Over the years I’ve chatted to hundreds of people in gyms – whether they’ve joined the gym and I’m taking them through an induction process or they’re training with me.
And it’s so encouraging to see that most of them are 9/10 or 10/10 committed to getting their result when they start.
But a month or two down the track, why is it that 9/10 or 10/10 becomes 4/10 or 5/10 or worse?
What is it that results in these highly motivated, capable people suddenly losing all interest in what initially was a 9/10 or 10/10 goal?
Could it be that their initial motivation was flawed?
Of the many books that have been written about motivation and inspiration, a common thread seems to appear. “People will do more to run away from pain than they will to run towards pleasure” and yet, at the same time, they also postulate that “Moving away from (running away from pain) motivation is not very effective long term”. For the record, “Moving towards” motivation has proven to be more effective in the long term.
So what does that really mean?
If your motivation for working out or creating a healthier lifestyle is a result of you wanting to lose weight then effectively you’re running away from the pain of the extra weight. And let’s face it, if you have experience as a yo-yo dieter or you’ve lost a lot of weight and then put it back on again, you may already be familiar with the fact that this sort of moving away from motivation doesn’t last.
Or perhaps you’ve experienced pain in the past. Back pain is one of the most common ailments of our mostly sedentary society today. So you join the gym to get out of pain (moving away motivation), you work hard on strengthening your body and once the pain has gone, the urgency subsides and work, family or something else gets in the way and you find yourself skipping a session or 2, then a week or 2 and before you know it, you’re no longer being active at all. Over time, without maintaining that new found strength, muscle development and posture, the back pain rears its head once again.
So what if you could find a motivation that works long term? What if you could find a moving towards motivation to get you moving, keep you moving and motivated to reach your goals?
You know it’s often said that the greatest motivator of all is “Love”. Assuming that’s true, how can you get “Love” to motivate you to move every day, to get to be earlier, to drink more water? In fact, how do you get “Love” to motivate you to do anything?
Let me share the light bulb moment I had when reading my current book of choice, and why I’m sharing this with you.
In the book “Money: A Love Story” by Kate Northrup, Kate implies that living within your means is a form of Self-Love. Rather than stressing yourself out and having to deal with constant levels of anxiety by over-extending yourself financially, choosing instead to only spend the money that you have is a form of Self-Love.
Now I get it that sometimes it’s not as simple as only spending what’s in your purse or wallet but this is not a financial blog so I’m not going to get into that discussion here.
My light bulb moment came when I realized that when faced with doing something good for myself or my body that I don’t want to do, or that I struggle to do, if I think of it as an act of Self-Love, for me, that feels good and I’m more motivated to do it.
Let me give you an example. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my biggest personal challenges has been getting to bed at an appropriate hour on a regular basis. So I took the concept of Self-Love and rather than try to understand why I just couldn’t get myself to bed earlier, I decided that getting to bed between 10 and 1030 pm was an act of Self-Love, doing something good for my mind and my body by getting more sleep before midnight, and so far I’m doing so much better.
Self-Love is a moving towards motivation. So what does this mean for your Health?
Motivation is all a matter of how you look at things. If you can find your way to a bit more Self-Love, wrap your head around the fact that moving your body every day, making healthy food choices, getting more sleep before midnight and drinking more water are all forms of Self-Love, then maybe you’ve found the Motivation that will sustain you long term.
And who couldn’t do with a bit more Self-Love anyway?