But for most, that enthusiasm for exercise tends to fade within weeks and by February you realize that losing weight is a lifetime goal, not something you can accomplish in a few weeks.
Do You Really Want To Be Successful
At Your Fitness Goals?
Over Thanksgiving, I decided to ask five friends, not all who work out regularly, what motivates them to workout this time of year. As you read their answers, notice that I didn't ask them what their goals were. In a moment, I will be working with you on creating your goals.
Interview With Friends
[ FM ] Shannon, what motivates you to workout this time of year?
Shannon: I want to be in bikini ready shape by the summer time. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Mexico and I really want to wear this little bikini that he bought for me to wear last summer!
[ FM ] Sarah, what motivates you to workout this time of year?
Sarah: Having just had my second child I want to loose the weight from being pregnant. Plus I know how important it is to set a healthy example for my kids. My mother worked out as I was growing up and I would like to do the same for my two boys.
[ FM ] Patty, what motivates you to workout this time of year?
Patty: Competitions are my motivation, and I have one every three-five months. If I really let myself go, come contest time I will have more work cut out for me; work that I wouldn't have if I balanced weights and cardio with my off season diet. I make sure to fit 4-6 workouts in every week year round.
[ FM ] Tara, what motivates you to workout this time of year?
Tara: I feel better and have more energy when I hit the gym regularly. I work full time as a dental assistant so at the end of the day, I thrive on hitting the weights and treadmill.
[ FM ] Stella, what motivates you to workout this time of year?
Stella: On the weekends I know that I will be eating out at restaurants and drinking a little so I balance that out with the gym. It's like by going to the gym 4-5 days a week I can have a little fun on the weekends. So being able to drink on the weekends motivates me.
The Importance Of Goal Setting
My friends knew what they wanted, but did they have the tools to reach their goals. Did they really care?
Do any of my friends resemble you? If you don't have a specific idea of where you want to be, it's not going to motivate you to achieve it.
To let you in on who really does visit the gym as often as they wish, you can count on Shannon, after a couple years of saying she is going to start running again; Shannon has lost about 20 lbs and is feeling and looking the best she has in years!
As a successful Internet entrepreneur and mother of two, Sarah is non-stop busy, with an appreciation for walks with friends, and her husband and sons. Walking is fitness, but Sarah would like to step it up a notch by summertime.
Patty has her eyes on the Emerald Cup, and is about to change gears from her off-season diet to her contest diet. The last few months she has relaxed a bit on the cardio but kept her weights in and appears to have gained some nice size.
Patty believes she has what it takes to qualify for the Nationals. Let's wish her luck!
Picking up more shifts at the dental office, and while trying to get over a cold, Tara has been away from this gym for about a week. She is feeling run down but knows this will pass.
10 years ago, Tara and I met on stage at a Venus Swimwear contest. Fitness is a part of Tara's life and she doesn't let a cold get her down. She is optimistic and views fitness as a gift.
Stella works several nights a week at a very nice restaurant, so her morning starts closer to 10 a.m. Arriving to the gym with her Starbucks in hand and her blonde hair in a sexy pony tail, she steps onto her trusty elliptical trainer and opens her novel. Stella never misses a beat, or a good glass of Chardonnay.
Let's now look at how you can set your own goals and achieve them!
What Is Motivation?
1. The wants, needs and beliefs that drive a character.
2. Motivation is the push of the mental forces to accomplish an action. Unsatisfied needs motivate. On the biological level, basic human needs of food, shelter, and survival are powerful motivators.
On the psychological level, people need to be understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated. On the business level, motivation occurs when people perceive a clear business reason for pursuing a transfer of knowledge or practices.
On the biological level, motivation is extremely powerful. So powerful, in fact, that one may feel that they cannot control what they eat. As a figure competitor, I know how controlling biological motivation can be. For me, and possibly for you, it's almost as though we have two brains.
One brain, which we'll refer to as 'good', is listening to your goals carefully and it helps you create a game plan. Your other brain, however, which we'll call 'bad', may turn on you without warning and take over. Just when you thought you were feeling motivated to eat healthy foods, your 'bad brain' engages.
What you had in mind for a clean eating week is blown, and you "come to" as you stare down at your plate of Starbucks' latest sinful offering.
Besides eating right, you need to exercise. To help you along your way, you must understand:
- Relying on just willpower will not work. Willpower equals short-term success. Long-term success requires planning, discipline, and finding ways to motivate yourself every day.
- Motivation takes work. From day to day what motivates you may change. Each morning, I want you to think about your goals and commit to them. Be true to your goal and choose actions that will help you get there.
- There will be times when you don't want to eat healthy and exercise; you are never alone. Know that every day you will have to work on staying focused, just as the most avid exercisers do.
- Good-bye diets. Create a meal plan that works for you, based on your tastes and goals. Another persons plan may not work for you.
Ask any person who is successful in whatever they are doing what motivates them. Most likely they will say "goals." Goal setting is the key to motivation and success. So what motivates you? I am asking you now these four very important questions. Some of which may apply to you while others may not.
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?|
Why do you want to lose weight?
Why do you want to eat better?
Why do you want to gain muscle?
Why do you want to exercise more?
When you look at your answers, do you know your goal? Goals are always things you want. They are never things you don't want.
Correct: I want to stay at my current weight.
Wrong: I don't want to gain weight.
Be specific with your goals. Tell exactly what you mean. Give numbers and times. Don't use words like "lots" and "more". Tell exactly what you want.
Also, be realistic. Ask yourself if it is possible. Winning the Nationals for a figure contest may be possible, but it's not necessarily realistic.
- I want to place in the top three at the Emerald Cup.
- I want to gain more size in my legs.
- I want to improve my skills on the dance pole.
- I want to lose body fat and tone my body.
Next we need to set up our objectives. Simply put, objectives are the things we do to get our wants.
Objectives are very specific. They tell exactly what you will do and when you will do it.
When you think about what you will do, make a commitment to it. Objectives are written starting with, "I will..." Do not use words like "try or maybe". These are very bad words to you - forget about them. This is the dawn of the new you! 'I will!'
Also, be sure your objectives can be measured. Every day or every week I can say, "Did you do this?" and you answer with either a 'yes' or a 'no'. Don't leave room for 'maybes'.
Time for examples. Say that I want to gain muscle and lose body fat for the Emerald Cup.
"I will eat about 5 meals a day spaced 2.5 hours apart consisting of 25-35 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and oils such as Udo's or flax oils."
"I will drink 1.5 gallons of water a day."
"I will weight train six days a week."
"I will do cardio for 45 minutes, six days a week."
Goal: I want to loose body fat and tone my body for the Emerald Cup contest. If I do all my objectives there is a pretty good chance I will reach my goal. I suggest that you write your goals and objectives out; it will be easier for you.
Habits can take 21 days to break, and it can take three weeks before you start seeing changes in your body. In fact you may not drop a pound; but you may lose inches.
I want you to be honest with yourself. Are you sincerely interested in losing weight? Have you set realistic goals for yourself? How can you develop the internal motivation that really counts?
When it comes to motivation, knowing is not as important as doing!