The “GET MOTIVATED!” series includes words of wisdom to help people of all fitness backgrounds get back on track and ready for their best fitness performance (at home, in the gym, or out on the field). Getting ready and excited to exercise isn’t always easy (actually, it rarely is). To help you get off the couch, to the gym, and giving your absolute BEST effort, the second installment to the series includes the following inspirational messages:
- Have a positive attitude.
- Get back up and start again.
- Surround yourself with supportive people.
- Pay attention to your nutrition.
- Make your workouts fun!
- Use music to “boost” your workout.
- Be accountable.
- Be patient.
- Appreciate the lessons you learn.
- Be consistent with your workouts.
- Don’t be afraid of change.
- Clear your mind of “can’t”.
- Tap into you inner “beast”.
Have a positive attitude.
For many of us, especially those of us who need help sticking to a workout program, having a positive attitude about exercise and having a “no holds barred” approach isn’t something that comes naturally. People who enjoy their workouts are typically more confident and more assertive in the gym. They also tend to get more out of each workout because they want to put more effort into their exercise. Simply going through the motions and dreading each moment on the gym floor only serves to defeat the whole purpose of working out. Just as easily as negative attitudes are formed about exercise … these attitudes can change to become more positive and helpful in your mission to achieve your fitness and health goals. All it takes is time and the right combination of experiences to change how you feel about fitness and exercise. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP AND KEEP GOING!
Get back up and start again.
Any fitness goal, whether it’s to lose weight, shed inches, get stronger, or run farther, requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and determination to achieve. Falling down and getting off track when you’re on a fitness program is expected. The difference between those who succeed at reaching their goal and those who don’t is how each person reacts to obstacles and challenges along the way. It’s not easy dusting yourself off and getting back on that horse again. What you need to realize is that the ability to fall down and get back up again (even stronger than you were before) is more of a triumph than reaching a fitness goal. Look forward to the opportunity to prove to the world you are a survivor and can overcome adversity. Look forward to the challenges and see them as opportunities to become better than you ever thought possible … body, mind, and soul!
Surround yourself with supportive people.
If you are looking to better your life and reach a fitness or health goal (i.e. quit smoking, lose weight, run a 10K race) it’s important to set you’re yourself up for success by:
- Staying away from temptation.
- Staying away from people who reinforce negative behaviors
- Finding alternative behaviors to replace bad habits
- Associating yourself with people who support your journey
Most of these “temptations” involve people, places, and/or things that detract our focus on our fitness goal. Removing yourself from things are easy. Removing yourself from people is not as simple. Carefully evaluate the people in your life, communicate your concerns with them, and remove the people who distract you from your goal of improving yourself and your health. Your health and happiness are the most important assets you own. Give it the respect and attention it deserves.
Pay attention to your food and nutrition.
Most people focus the majority of their efforts on exercise when it comes to a fitness goal. What most people forget is that food and nutrition play a large part in getting results. It actually plays a more significant role than exercise alone! Keep in mind that we eat an average of 3 times a day (not including the times we grab a snack or drink a beverage). When it comes to exercise, most fitness programs ask for a minimum of 3 times in a week. If you do the math, you can improve your health through your food more often in a week than you can through your physical activity. For example, in an average week you will:
- Eat 28 to 35 meals and/or snacks
- Drink 14 to 28 additional beverages
- Exercise 3 to 5 times
Put in the effort when you exercise and be sure to make healthy choices with your food for more consistent results!
Make your workouts fun!
People gravitate to activities that are fun and avoid those that aren’t enjoyable or are (actually) painful. Although exercise is good for every human being on the planet (including you) … it’s just not fun. Whether you like something or not, it’s a matter of changing your mind. If you focus on the positive aspects of exercise (rather than the negative) it can be more fun and motivating to do on a regular basis!
A great way to do this is by making your workouts (and your fitness program) like a game! Similar to fitness mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet, track your progress and make the process fun (i.e., reward yourself for losing pounds, minutes of cardio, etc.). The only way exercise and activity will become enjoyable and something you are willing to invest in on a regular basis is if you make it fun.
Be creative and find new ways to appreciate the exercise experience so it can become a part of your everyday life!
Use music to “boost” your workout.
There’s no denying it! Music is a secret weapon to getting a great workout and making the time in the gym seem to go by a little bit faster. Regardless of how amazing the playlist is on your smartphone, iPod, or MP3 player, it’s inevitable that you’ll get tired of listening to the same tunes over and over again. Before you check out the latest “top 10 list” on iTunes or cue up a list from Songza or Pandora, it is recommended that you find music with a tempo range of 120 to 140 beats per minute for better performance and long term results (science proves it).
