Motivation is something that can present its self to you with open arms, and just as you are about to accept its open invitation, it turns and goes like the wind in the other direction, and sometimes never to return.
If you want to participate in a 12 week transformation challenge, you have to tightly grasp motivation by the hand and make sure he guides you every step of the way.
I have long been a personal trainer, specifically for 12 week transformation challengers and through the experience of completing the challenge myself and successfully transforming my clients, I have managed to pocket 12 great motivational steps to transformation success.
I want you to succeed just as my clients did and experience the joy and euphoria associated with it, so use my 12 tips below to help climb the 12 steps to success.
1. Take Before Pictures
By taking some before pictures you get to see what you really look like. We tend to shy away from unflattering mirrors and often look at our reflections that show us in a good light.
Strategically place these pictures in places where you will be exposed to them on a daily basis, no matter how painful this may be. This will constantly remind you why you decided to undertake such an arduous challenge that has many road humps and sometimes complete road blocks.
If you are brave enough, I challenge you to place them where other friends and family can see them. This will expose the truth that you have hidden for so long and its time to fess up. Show these people (and yourself) that you are accountable for the actions you have previously taken and that you acknowledge this by taking the actions necessary to fix what you have planned to fix.
2. Distance Yourself From Helpless Friends And Replace
Them With Helpful
Negative rants can be one of your biggest enemies in the fight to transformation success. Sometimes you will feel down and craving a cheat meal thinking it will make you feel better. Just as you are on the fence fighting the evil twin inside, a friend says to you, "Oh, go on, just one piece of cake isn't going to hurt," believe me it will.
It wont feel so forgiving when you sink even lower due to the anger that has built up inside for listening to your friend and destroying your goals. And from personal experience, an extra hour of damage control cardio doesn't do much to ease the pain either, especially if you wanted to burn off fat, not the cheat meal.
At times like this respect all of your friends but lean toward the ones of positive nature. It wouldn't hurt to speak with all them at the beginning of the challenge to express how important yet how hard this is for you and that you really would appreciate everyone's support at this time.
3. Reward Yourself
Parents have a habit of rewarding their children with sweet foods; in turn this addiction can seep through to adulthood. We need to steer away from the way of thinking and reward ourselves with other treats. Once per week I want you to write down a reward that you would enjoy on the weekend.
Once you have completed a successful week on your challenge you may reward yourself. If you have failed to successfully complete the week, you have to pass on that reward - no excuses! Choose things that you will enjoy such as a night at the movies (be prepared and take a protein bar with you), book in for a massage; purchase a piece of clothing etc.
4. Get A Physical Education
By educating yourself on the purpose of your transformation will help you understand why you are participating so it doesn't feel so alienating. By understanding the health benefits that proper nutrition and the advantages of exercise gives, we are giving ourselves more motivational ammo to combat our reasons not to diet or exercise.
5. Find A Role Model
Role models come in the form of many shapes and sizes but I would like you to find one that you believe has a physical presence you would like as your own. Many celebrities have decent bodies that people crave, so possibly use these people as you role of determination.
Much like your before pictures, strategically place pictures of your role model in places you are constantly reminded of you transformation goal.
You have to honestly believe that this is possible so please don't cut out pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger if you are currently built like Danny DeVito. I personally had pictures of Mark Wahlberg scattered in places that would remind me of those goals. As I write this, I have surpassed those goals, you can too.
6. Be Accountable
If you mess up, please don't blame the traffic, work commitments, family matters etc. I always say, "If you were in a place where you could've had a drink of water, then you could've consumed a protein shake."
One of my clients was a lawyer and he was so committed he would excuse himself from the court for a restroom break. Little did people know that he was in fact going to eat a protein bar. This person ended up winning the Body for Life Challenge because he new that it was him that had to be accountable, not the judge, his client or the length of the court session for his actions.
7. Use A Point Scoring System
By purchasing a pocket book to write all of your meals and workout sessions you can create a point scoring system. If you have 5 meals to eat per day, one weight training and one cardio session per day you can count 1 point for every goal accomplished. 5 clean meals, one cardio and one weight training session will add up to 7.
If you have any less than seven because you didn't complete any of the tasks properly than you have to cross off each as desired. EG, if you missed a meal and woke up too late to complete your cardio, you have two crosses to mark onto your page. Each cross should represent 45 minutes of cardio, totaling 1 hour and thirty minutes. Sound harsh doesn't it? It is, so you better make sure you stay on track or you will end up doing more miles than Lance Armstrong.
8. Purchase Some New Clothes
By pre purchasing the clothes you hope to fit into in three months can feed further motivation into your ammunition bunker. Every so often (especially on a bad day), hold the clothes up against you an imagine wearing them. Picture the look on your friends faces when you wear them for the first time and imagine how awesome it will feel knowing that you have the power to look great in these clothes only if you apply yourself.
9. Print Out Some Motivation
Writing some motivational quotes like, "It's never too late to do something great," or "Today I will prepare, otherwise I prepare to fail," on pieces of paper can help you walk with a helping hand of guidance.
Remember, everyone can plane sail through this challenge on an easy day, but when the harder days hit, you need to have something to reflect upon immediately. Using these pocket friends can be the difference between the decision to eat your tuna sandwich or deciding between a Pepsi and Mountain Dew to accompany your Big Mac and Fries.
10. Tell Everyone That You Are Going To Transform
By letting everyone know that you are taking part in this challenge will put the necessary pressure on yourself to succeed in fear of embarrassment.
By constantly reminding people on how the challenge is going and what you find is easy and what you find hard will not only place pressure on your success but it will help you vent any frustration that may troubling you. You never know, as you are telling friends of the transformation struggles you face, you or your friend may come up with an answer to make the challenge that much more easier.
11. Read Other Success Stories
Sometimes the 12 week walk can feel like a lonely road but rest assured millions of others have walked the same path. Read other success stories such as the ones on this site.
Here you can find out how other people achieved their goals, you can also relate to the predicaments they faced. These people, just like you, came from all walks of life. Many of these people are also there to talk to through BodySpace and our forums, and more than likely willing to help.
12. Watch A Workout Video
Although many of my clients weren't into bodybuilding whatsoever, I encouraged them to watch training videos as a motivational tool. Watching the pain, torment and tolerance these athletes put themselves through for not only months but years will help you understand that the pain that you go though isn't so bad after all.
To watch these individuals practice the term "whatever it takes," can be both motivational and inspiring prior to your own workout. My client's favorite was "Pumping Iron" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.