Motivation

Staying Motivated

If you’re anything like me, then skipping a trip to the gym is as easy as, well, skipping a trip to the gym. In order to get in shape, and stay in shape, we need to outsmart ourselves, and always remember to dangle our best motivators in front of us at all times.

Find Your Personal Motivation
To really stay motivated, you need to find your own personal motivation. What is going to be your motivation? One motivation is obvious; Being James Bond. That’s why we’re all here, right? We want to be like James Bond. To truly live like James Bond and do all the things Bond does, we will have to be in good physical shape. Aside from the obvious, you’re going to need your own personal motivations. Think in terms of ‘dreams’ and ‘goals’. What is the difference between a dream and a goal? A simply way to say it is: If you take your dream and give it a deadline, now it is a goal. Take that dream, decide to do it, decide how you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to get it done. Think about what you want, and when you want it.

That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to set a goal and meet it. Find your reason. Find your motivation. Better health. More fun. Better quality of life, in general. Here is a good possible motivator, how about women? Maybe you’d like to start dating better looking women. Does that sound a little superficial? A little shallow? The idea of getting in shape to meet attractive women? Well, hear me out. I really have a problem with guys who don’t take care of themselves, sit on the couch, become lazy, fat, out of shape, and yet somehow they think they’re entitled to go out with supermodels. Then they grow bitter when attractive girls won’t pay attention to them. That is the wrong attitude to have.” In my mind there is nothing wrong with the idea of taking some pride in yourself, trying to look your best, try to be your best, so you can feel confident and good about yourself when that Bond girl finally does come along.

Be Honest With Yourself
As Tony Robbins would say, “I don’t need to give people motivation. People have motivation. People do things with passion all the time, but they might happen to be the wrong things.” The key is to find what will motivate you to get the results you want. Find your personal motivation. Be honest with yourself. Think about what you want. Let that be your determining factor. When you imagine yourself skiing down the Swiss Alps, or scuba diving off the coast of the Bahamas, you’re probably imagining yourself in some good athletic shape. where you are ready to take on that activity and do it well. Let’s get us to that point.

That is your long-term motivation. What you’re probably going to need are some daily motivators, too. Maybe you need to do something to keep yourself in the game. Maybe you need to join a gym. Maybe you need to sign up with a personal trainer. Make some appointments so that you have to be there. Maybe you need to join some classes. There are all kinds of different classes at the gym, like kickboxing, etc. Get a workout buddy. Or maybe you know somebody who’s already working out. Tell them you’re interested in getting moving. You want to join them at the gym. Or join them at home. Whatever you do, friends can be a really great motivator.

Set a Goal
How about this? Is there a 5K run going on two or three months from now? Maybe you need to sign up. Maybe that’s your goal now. Maybe between now and then you’re going to train for that 5K. Maybe if the 5K sounds a little too much, maybe you want to do a 3K. In other words, just tell yourself, “Two months from now, I want to be able to run 3K or 3 miles.” Also, write down your weight. If you want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months, then that’s your goal. If you’re working out and you can only bench press a certain weight, how about in 3 months, “I want to be able to bench press my body weight.” Maybe you have a friend who also wants to get in shape. Maybe you can make a bet. Maybe you can bet each other lunch or dinner that you’re both going to get in good shape. Maybe you want to make a bet in the gym whoever is going to put up more weight on the bench in three months. Also, how about doing those before and after pictures? Every time I see those before and after photos of those people that’s a great motivator to me. Maybe it’s time to take out the camera and take your before shot. Then compare it at the end of your 3 months. Anything. Find your daily motivator.

At the same time, a great way to keep moving is by doing an activity that you like. Find something fun to do. Maybe a karate class or a kickboxing class is good for you. How about an indoor rock gym? Do some rock climbing. That’s always fun. Or maybe you have a sport you like. Maybe you have some friends who play softball. Basketball. Anything. Find something you enjoy. Exercise should really be fun. Exercise is supposed to release those endorphins that make you feel good. Get moving and have fun with it. If you’re having fun, when you exercise then you’re not going to have worry so much about falling out of your routine. Find your daily motivators and set a goal.

To me a great goal is to set a date. Now based on a lot of the books I’ve read and a lot of the exercise programs I’ve seen a great reasonable time frame to make huge changes is about 3 months or 12 weeks. Pick a day you’re going to start your new regimen. Jump ahead on the calendar 12 weeks and circle that day. That is your new target date. You can make some dramatic changes in 12 weeks. Use that as your official new goal. We’ve got our goal.