There’s more to music effectiveness than simply choosing music that you enjoy. According to Costas Karageorghis, an associate professor of sport psychology at Brunel University in England, there is actually a science to choosing the right music. Based on his research, one of the most important elements is the tempo of the song, which should be between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm). Put together your favorite fitness playlist and turn up the volume!
Forgiving ourselves for slip-ups is all too easy, which means we have a hard time being accountable. If you want to reach a specific health and fitness goal, it’s important to hold yourself accountable to ensure you:
- Complete what is outlined in the program
- Do the work required (on time and on schedule)
- Make lifestyle changes that enhance your results
- Don’t give up!
Accountability means measuring whether or not something was done as expected.
Here are a few ways to implement accountability measures:
- Set S.M.A.R.T. fitness goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound)
- Consistently log your activity
- Consistently log your meals and nutrition
- Find a workout buddy or a friend
Consistency is the key to reaching any fitness goal. A solid strategy ensures you stay on track, reach your goals on schedule, and help you maintain the results!
Regardless of what your fitness goal may be, it takes time for our bodies to change. Rome was not built in a day … and neither will your body! As much as we would like to wave our magic wand and see results right away … that’s not quite how it works. With consistent work it takes:
- 4 weeks for you to see your body changing
- 8 weeks for friends and family to see a difference and
- 12 weeks for the rest of the world
There will be times when the exercise feels impossible to do, our muscles feel tired and weak, and our inside voice tells us to give up. Looking in the mirror isn’t motivating enough because we may not see the changes we had hoped for so far.
Reaching your fitness goal is a journey that takes time to reach. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and one victory at a time!
Appreciate the lessons you learn.
When you work towards a fitness goal you are provided with an opportunity to find out who you REALLY are as a human being. The experiences you have along the way have an affect on what you think and how you feel about many things. Through this journey you get a chance to answer the following questions:
- Am I strong enough to do this?
- Am I dedicated enough to myself to do the right thing?
- Can I get back up again if I fall?
- If I don’t have the support of others, can I motivate myself to complete my task?
- Am I a good role model? Do I deserve to be one?
- Can I accept who I am as a person regardless of what I look like in the mirror?
The only way you will know the answers to these (and many more) questions is if you are willing to accept the journey and learn about yourself along the way. Keep an open mind and get as much as you can out of the experience. What you learn about yourself will last a lifetime.
Be consistent with your workouts.
Exercise provides so many amazing benefits for the body, mind, and soul. Why wouldn’t you WANT to make every day the best it can be by including at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise each day? Just like brushing your teeth or getting a good night’s sleep at the end of each day, exercise improves our quality of life and helps us enjoy each and every day because we look better, feel better, and can do more things! If exercise can provide so many positive attributes to your day, it only makes sense to make it a consistent part of a healthy lifestyle and weekly (or daily) routine. Although it may not feel as good during a workout, most people literally feel better after a workout and throughout the day when compared to not exercising. Like brushing your teeth or your restful sleep each night, exercise every day to proactively promote good overall health and positive mood!
Don’t be afraid of change.
We have a million reasons for avoiding change (i.e., annoying, scary, frustrating, hard work, challenging, etc.). Even though the end result of changing aspects of one’s life are worth the “discomfort”, the majority of us fall back into our old habits and never reach our goal. The motivation to avoid change (and the fear of the unknown) is naturally much stronger than the motivation to move towards a happier healthier and more productive life. Don’t be afraid to be the person you envision in your future: confident, successful, healthy, prosperous, and living with vitatlity. Embrace the change you experience along the way and celebrate the results of your hard work when you reach your overall goal. Change (when it comes to improving your life) is always a good thing!
Clear your mind of “can’t”.
Even the most positive, well-adjusted people in the world fall victim to their negative thoughts. It’s human nature. Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. Imagine a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster. The first step is to change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive:
- “I can’t make it to the gym today because I have to pick up the kids.”
- “I CAN MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE TODAY.”
- “I can’t lift this weight anymore.”
- “I CAN FINISH THIS LAST SET.”
- “I just can’t do this. I will never lose the weight.”
- “I CAN (AND WILL) REACH MY GOAL.”
Believe in yourself and the ability to do the unthinkable! Remember … YOU CAN!
Tap into your inner “beast”.
BEAST MODE noun – ’beest’mod
1. Mode that you switch into when doing hardcore activities
2. Having “beast-like” characteristics
3. Superhuman state of being, in which animal instinct takes over mind and body
4. A state of doing an activity aggressively and/or excessively
Just like athletes get into the “zone” in sports, where nothing can stop you or get in your way, “beast mode” is where your body and mind are ready for your best workout EVER!
“With headphones in and a fierce look in his eye, he immediately went into “beast mode”, blasted through his leg workout, and lifted his personal best!”