Find Your Mental Motivation to Exercise

Monday, May 20, 2013

     At the end of the day, when it comes time to decide either to stop at the gym or just head home, most of us fight with thoughts such as: “I’m too tired”, “I’m just too busy”, “I have to get this done first”, or “I’ll start tomorrow”.  How can you find the motivation you need to push past these mental barriers and excuses to get yourself to the gym?

     Everyone has a different source of motivation.  Some are motivated by setting a goal to achieve, or setting an amount of time to achieve that goal in; others need visual motivation such as a picture to look at or someone that is a role model in their life.  There are those that need to hear certain words or phrases to push them.  But for still others, it takes a catastrophic event in their life; a heart attack or the loss of someone significant to things like obesity, heart disease, or diabetes.  Whatever your motivating source is, use it to your benefit.  Here are some easy steps for how you can begin:

1.    For the goal oriented individuals, set a goal to run a 5K, to lose a certain amount of weight, or increase your overall fitness in a certain amount of time.

2.    If you’re in need of visual motivation, find a picture of someone you admire or of the progress you have made and hang it somewhere it’s easily seen on a regular basis.

3.    Verbal motivation can come from writing notes and placing them strategically throughout your house so they can’t be overlooked.  If you have a friend that likes working out, tag team it so you push each other and keep each other accountable.

4.    If you’re feeling the need to do something based on an event that happened to you, or someone you know, you are not alone.  Sometimes we are more motivated by desperation, or the need to avoid some kind of problem or pain, than simply getting more from life.  Dissatisfaction is a powerful tool of motivation.  Thinking about what inactivity or unhealthy eating patterns has cost you in career, relationships, personal happiness, etc. can provide great motivation to make a life change.

     Motivation is that fuel that powers you through your mental barriers and actually reach your final goal.  Along the way you WILL encounter different obstacles but it’s your job to fight through those obstacles so you can reach the end result you desire.  Think of yourself as a mouse that has been placed in a maze.  It keeps on because it “knows”, or can smell, a piece of cheese at the end.  It’s hungry stomach drives it on.  Similarly, as you set goals, put up motivating images and words around you, receive encouragement from training partners, and remember the pain, or unhealthy state you are trying to avoid—you can find the motivation to navigate the wrong turns and dead ends and reach your goals too!  

     If you have made some wrong turns and reached some dead ends to your workouts and need additional motivation, come see us here at the Bradley Wellness Center.  Let us help you get back on track.  We have many personal trainers to help push and motivate you along your journey.  We also have a wide variety of group fitness classes if you need some friends to join you for your workouts.  Whatever you need to help motivate and push you, we can help.  So swing by and speak with any of our fitness staff members or give us a call at (706) 278-9355.   

Submitted by: Emily Hurlbut, Fitness Consultant, Bradley Wellness Center