Whether it’s getting started on a new program or sticking with your current one, motivation can come and go and for some, just down right not exist when it comes to fitness. I’m human, I definitely have my days where working out is the last thing I feel like doing, heck, I’ve even hit a few slumps where I wont work out for a week straight. I can tell you though, when that happens, after a few days I start to feel awful, and that there is part of my motivation to get my butt back in gear!
Getting motivated to make fitness a regular part of your life needs to be a positive experience. Your drive needs to come from within, and it needs to be about YOU and what regular exercise can do for YOU. My main focus for fitness is not just about looks, sure, I enjoy the benefits fitness has on my physical appearance but how it makes me feel about myself, how it improves my mental health, is my driving force.
Lets list a few negative reinforcements that you want to try and avoid. Although some may seem to make sense for helping to motivate, in reality, any type of negative thinking is going to have a negative effect. These can include unnecessary stress and low self esteem. In the second list you can see how we take some of these negative motivators and put a positive spin on them so that they work in your favor to boost self esteem and keep you on the right track.
Negative self talk (spoken or not) is the number one issue and this only leads to low self esteem, stress and in many cases, quitting or giving up on reaching your fitness goal. Negative self talk can include the following;
- Viewing the negative outcome of a situation (was too difficult, you didn’t complete as many reps as planned etc)
- Focusing on what you could have done better
- Comparing yourself to others
- Fixating on your current state of health/fitness
- Telling yourself you aren’t capable, worthy or good enough
If talking to yourself in a positive way is not something you currently practice than repeating positive phrases to yourself may feel strange but like any other habit, it just takes a short time before it becomes natural. Now lets have a look at some positive reinforcements;
- Reminding yourself of your accomplishments
- Focusing on the progress you have made
- Celebrating milestones and goals achieved
- Telling yourself you are worthy and deserving of a healthy body and mind
Making the switch from negative to positive self talk can and will have a huge impact on your health and mental well-being. Self esteem rises, stress is reduced and overall, you feel and look healthier & happier. Perhaps you aren’t even aware of your negative self talk, perhaps you think beating yourself up will help motivate you, either way, it’s got to stop!
How to go from Negative to Positive Motivation
- Set realistic goals. (Write them down and look at them often)
- List the things you are grateful for.
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive and encouraging people.
- Talk to yourself as though you have already accomplished your goals. (I look great, I feel great, I’m gonna rock my new bikini this summer etc)
- Place positive notes or quotes around your home so that you are constantly bombarded with positivity!
- Create a vision board and hang it somewhere you will see it everyday. (A collage of inspiring and motivating pictures, quotes, goals etc)
These don’t have to be all fitness and health related, they just need to be positive! Over time thinking positively will become natural and the negative self talk will phase its way out of your life, where it belongs!
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale