Matt's 12-Week Transformation Guide, Part 8: How Do I Stay Motivated?

If you're starting an exercise program for the first time you may think that staying motivated can be difficult. Learn how to keep yourself motivated!
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If you are starting an exercise program for the first time, especially if you are the first in your family or group of friends, you may think that staying motivated can be difficult. The first way to stay motivated for the long-term is to think of something positive you want to gain as a result of starting this transformation. Many people focus on "weight loss" or "fat loss" or "I don't want to be fat anymore." While there is nothing inherently wrong with your intention, your language has to change in order to stay motivated for the long term.

Your brain is not wired to accept a "not" or a "don't." To prove this point, I want you to not do something: I don't want you to think of a big, red stop sign above your computer screen.

The first way to stay motivated for the long-term is to think of something positive you want to gain as a result of starting this transformation.
"The first way to stay motivated for the long-term is to think of something positive you want to gain as a result of starting this transformation."

What did most of you do? You immediately had to picture a big, red stop sign before replacing it with something else! So if you tell yourself I don't want to be fat 3 months from now, your brain has to automatically envision yourself as being fat 3 months from now. In a moment, you will learn how to change this.

In addition, since childhood most people have equated the term "loss" or "losing" with something painful or to dread. Therefore, if your #1 goal is to lose weight then you are making your #1 goal tied to something painful or something to dread. That's an uphill battle right from the start. No matter why so many people think "losing weight" is the toughest goal to accomplish!

Here is a quick way to change your language. This one step has actually helped thousands of people suddenly "get it" and everything "just clicks" for them once they changed the language of their goals. All you have to do is change the language of what you want toward something you want to gain.

Using a football team as an example, if they have as their primary goal doing everything they can to be the best team possible because they want to win the championship then they will have better odds than if their main goal is to "not look bad in front of their fans."

Changing the language to what you want to gain, achieve, obtain, or accomplish is much easier on your brain and will automatically increase the odds of your success. Here is a suggestion if you used to think that you "just want to lose weight":

"I want to gain improved health by increasing my lean muscle mass and reducing body fat levels so I can gain more energy and flexibility. With this better physique I will run a 5K race for my favorite charity."

Isn't this much better for your brain to accept?

Other Ways To Stay Motivated

There are several other ways to stay motivated over the long-term. In the earlier section you read about accomplishment, competition, and social reasons. Here are a few more suggestions to motivate you both in terms of your health as well as your day-to-day emotions:

  • You will sleep much better.
  • You will start to feel better if you experience signs of depression.
  • You will like your body more.
  • You will see results from your taking quality information and applying it.
  • You can join online forums for encouragement (such as if your friends, family, and coworkers are not supportive of your goals.
  • You can cut out a picture of a realistic physique and put a copy of your head on the body. Place this in an area you will see every day.
  • Write down your goals and read them every day, preferably more than once a day.
  • Go to a bodybuilding or figure competition, or a sport where the physiques inspire you.
  • Get more involved with the health and fitness industry.
  • Go for walks or other physical activities with your friends.
  • Once you get in better shape you can go dancing again.
  • Any other ways you can motivate yourself.

Notice that none of these suggestions mentions something outside of your control. For example, if you want to get in better shape so that you are attractive to strangers at the nightclub please change that philosophy.

If your primary motivation is to be appealing to someone else, your emotions and sense of accomplishment rest in the hands of someone else. Not good! While being appealing to others is a great side benefit, think of it as dessert rather than the whole meal!


Now that you know more about staying motivated let's talk about stretching a flexibility. You can regain (and possibly improve) your flexibility relatively quickly, even if it has been years since you specifically worked on flexibility. Move to the next article to learn more.

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