What makes you tick?
The secret to transforming your body from where it is now to what you want it to look like in the future is to find out what motivates you.
What make some people get up at five ‘o clock – five days per week – to put in an hour of physical exercise before going off to slay the dragon (work) and others find it difficult to rise at 8:00 AM after getting more sleep.
Most of us hate to get out of bed in the mornings. You would rather lie there and think of every excuse not to get up . . . the job, your boss, your coworkers, the weather and a myriad of other things. Plus the bed feels so good especially between 5:30AM and 7:00AM.
There is something that stirs the spirit of everyone to take action. We are all motivated to do something that we like doing. As Sylvester Stallone wrote . . . “Inside each of us is the person we want to be. Others might not realize but … it’s in there”.
I bet on Christmas morning you don’t have to wake the kids.They are so excited to find out what Santa brought them that they will jump out of bed by 6:00 o’clock without you asking. Any other morning it takes yelling at them at least five times to get up.
What excites you? What motivates you to take action . . . especially in the mornings? What does Santa have for you in his bag of gifts?
Maybe you are diabetic and your doctor advised you to start taking your health more seriously. Who wants to live with this life altering disease?
Or maybe your wedding is coming up soon and you need to lose a few pounds.
Whatever the reason it has to be strong enough to motivate you to take action.
Our bodies were meant to move and not be a bump on a log. I know it’s easier to come home and sit in front of the television for hours, surf the net, chat on the phone or get involve in some other wasteful activity.
But for a fraction of the time you spend doing these things you could have finished your workout for the day. Heck, as far as TV is concerned, if the show is that important – record it.
Point here is that if you don’t start your exercise program now, you are losing out on a great opportunity to slow down the aging process, lose that extra baggage around your waist or prevent or even reverse potential diseases from affecting your quality of life.
Simple steps to get moving
Use the following steps to help you get on track with your workout program.
- Workout partner
At the top of the list of things that can help motivate you is getting a good workout partner. A good workout partner is someone who is in similar physical condition as you.
They will encourage when you don’t feel like exercising. You can do meal plans together and discuss each other’s individual progress. They are a positive influence on you. Of course, the same holds true in reverse. You must be a motivator for your workout partner when they need encouraging.
While you are exercising together, socialization should be kept to a minimum. You can always BS afterwards, but while you are exercising your focus should be on the task at hand.
It’s easy to find a partner. After you have started your exercise program you will begin to notice other people who are at the same level as you. Just start talking to them – ask them to spot you on a particular exercise or to show you how to operate some of the machines.
They can show you the best jogging paths in the neighborhood.
Even if it’s just encouraging you to go to the gym or to do one more lap in the pool or to do five more sit-ups . . . a workout partner is an invaluable investment in your health.
I personally had two and sometimes three good partners who helped me to reach a level of fitness I would not have realized by myself. I urge you to get at least one.
- Goal setting
It’s important to set realistic fitness goals for yourself. They should be broken up into short-term and long-term accomplishments.
Your short-term goals should include things you can achieve in a short period of time. For example, if you want to reduce your body fat percentage by a certain amount in a month, then write that down and commit yourself to doing it. Or maybe you want to increase the distance you speed walk by two miles. You can add quarter mile to your distance every day until your reach your goal.
After you’ve reached your goals then set new ones. Challenge yourself and you will be pleasantly surprise. You can do this.
In addition to your short-term plans, you should set real long-term goals that will give you an incentive to work hard each week. You might want to enter the 10K race coming up in a couple of months or there may be a twenty-five-mile bike race coming up that you and your partner want to enter.
Be specific with your goals. Don’t make vague plans such as ‘I want to be stronger’ or ‘I want to lose weight’. Come up with real numbers; write them down and keep them posted in a prominent location.
Setting goals will help motivate you by giving you an incentive to workout as often as is necessary to reach those objectives. Remain focused on your target and you will surprise yourself.
- Other motivating factors
One of the things that help put me in a good frame of mind when exercising is music. I find that certain types of music will make my workout flow that much smoother. When you go to your local fitness center you will see many members exercising with their music strapped on. Music can really help motivate you. You can shut out distractions and focus on what you are doing.
Choose something that puts you in the mood. Sometimes I find, that when visiting with family and friends and I hear some of the music I listen to in the gym, it automatically triggers me to want to exercise.
You might even get some inspiration from watching certain movies. ‘Rocky’ comes to mind. I like Sci-Fi . . . and movies like the ‘Matrix’ does it for me.
Buy yourself something new that’s exercise related such as workout gloves or a pair of running shoes. This will have a positive impact on you. It gives you something to look forward to the next time you exercise.
Take before and after pictures. As you begin to see the positive results from all your hard work you will be encouraged to work even harder.
When I go to the gym and can consistently lift heavier weights than I did the week before this always give me a mental boost.
Each week as you make progress toward your goal of a healthier life style you will get that good feeling that will carry over to the next week.
I encourage you to choose a sport that you have always wanted to play and use this opportunity to become proficient in it. It can be tennis, golfing, swimming, skiing, cycling or whatever. You will be surprise to find that there are many people like yourself who are beginners and are taking up the sport for the first time.
This will help in motivating you to work harder mentally and physically. You will meet new people in the process and be encouraged as you make progress each time you participate.