Where does determination come from?
There are both internal and external factors that collectively contribute to your level of motivation and help define what motivates you.
- External motivation is primarily ego-driven, often prompting questions such as, “how will I look in that bikini if I hit the gym 5 times a week”, or “I want to fit into those skinny jeans again”. Although it seems superficial – pun intended – it is a vital and effective tool often used to maintain a healthy diet and consistent workout regimen. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business recommends making the benefits of working out tangible. “An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch onto it and make the link that the behaviour is worthwhile.”
- As you’ve probably already guessed, internal motivation is visceral. Perhaps it’s reinforced by the progress achieved towards your respective fitness goal, or the feeling you get while working out; after all, the term, “runners high” is not a coincidence. A study on “What motivates People” published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that people who focused on internal motivators tend to feel a greater sense of enjoyment towards their workout, and consequently are more likely to obtain long-term results (i.e., general health and wellness).
Now that we have identified two main types of motivation, here are 4 ways to keep you motivated throughout your fitness journey.
4 ways to keep you motivated throughout your fitness journey.
- Find your fitness Community: We hear coaches preach accountability all the time, but it’s not easy to be your own boss, especially regarding fitness. We usually plan our fitness routine when we are well-rested, motivated, and feeling good. However, in the mornings we may wake up and it’s pouring rain outside, and the thought of sitting and enjoying your coffee in bed seems much more appealing than running out to make your fitness class. It’s times such as this when it’s prudent to have the support of a community. A like-minded community helps to hold you accountable as you and your fellow teammates/friends share common goals. A clinical trial in 1999 by RW Jeffery on the study of the Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance showed that 95 percent of those who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to 76 percent completion rate for those who tackled the program alone.
- Sign a fitness contract with yourself, a friend, or a coach. Consider this “1(A)” as it reverts back to accountability, although now it’s in writing! Your goal just became a commitment. It may seem to put added pressure on an already stressful situation, but studies have shown that with a contract to yourself, or a coach, people had that extra bit of motivation they needed to get out of bed and get to the gym.
- Visualise the end result. Visualise how good you’ll look in that bathing suit or those skinny jeans. Envisioning success ignites an internal spark that builds excitement and ensures your goal is in fact achievable.
- Give yourself flexibility. Daily schedules can be tedious enough before throwing in all the last-minute tasks, emergencies, and deadlines. Therefore, give yourself some slack, and leave your workout goals more general. If you can’t get to the gym, go for a walk during your lunch break, or open your fitness app and do a 15-minute ab routine. With today’s technology, it no longer needs to be all or nothing. Every effort, big or small, it’s still progress!
At Curves, we’ve proudly developed a climate dedicated to providing a supportive, and inspiring fitness community. Our fitness contract, the ‘X-Factor’, is in place to remind you that your goals ARE achievable.
Find your MOTIVATION with Curves Find your Curves club – Curves
Regardless of where your motivation stems from, all that really matters is that you find what works for you. We are all different and therefore require our own personal “carrot on a string”. Determine what motivates you and use it as a tool to drive your daily fitness routine.