Motivation: A theoretical construct used to explain behaviour. It gives the reason for people’s actions, desires and needs

Motivation is something that drives you – It’s the force behind your ambition to reach your goal.  You may get a trainer, a coach, read a book or look online to educate yourself about motivation, however, to be self-motivated, it must come from within.

Your goal maybe to lose a stone, but it’s the REASON you want to lose a stone e.g. to look sexy in your summer bikini, for health reasons due to doctor’s orders, or even that you just don’t want to be a size 16 anymore. Whether it’s a positive or negative ambition, these are the underlying reasons that give you the motivation to reach your goal, not the actual weight loss itself.

Most people have a sudden burst of enthusiasm to fire up their fitness motivation initially, but its STAYING motivated to keep working towards your goal that’s often the hardest part, so you’ve got to continuously remind yourself of how good you’re going to feel in that bikini / getting the all clear from your G.P / dropping a dress size.

First and foremost, you need to believe in yourself and that you CAN achieve your goal, recognise both your positive attributes, which will help you reach your goal along with your negative attributes which may hinder your progress.

Set yourself some S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time framed) goals. A goal without a plan is just a wish and creating a plan of action of how you’re going to reach your long-term goal is essential. Set short term goals also – One day / Week / Month at a time but always keep the long-term goal in mind as the route may change along the way. Having vague goals doesn’t work, as how do you know when you’ve actually achieved them?

It also helps to create a strong image of your goals to help visualize what you’re wanting to achieve, know exactly what it is you want, your reasons for wanting it and keep these images at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis (I have a goals photo gallery on my phone which I go through daily to Motivate me to work hard towards achieving them).

Surround yourself with positive, supportive and like-minded people that will help keep you on track and moving in the right direction – there is nothing more likely to distract you from your plan than a negative person who saboteurs your efforts along the way. There are also great benefits to your own motivation if you help motivate somebody else along the way, so having a motivational buddy / mentor can help.

It’s also important to reward yourself along each small step of the way, recognise your progress and focus on how far you’ve already come rather than how far you have to go. This is particularly important on those weeks that you may not have achieved what you had wanted to and feel like giving up e.g. You may have not lost the 2lb you were wanting to but if you’ve already lost 10lb in previous weeks you’re still nearer to your goal than you were when you first started. Learning how to cope when things don’t go to plan is probably the hardest part of keeping motivated, but is also the most important skill to learn to keep on track and not give up just because of one bad week.

Motivation tips:

  • Take it one day at a time
  • Surround yourself with positivity
  • Create a Vision board
  • Make S.M.A.R.T Goals
  • Reward yourself
  • Believe in yourself
  • Recognise your progress
  • Visualize accomplishing your goals
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