As a personal trainer and motivator, it’s a great feeling to solve the puzzle for an individual and get them on the right track to a fitter and more complete person. The motivator will be different for each person; some will thrive on competition with peers while others may need a consequence or reward to maintain their focus. But no matter what, an individual’s motivation is as unique as their personality. Dangling the proverbial carrot in front of someone only works if they’re hungry! Finding the motivation to keep your fitness routine going can be a real challenge...but the benefits far out way the work!
We all need to get to the root of what drives our specific behaviors. For some monetary and material rewards work, for others working towards an event like a wedding or beach trip is the answer. But these types of motivation are rarely beneficial in the long term. Somewhere deep within ourselves we must find some type of unique behavior trigger that will inspire us for the long haul. I love to show each of my personal training clients how the hard work they put into today directly moves them towards the goals they have set for their life. And perhaps the weight is slowly coming off or their endurance is slowing improving, but it is moving forward and that is the goal.
Another way to search for common motivators is by taking a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, yeah, think back to college Psych 101. This is a motivation model developed in 1943 whose premise is that we all have a common hierarchy of needs from hunger to self-esteem. If we aren’t satisfying the lower-level needs (hunger, thirst, bodily needs), then we’ll never be able to reach our goals at the next level (self-esteem / self-awareness). Using this model in our fitness motivation puzzle, you can see where materialistic rewards are good for short-term goals only. But sooner or later, your fitness motivation goals will need to be based on a solid foundation of self-improvement and that vision you have of a better you far into the future. A reunion or vacation may motivate us to lose 10 pounds in a month, but what will sustain our good habits to help us walk around the block when we’re in our 80s? Answering questions like these will help you find the keys to unlock the secret to your personal motivation.
What is it that you ultimately want…
...a finisher’s medal from a marathon may get you that foundation of confidence and self-respect that you’re looking for …or involvement in a health club may be help you fill a social void in your life. No matter what path you take to better health and fitness, you’ll increase the quality and quantity of your life – but you’ve got to want it to get it. Find out what will spark your fitness motivation energy and get out there and try it!
Article Submitted by:
Meredith Chiapello, Director of Personal Training and Group Exercise, The Women's Club
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