Get Inspired
We’re going to focus on our long-term motivation. We’re going to picture where we want to be in 12 weeks. Imagine ourselves doing some activity and looking a lot better than we’re looking right now. We’re going to find daily motivators. Like getting a buddy to work out with. Signing up for the gym. Signing up for a personal trainer. We’re going to find things we like to do. Even if this is something aside from our regular exercise routine. Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Even if it’s just on the weekend. Softball. Basketball. Rock climbing. Anything. Anything that’s going to keep you in the habit of staying in shape. Also, take a look at some before and after photos. If you’re not really sure how much you can accomplish in 12 weeks, try these websites:

The first one I am a big fan of is Body for Life. Go to bodyforlife.com. As soon as you get to their home page, the first thing you see are some great before and after photos. Then go to the link that says “Success Stories” and then on the left side, meet the champions. These pages are loaded with great before and after photos of men, women, couples, groups. There’s some really amazing photos. I highly recommend checking these out if you need a little extra motivation.

Another great website to check out is beachbody.com. Click on their link that says “Success Stories.” Again, great before and after photos. This site also has a lot of videos. The videos are great motivators to help get in shape.

By the time you’ve done that, you should be ready to go. There should be nothing to hold you back. If you’re finding anything in the back of your mind that says, “I can’t do this” or “I shouldn’t do this,” just get rid of it. Do you think you don’t have enough money to get into shape? Forget it. How much does a push up cost? How much does walking around the block cost? Exercise is probably the only thing left in this country that doesn’t cost anything.

Don’t Find the Time, Make the Time
You think you’ve got no time? Again, forget it. No one can find time. Nobody can pull time out of thin air. There are 24 hours in your day just like there’s 24 hours in Daniel Craig’s day. Okay, well, Daniel Craig gets paid very well to be in shape. But stick your head in your local gym. The people who are in the gym aren’t there because they have a lot of free time. These are busy people. They’re probably on their way to work or on their way home from work or on their lunch break or something. They made it happen so they can squeeze in some time to get into shape. Take a look at your schedule and decide when your time is going to be. If you find yourself able to talk to your friends about your favorite TV show, then you have time.

Now, we’re feeling motivated and ready to go. That means there’s nothing left except that fateful first step. That first step is always the hardest. There’s good news here, and there’s bad news. I also have some good news to go along with the bad news. The good news is this: Think of a rocket. When a rocket takes off, 90% of the energy expelled is used to get the rocket to take off and take flight. Once the rocket is in flight, it only takes 10% of that energy to keep it moving. The good news is once you blast off, keeping moving is not that hard. Remember that old Nike commercial? A body at rest tends to stay at rest? And a body in motion tends to stay in motion? That’s true. Once you get moving, staying with it should be relatively easy. I find that when I get out of shape and I start a new exercise program, after the first few times that I do it, I feel a real difference. I feel much better very quickly. I feel like my muscles that have been soft, now suddenly have snapped back like a rubber band. I don’t mean they are getting bigger. I am not even getting in better shape yet. I just feel a difference in how my body is sedentary and when I am actually doing something. It doesn’t take much to really start to feel good. So again, if you’re not doing any exercise now, it won’t take much until you really start to feel good. Now that’s the good news.

A Body in Motion…
Now the bad news is that 90%. We said that it takes 90% of the energy just to blast off. Those first few steps. The first day in the gym. The first little bit of stretching is always the hardest. Now, I said there is some good news to go with that too. The good news is that your blast off doesn’t have to be like a vigorous session in the gym. It doesn’t mean bench pressing as much as you can. Running as much as you can. Your blast off can actually be something simple. In fact, it probably should be something simple. If you’re feeling very sedentary right now, if you haven’t done anything, then the worst thing you could do is to jump into the gym and start blasting away at the weight machines.

Why? Because tomorrow and the next day, you’re going to be so sore that you can’t do any more. I’ve made that mistake many times myself, especially when I was younger. If I let myself I get out of shape, I throw in Rocky IV or something and get myself really motivated to move. Hit the gym hard and the next day I feel horrible. I try to go from zero to hundred in one day. Talk about a mistake. No. The blast off for you should be something simple. How about going for a walk? After dinner, just go outside, enjoy the nice weather and take a long walk. Start off by exercising just enough to make you feel good. Don’t overdo it. Okay, did we cover motivation? I think so. Again, dream big. Imagine what you want to do. Imagine where you want to be. How you want to look. Set your goals. Mark the calendar. Twelve weeks, folks. I’m telling you, twelve weeks. You can make huge differences in 12 weeks. Now we can get on to some real exercise.

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