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What motivates you?

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I recently started a podcast and you can check it out here. I'm interested in any questions or topics you would like to hear me explore on future episodes. I ask that it pertains to fitness, martial arts, or superheroes, but I may be willing to explore some other topics if I feel I have something interesting to say. Please no medical questions!

In my first episode, I answered Scott's question about how to keep motivated. I wish I had an easy answer, but I don't. I think motivation is going to be found in different ways for each individual. There isn't one universal way that's going to work for everyone.

Superheroes might find motivation in helping others and stopping evil. They know they have to keep themselves in good shape if they are going to be of service to others and society. They can't let a super villain get an advantage over them, so they must keep in extraordinary shape and health.

For myself, it's all in my mindset. I look at each exercise session as a deposit in a bank account. If I'm consistently making those deposits, my account is going to grow and grow. I'll start seeing the results in the mirror and that helps motivate me. If I slack on my workouts, it's like getting hit with those hidden fees, and your balance begins to dwindle. I always want to maintain a high balance. I also feel good mentally after a workout and feeling happy is another motivating force.

Some people are motivated by the health benefits of exercise. They know it helps reduce the effects of aging and decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Those are just a sample of the many positive benefits. Other people are motivated by the opposite. A big health scare will force them to contemplate their own mortality. Although, even catastrophic health events don't always provide the lasting motivation. People often fall back into their old habits as time marches on.

Here are a few tips that may be helpful if you find that you're having trouble staying motivated.

1) Try something new. A new activity or even attending a new gym may spark your motivation and renew your interest in working out. A new activity will provide you with new challenges and that's also good for your brain. A new gym may provide you with new equipment and class options.

2) Find a workout you like, and do it more. If you like a certain kind of workout, do more of it. It's more likely that you'll keep consistent, and consistency is the key to seeing results. For example, if you like to hike, hike more. Keep things interesting by trying different routes and trails. If you like a certain strength training workout, keep using it. You can always maintain the structure, but vary the exercises to keep things fresh.

3) Set up a reward system. After you hit a goal, for example, maybe a certain number of workouts, reward yourself. The reward could be a trip or maybe a massage, just make sure it's something enjoyable. I would recommend steering clear of using food as the reward.

4) Get a fitness coach, workout partner, or training group. This will help keep you accountable and the right people may help strengthen your motivation. Find people you click with and add value to your life.

I hope these suggestions help. When it comes to motivation, there is no magic pill. You might have to do a little soul searching and self exploration to figure out what motivates you, and that will probably be different for each individual.

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