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Keeping The Motivation

By at July 18, 2011 | 11:55 am | Print

Keeping The Motivation

Keeping the Motivation
by Dr. Randy

Many times when you start an exercise program there is a feeling that anything can be accomplished, you are motivated.  After a while you might lose that feeling for one reason or another (sometimes called excuses) and you are not so motivated. Why does this take place and how do we combat this change in mindset and behavior?

There are two types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic.  Extrinsic motivation (rewards, recognition) mostly drives short-term accomplishments whereas intrinsic motivation (self-gratification) drives long-term success. So, look back to that “feeling” you had at the onset of your exercise program and define what that was for.  Was it based upon extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?  If extrinsic, why and what is the long term goal?  While extrinsic motivational strategies may work initially it is very important to have intrinsic motivation by reinforcing thoughts and feelings for the long haul. A healthy lifestyle change is a long road, while short term goals are needed for success the long term outcomes are what make it all worthwhile.

I struggle with long term motivation.  When I am on a run or lifting weights I think to myself “Why am I doing this?” I then remind myself of the long term benefits of what I am doing.  Sometimes I will take a week off to refocus on my long term goals.

Here are some ways to move your mindset toward intrinsic motivation:
• Refocus on why you are doing what you are doing – remind yourself why are you exercising and the long-term changes
• Remember the feeling – reflect on the positive feelings and success
• Consider the alternative – if you were not doing this what would be the result
• Change takes time – time and effort are required, it will not happen overnight
• Believe – trust in your ability to succeed and praise yourself for your accomplishments

Make the most of the day you are given.

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