Motivation, where it comes from, and whether we have an infinite supply of it has been the subject of scrutiny for a long time.
Why does it seem that some of us have a bottomless well of motivation to do things, while the rest of us are left spending our lives searching for it.
At least, the consensus among both fitness and psychology experts is that motivation is derived from indulging in what makes us unique; a combination of our goals, strengths, and interests.
In other words, true motivation comes from doing what makes you happy.
If you’re setting your goals based on what others’ expectations of you are, chances are your efforts may fall short and begin another vicious cycle that only leaves you frustrated and disappointed in the end.
If you’re looking to make exercise one of your healthy habits this year, here are some tips to help you get started.
Find Your Motivation
The key to motivation is finding out what motivates you from within instead of focusing on what the outside world is telling you is right.
This is called intrinsic motivation, and it’s the energy that inspires you to exercise because it makes your mind and body feel good and because whatever your goals are, you’re working towards them on your terms.
When we do things that enrich our inner world, meaning we do things that give us joy and inspire us to look toward the future, you’re always going to feel like you’re doing enough and that you’re succeeding.
Focus On Feeling Good, Not Just How You Look
Focus on the fact that exercise will give you the energy to live life to the fullest, not that it’ll make you fit into a pair of jeans. Not to repeat the age-old cliche, but beautify is fleeting.
Yes, we deserve to feel good about ourselves while we can, but it’s much better to think about how you can feel good in the long run, not just a fleeting moment in time.
You deserve more than molding your life around ephemeral societal standards.
Give Yourself A Reward
Broader goals such as being healthier are good to have, but sometimes a little more instant gratification is the push you need to keep your exercise regimen consistent.
Try rewarding yourself, such as watching an episode of your favorite TV show after you workout, or treat yourself to a yummy post-workout snack.
Creating these positive reinforcement systems will help you stick to a habit longer because your brain will make you think the behavior of working out is much more worthwhile if you have something tangible to look forward to.
Visit our Motivation Page to read more about the exciting ways you can trick your mind into achieving your goals.
Workout In Short Spurts
It can be extra hard to muster up the energy to do a one-hour workout at the gym. Unless you’re already a gym rat, this may be unrealistic for you and even set you up for failure.
Consider working out in short spurts to start, such as going on a 15-minute walk, and once that becomes easy for you, you can begin to add small increments of time until you build up to a length that feels comfortable for you.
You can also try HIIT, which are brief, high-intensity workouts that last from 10-15 minutes. They get your heart pumping, take almost no time out of your day, and can even be kept to three times a week for you to see an improvement in your heart health and metabolism.
Create Smaller, Attainable Goals
In the same vein, any baby steps you can take toward leading a more active lifestyle will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
If even going out for a walk seems like too much to handle at first, don’t fret! Start by doing something small like ten jumping jacks before your shower or five push-ups.
This way, you still feel like you’re progressing towards your goals without feeling like you’re flipping your world upside down just to exercise. Any exercise is good exercise.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.