“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
One definition of heaven for me is my ability to do what’s good for me without too much of an internal struggle. Exercise is a good example of this. Exercise makes you feel better, look better, and behave better with much less stress. Effective workouts have a long list of life-saving benefits in addition to quality-of-life benefits.
Still, how many people do you know that are quite aware of all these benefits and don’t exercise? Are you one of them?
If you are, don’t worry, so many people are in the same boat.
Exercise motivation could be the answer to what you’re missing. Exercise is not all about moving faster, having more endurance or lifting more weight. There is more to your ability to get to the gym or pull out the latest exercise equipment you purchased on TV from under your bed.
Here are some tips that help you focus on the motivation aspect of your exercise instead of the technical aspect of it. Sports psychology motivation should be a part of exercise routines for everyone, but it is reserved for the elite athletes.
These are ways to help you balance the internal struggle that keeps you from starting an exercise regiment or sticking with it.
Re-adjust your goal setting process
External events drive most of our activities. We set goals based on what we haven’t done. For example, a wedding or summer vacation approaches, and we try to meet a weight loss goal fast. Pretty soon, we become overwhelmed by the process we set and the way we set our goals. Then, we give up.
A more beneficial way to set goals to work on a process instead of results.
A process-oriented goal setting is something like this. “I’ll exercise for 20 minutes every other day for the next thirty days. That’s only 12 sessions. I can do it with one hand tied behind my back.”
Make it measurable
In addition to assigning a number of sessions per week that you can count, within that 20-minute find activities that you can measure and improve. For example, if part of your routine is to do squats, focus on going from two sets of ten repetitions to three sets of 12 repetitions. From there, you can increase your intensity but carrying some weights.
By measuring you create a path for progress that by itself could motivate you.
Shift your strength
I used a quotation from Mahatma Gandhi at the beginning of this article for a reason. Through his strength, he changed a nation and impacted the world. He did this with the physical body that borderlines on starvation.
You have strengths within you that no one else processes. Often we use the strengths within us toward a disadvantage. If we can observe greatness, we use it to see greatness in others and not ourselves. If we miss a day or two workouts wee focus our strength in feeling guilty.
Shift your strength and focus on the greatness you possess and your progress and forget everybody else. Shift your strength to the ability to let go instead of guilt.
Get involved get going
Everybody has up days and down days. It is difficult for everybody to be down at the same time and everybody to be up at the same time. A network that supports you and encourages you to stay on track can help you get through your down days. In my life, very few things have matched the power of an encouraging instructor and a supportive partner.
Remember that support should be uplifting an not a downer. You’re not looking for someone to nag you to death and point out your shortcomings to “motivate” you. You’re looking for someone who says, “You can do it, just one more rep.”
Plan, have fun, have variety
Most people don’t realize that having a plan is one of the easiest ways to have fun. You use the resources you have and are in a better position to manage events of the unexpected through planning. You use your strengths which are fun and gradually work on shoring up your weaknesses city can continue having fun. Through planning, you create their variety that is beneficial instead of random activities that would not produce any results.
Make it convenient enough
With busy schedules, a gym that is half an hour away might as well be on another planet. Exercise video that you can watch any time could make it easy to procrastinate.
Your needs are unique; you should make your ability to exercise convenient enough that you’re going to do it. A gym half an hour away with a partner may work better for you than exercise video at home that you want to use alone. It’s a matter of knowing yourself and being aware of your energy levels and what you are willing to do.
Remember with a little bit of creativity you can do a lot.
Have an end date
The idea that you’re going to do anything for the rest of your life causes unique challenges. Choosing to do something for one month or two makes it so much easier.
This does not mean that you end your exercise program in one month. It means that within one month you’re done with one part of it. You’ll get a chance to reward yourself, enjoy your accomplishments, reflect and plan the next phase.