. Again, more negative feedback to keep you planted on the couch.
- It Works, HerbaLife and Advocare show us what supplements to take – Supplements, wraps, gels, sprays, enemas, you name it, they have it. Anything you need to get your weight off and get healthy QUICK! No need to exercise and eat healthy! Just take this pill, wrap yourself in saran wrap and you’ll be good to go! And guess what, we’ve all done it! And we all got results QUICK! And then the results went away just as quick. Short term fixes are never conducive to long term results.
As you can see, there are a lot of things out there that eat at your Motivation. It’s nearly impossible to go a day, or even a couple of hours, without seeing or hearing about one of the factors above. So now, we have to figure out what we can do to fight the good fight, to feed your good wolf and get you moving down the health and wellness path!
- Just get Moving! – While television and social media and magazines would like you to think that you need to go straight from the couch to doing intense circuit training 8 days a week, the truth is, it’s all relative. For some people, working out is going for a 1 mile walk. For others, working out is going for a 75 mile run (seriously!). Keep it relative to YOU! If you haven’t done anything for a while, just get up and go for a walk. Then do it again the next day, and the next day. Movement has a funny way of getting us Motivated to do things we didn’t think we wanted to do.
- Find something you LIKE to do! – I think that a combination of resistance training and interval training are the best way to get in shape and lose fat (if your nutrition is on point) for anybody. Does that mean you have to do these things? No, of course not. Do you like Yoga? Great, do it! How about Spinning? Sure, go ahead! It doesn’t matter what the world thinks you need to do! If you enjoy it, then do it! Movement is Movement. Now, does that mean you should enjoy it 100% of the time…not necessarily. But overall, your fitness and nutrition regimens should be enjoyable and easy to integrate.
- Stick to the Program! – Look, obviously I’m not a fan of quick fixes. Health and wellness is simply not achieved in 6 weeks! However, if you sign up to do something for 6 weeks and quit in 4, you’re ingraining a negative feedback loop in you. Stick to the program, buy in and do it 100%. The biggest obstacle when you’re getting started is YOU. When you go to a Fitness Center to ask about memberships and walk out saying “I’ll have to think about it”, you’re not bought into your health…simple.
Give yourself a chance when it comes to getting Motivated. Don’t get wrapped up in what other people are doing and focus on where you are NOW. Everyone has to start at point A, but point A is different for everybody! Buy in and go do it!
Jerry Scarlato is a Personal Trainer and Entrepreneur who lives in Northern Kentucky. He runs 2 businesses related to health and wellness: Thrive Fitness and Thrive Online. Jerry has been involved in the fitness for his entire adult life, including playing sports through college. Along with being an Entrepreneur, Jerry is a content creator,
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