Motivation can come and go like a fart in the wind. If it doesn’t stick around long enough to push you toward your goals, then how does everyone else manage? First, accept that health and fitness are a learning process, like everything in life. Second, identify your motivators so you can tap into them when you need to.
Picture: Nomad’s Memories
Leo Babauta from Zen Habits notes that these five characteristics are the best motivators for learning new skills, but we’ve adapted them slightly to apply to your health pursuits. Here they are:
Curiosity: You’re genuinely curious about how to make yourself healthier and fitter. The key is to embrace this curiosity, questioning what would make you feel, move, eat, sleep and live better. For example, when you learn about a new method or tip, you may want to avoid taking it immediately at face value, and just try it in order to see if it will fit your lifestyle and preferences.
Exploring Something New: Leo notes that this can be related to curiosity. Expanding your horizons in a fun way, to discover the pleasure in exercising or just doing, can reinvigorate a tired routine. As they say, “don’t knock it ’til you try it!”
Doing It With Someone Else: Create friendly competition, and more importantly, accountability with a friend. Leo adds that, “…while doing something for myself is also a great goal, doing it for someone else helps a lot.”
Caring Deeply About It: Most folks probably care most about improving their overall health (and looking sexier. C’mon, let’s be honest). They’re good motivators, but are rarely everlasting. Repeatedly ask yourself why you want to do something to drill down to your core reason for trying to be healthier. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 5kg”, ask yourself why you want to lose 5kg. Presumably to look good. Then, ask yourself why you want to look good, and continue to pry until you arrive at your main “why”.
To Prove That You Can Take On Difficult Things: Difficult tasks can be discouraging. Leo writes:
For years, I quit when the learning got difficult. But that’s when real learning happens — when things are difficult and you push through, when you are failing and wanting to quit. We learn by pushing ourselves into uncomfortable areas, and if we always quit, we’ll never get very deep into anything. So my best motivation recently is to prove to myself that I can stick to difficult learning challenges. So far, I am proving myself right.
Further, Leo’s post outlines the types of motivation that would be harmful toward the process of learning (and in this case, health pursuits). Head over to the blog post below and learn better ways to hold that far — I mean, motivation — in.
The Best & Less-than-Best Motivations for Learning [Zen Habits]