Motivation. It’s that elusive drive that seems to come and go, and most people think it’s just there or it’s not. We have all said it at one point about something…”I’m motivated now!” It’s as if someone turned the key and all of the sudden we’re motivating down the road (it may be the wrong road, but we’re off and motivating). And, unfortunately some will motivate right out of gas on a dead end road. Then those words seem to tearfully flow from their lips…”I’m just not motivated anymore.”
I don’t know that I’ve ever worked with anyone that came to me and had actually understood and defined their motivation and planned out their motivational strategy. Now people come to me with the beginnings of a goal, but don’t mistake a goal with motivation. A goal is something that you want to strive toward and attain. Motivation is what drives you to get there. And it’s not something that comes and goes with no explanation or understanding. That is perhaps one of the most important factors in achieving any goal…understanding and defining your motivation and planning your motivational strategy.
We are “motivated” by one or a combination of things. Some people’s motivation is generated from the positive aspects of reaching their goals. Others find that their motivation is generated from pain or a negative experience or feeling. Then, there are some that are motivated by a combination of the two. So what does that really mean? Here’s an example I use with my clients. Let’s say that a woman wants to tone up and lose the bodyfat that she’s been lugging around. I always suggest that she put either a picture of her as she is now, or a picture of what she wants to look like on the refrigerator door and on her bathroom mirror. And then there’s the option of putting both pictures on the door and mirror. She will either be motivated by the positive reinforcement of seeing what she wants to look like or the negative feelings associated by what she looks like and how she feels now. And, of course, there could be the case where both images would serve to motivate her. Everyone should look at any goal and determine and understand their true motivation behind that goal.
Once you determine and understand your source of motivation, you must realize that your level of motivation is directly dependent on an understanding of potential weaknesses obstacles ahead of time. Those cookies on the counter can quickly throw a curve ball at your motivation if you’re not prepared. And staying up late to watch that movie won’t help you get up early for your cardio session. Make sure you understand what your weaknesses are and plan to avoid them or, at the very least, be prepared to focus on the source of your motivation when they are nearby.
Staying motivated is not something that you can afford to take lightly. I take my clients success very seriously and make it a priority to establish their source of motivation and a motivational strategy up front. My ultimate goal is RESULTS, and lasting results will always produce motivation!