We spend so much time focusing on the physical aspects of our health and fitness and often neglect to pay much attention to the psychology of achieving our goals. Through many years of trial and error, I have learned that creating the body of my dreams comes just as much through mental strength as physical. Today I will share with you one of the key strategies I employ to help me stay motivated and keep pushing towards my goals.
We see endless sources of external motivation everywhere these days, from Instagram posts to Facebook forums, books, podcasts, even apps! And thank goodness, because so many of us struggle to stick to our exercise and meal plans day in and day out. Even the best of us suffer from lack of motivation.
But there is a difference between those that achieve what they set out to do and those that try and fail time and time again. That difference is their WHY.
Your WHY is the reason you set yourself a goal in the first place. It is the deep-rooted feeling inside you that drives you to make drastic and long-lasting change. And if your why is strong enough, big enough or meaningful enough, then there is no barrier that can get in the way of you achieving your goals.
For me, my WHY is all about overcoming self-doubt, self-consciousness and becoming a strong, confident, self-loving woman. It is about leading others down a similar path and showing them that they too can feel proud of who they are. This is what motivates me to train, eat well, work hard and better myself day in and day out.
Finding your why
This is by no means a simple, one size fits all process. It takes being brutally honest with yourself and really getting down to the core of exactly why you want to make changes to your life. For your WHY to be strong enough motivation to get you through the everyday grind of long term lifestyle change, it needs to be POWERFUL. It’s the times when we are facing challenges and adversity that your WHY becomes most valuable. When the chips are down and all you can think about is quitting or just not showing up, knowing your WHY and having that to refer back to can make all the difference.
Write down your goal in as much detail as possible. Make sure it follows the SMART analogy; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
Write down the motivating factors from within that goal. This may refer to the positive outcomes you will experience when you reach your goal, how reaching the goal will influence you physically or emotionally, or maybe how the process will help you grow. You can try creating a mind map, with your goal in the centre and all of the positives aspects and outcomes surrounding it.
Try to be as reflective as possible - for example, one goal may be to lose excess weight and eat healthier. For a mother, on the surface this goal would have a positive influence on her appearance and hence her confidence. On a much deeper and more motivating level, she would also be setting a good example for her children, potentially lengthening her life by becoming more healthy, as well as gaining energy and vitality so she can be a better mother for her children.
The purpose of this activity is to really get down to the nitty gritty of WHY you want to make these changes, and often the motivation behind this is to become a better version of yourself, one that you can be more confident and proud of!
Keep your WHY front and centre.
Once you have created your mind map and really dialed in the true reasons you want to make change, keep these reasons in the front of your mind. Repeat them to yourself and imagine yourself living those positive changes. See the outcomes in your mind and draw on these images and reasons when you are lacking motivation, feeling tired or maybe not seeing results.
If it helps, you can keep your mind map as a visual representation of your WHY - display it somewhere to look at when you are needing a boost.
Once you master this technique, and you find a WHY that is truly valuable to you, the motivation will come from within, and you will find you rely on those instagram posts less and less.
In my training and meal plans, as well as challenges, I focus on long term, sustained lifestyle changes. I give you the plan and tools to achieve your dreams, and yes I help out with motivation too, but it is your responsibility to bring the WHY. Remember that you’re capable of way more than you give yourself credit for. Believe that it is possible, then take action. You got this!