Sustainable Fitness

The Motivation Myth

Picture this…..

You walk into a new gym for the first time, you’re already talking yourself out of it, thinking that people will know it’s your first time. You start comparing your level of fitness, your body, your clothes to all of the other people around you.

You see the people in the weights area, seemingly knowing what they are doing and you wonder how they are motivated to get up and exercise everyday, you assume they must absolutely love it.

You compare again, turn that thought inwards, you beat yourself up. You start to wonder why you can’t love it like they do, why it feels really hard to get through those doors. Why it seems like it's harder for you to come to the gym and what is the magic ingredient that gets those people in the weights area excited to keep on turning up. You start to think that if you looked like them then you’d be motivated to come to the gym everyday.

I’ll let you in on a secret; motivation is individual (and you don’t have to have the discipline of an Army General, contrary to popular belief *cough* instagram *cough*)

Not everyone travels to the gym absolutely buzzing to move the weights up and down, or to run on the treadmill for 45 minutes or to sweat in a class (except our members)….some do, but for the vast majority it will be an inner argument everytime they make their way to the gym and it’s their own motivators that they logic with to get moving.

As Coaches, even we have days when we would rather be doing something else, where we have that moment sitting in the car park staring at the entrance thinking “do I have to?”

Those are the moments so go to the filing cabinet in your brain, and you find your why.

Your ‘why’ is individual. It can’t be bought with a 6 week pdf. Your why isn’t given as a freebie with the fitness app you downloaded. Your why isn’t the new pair of trainers you bought specifically to motivate you to go running.

Your why runs a little deeper. That is why we set goals, and it’s why we work out why you want that goal. 

At the end of the day, when you’re tired and it’s cold or raining, or you’ve had a stressful day, the why will be the thing you anchor to, because you know that above all of the reasons why you shouldn’t move your body, there is an outstanding reason that you want to.

So, you said at the start of the year that you want to get fitter. Amazing, but how do we achieve that, and how do we find the reason why you want that? Let’s ask a few questions:

  1. Imagine in 3 months time, you are feeling fitter than now. How does that make you feel?
  1. I.e. I feel healthier, get better sleep, have more energy in the day and less pain
  1. Now let’s look back over those 3 months, what did you do over that time that made you feel fitter?
  1. I came to 2 classes a week at the studio, I started improving my sleep hygiene and started drinking more water
  1. Now that we’ve looked back, what ways does feeling fitter benefit your life? 
  1. I have more energy to run around with my kids at the weekend, I feel like I have energy to do things in the evening, My mood has improved
  1. Out of the things you’ve just mentioned, which is the most important?
  1. Running around with my kids
  1. Why is it important?
  1. I want them to have a fun childhood where I play with them, I want them to have a healthy parent and I want to be sure that I can look after them and be a good example to them

However you answered that last question, that is your ‘why’. That is your anchor.

When we attach real emotion and real value to our goals, they become more achievable because it is real. If you can believe it, if you can feel how it feels, you can achieve it.

So, when you next start comparing your now to someone else’s, when you next walk into a gym and see the people in the weights area, the people on the treadmills and the gym bunnies turning up to classes all week, remember, each and every person has their why.

Mental health, physical health, to be pain free, to decrease stress, to be better partners and friends, to be there for their kids, to enjoy life, to have a community, to feel stronger in their bodies. Everyone has their why, no-one is an exemption. 

So find your why, hold onto that and give yourself the time to find your stride. Motivation is elusive, but your why is tangible. Hold onto that.


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