It’s Monday morning– you have had a heavy weekend of a combination of alcohol, kebabs and late nights. What is it that gets you up that morning to go to the gym?
What is it that stops you grabbing that chocolate muffin? What is it that keeps you determined to stick to your new diet? Motivation.
Every single one of us has motivation. It comes in different forms, whether it is sticking to a new healthy lifestyle, working hard at your job to get that promotion or keeping your determination to quit smoking this year. All of us have different tricks and tips to keep us on the right track.
Many different articles state the usual ways in which we can keep hold of our motivation. Some say it’s good to have a special outfit that you aim to be able to fit into in the future. Others think that watching the weight go down on the scale makes you more inclined to keep to your diet. But at the end of the day, (or start for some of us!) there has to be a reason within yourself that really keeps you going, fighting off the urges along the way.
I have asked a range of different people, varying in age, gender and occupation to give an honest answer of what really motivates them everyday. I hope these will give you a different perspective on motivation, and also a reason for motivation in yourself that will keep you on the road to success.
I am 21 year old student, I have rheumatoid arthritis.
I workout and stick to a strict diet which makes me feel physically better in myself. When I loosen my diet or fitness regime a little, I get an immediate reaction where my pain starts to increase again. A lot of people ask me what my motivation and determination is. When I was first diagnosed, I accidently walked into a room in the rhumeatogly department that was full of people who were tied up to machines, hands swollen, crippled over. It shocked me to think I was suffering with the same disease. The vision of myself being like that frightened me – it still motivates me every time I think about it to stick rigidly to what I am doing.
59 year old, Art Director has a personal reason for her motivation to get up early in the morning and go to the gym.
“I like getting up early but, often I hate the thought of going to the gym. I have a bit of an internal battle going on BUT, I do jump out of bed and do put on the gym wear and pick up my prepared clothes for work, pack a protein shake and my prepared lunch for work and just go. My mother had a severe stroke at the age of 72. I was 37 and pregnant. She had always struggled with her weight and I have a very similar body shape to her. My main motivation is not just weight loss but, to keep healthy in my old age. Nearing 60, I don’t have too much longer to make health changes.”
The importance of our health is not just to look and feel great now, but is so important the older we get. The thought of us in our older age, not being able to do the simple things we do now, can be enough encouragement to keep us going everyday.
28 year old, Personal Trainer from London also has a similar reason for keeping fit.
“My motivation to exercise and eat healthy used to be that I just want to look good, get ripped, impress girls and be the envy of other guys. As I have matured (slightly), my motivation has changed. My biggest motivator now is the vision I have of myself as an old man. When I become an “old” man, I will still have great posture and be free from aches or pains. I will be injury free because my bones and joints will be strong. I will feel amazing and look younger than my age. I won’t require any help carrying my bags, crossing the road or picking something up from the floor. I will offer my seat on the train to people who are relatively younger than me. I will still be active as opposed to being sat down and stuck indoors and I will still be passionate about exercise.”
45 year old, Senior Designer, from Taplow can relate to this all too well.
“The main reason I started running 5 years ago is that on my 40th birthday, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Three weeks later discovered I had a blood clot on my lung; it was while I was waiting for the results of the clot they put me on a ward of lung cancer patients. I really thought for that few hours that was all I had…it was the scariest day ever seeing people struggling to breathe. When I recovered I had to do something to stretch my lungs and get fit. Starting with running for just a few minutes, now i can run for just over an hour. My motivation is the way it makes me feel during and afterwards – Amazing! It also makes me feel free, gives me time to think, and some time to myself (which I need or I go stir crazy!) It has changed my body shape over the years – I am not sure if it helps with my weight but, I’m not actually bothered about that really, I do it because I enjoy it.”
A way in which you can stay motivated is through finding something you really love to do. There is no point taking part in exercise which you dread, you will end up hating it, then not achieving the results you want.
Whether it is running, weight lifting, yoga or walking – we all have something we each enjoy. As you can see from above, most of us having a personal reason into why we love doing it and the way in which it makes us feel.