You feel the time is right for a fresh start, yet you lack the drive to play sports or lose those extra pounds. Here is the formula for your success: we explain why is motivation important, how to find the right stimuli, focus on goals, and achieve them while always keeping motivation high.
What is motivation and why is motivation important?
On Monday mornings, when the alarm goes off early: that’s where you miss it. Or on Sundays, when the time comes to choose between the gym and the sofa. It’s all a question of motivation.
Motivation includes the set of conscious or unconscious reasons that push an individual to act. They are the stimulus that leads us to undertake a certain path. Sometimes it can be something that acts as an incentive. Others simply desire: in any case, behind our every decision, there is a reason.
If we choose to go to the gym, the reason may be to train the muscles; if we start to follow a diet, the reason may be the desire to lose weight; the desire to take care of our health can push us to change our diet. Each of us has personal goals like these, and to bring them to fruition, you can’t do without a good dose of motivation.
Your community can help you, too, no matter what you want to achieve. We, for example, want to ensure that good habits are an integral part of your daily life.
But before we reveal our tips for achieving your goals, let’s try to understand more about motivation. To begin with, it is important to know the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
What is intrinsic motivation?
The term refers to a stimulus – to make a certain decision or commit to a project born within the individual. In short, if it is an intrinsic motivation that pushes you, you are not looking for “likes” on Instagram or for the approval of others, but pursue something you want.
To get in touch with this type of motivation, you will have to ask yourself what you like to do and what leads you to take action. For example, if you go to the gym only because your friends frequent it, but what you really like to do is run, then it cannot be said that your motivation originates within you. If, on the other hand, you want to train endurance intensely, then you will be guided by intrinsic motivation.
What is extrinsic motivation?
In this case, we find ourselves in the opposite situation to the one just described. Extrinsic motivation is generated by factors external to the person: perhaps what drives you is the desire for recognition of others, success on social media, a financial goal or the advice of a doctor.
If you start playing sports or following a vegan diet after seeing it done on Instagram, then your motivation will be extrinsic.
Why is motivation so important?
Your gym bag is ready, but the duvet feels snugger than ever. And then it rains too. Without the right motivation, you will never be able to get out of bed: she helps you overcome laziness.
This is established in our brain exactly in the center between the left anterior area, associated with the will, and the right posterior area, which determines our behavior. And so laziness seems to get the better of us – and we keep snoozing the alarm instead of going to the gym.
Actually, the intentions of laziness are somewhat positive. By giving it the green light, the brain intends to protect us: since its origins, by instinct, a man initially perceives every change as a danger. Continuing along the known path, continuing with the usual habits, guarantees us a certain safety.
For many, for example, tofu instead of meat is rather strange and they continue to associate it with an unpleasant taste. A change in diet can be somehow “dangerous”, which is why our brain tries to dissuade us. To have a positive approach to change, there must be a clear and compelling reason.
Play sports and lose weight: focus on your goals
There is nothing to do, and if you want to change something in your life, you need the right motivation. But repeating “I want to lose weight” or “I need to do more sport” is not enough: what you need is a SMART goal.
Having a clear goal is essential to build your motivation. So how to identify the goal to get the push you are missing? Try the “SMART” formula, a method originally used in project management.
More “SMART” to find the right motivation
SMART is the acronym that reminds you that your goal must be specific, measurable, adequate, realistic and timely. In short, your purpose must be clear, verifiable, and quantifiable, or defeat is already around the corner.
Let’s see a couple of examples.
“I wish I could do a pull on the bar within three months. I start going straight to the gym three times a week and training following a program”.
“In the next six months, I would like to lose five kilos. I have a tailor-made diet prepared and I follow it carefully “.
In both cases, the objective is specific and already contains clear provisions; furthermore, we can say that the path and goal appear quite realistic. The goal is also measurable and defined over time: after three or six months, you can check how many pull-ups you can do or how many kilos you have lost. When you understand that you are doing your best to achieve the goal, then you have really made it yours.
A tip: rather than aiming for an important final milestone right away, it can sometimes help focus on smaller goals. The idea of losing one pound a month doesn’t scare as much as losing five pounds in six months.
If you’ve focused on one SMART goal or several smaller goals, you’ve built the foundation of your motivation. Congratulations! Now you can go further and work on your personal growth path.
5 tips to always stay motivated
Are you looking for that extra boost? No sooner said than done! Here are 5 tips to reach your goals with the right motivation, learn how to manage defeats, and follow a healthy lifestyle at 360 degrees.
1. Find out what drives you
Ask yourself what gives you the right boost and what you like to do, then answer yourself honestly. Your goal is to lose weight, but jogging isn’t right for you? Then you can go for a run 10 or 100 times, but that won’t change. Test yourself and look for the right method or context so that training is a real pleasure
Compile a list of the things that motivate you the most of all: if you like being in company and spending time in nature, you could try an outdoor group workout, such as a Bootcamp.
Your stimuli can obviously change over time; the important thing is to be flexible and always question your habits. In fact, varying is also a source of motivation!
2. Find out what doesn’t excite you at all
While it is important to understand what gives you the right boost, it is equally important to know what really does not entice you. Find out what your possible obstacles are to learn how to dribble them in time. Just get to know them!
Your goal is to eat vegan, but do you know that shopping and cooking certainly aren’t passionate about you? Then find an alternative: perhaps a grocery kit, a box of mixed vegetables at home or a planned Meal Prep. You can really indulge yourself! We suggest that you prepare a list of the elements that can hinder you, including the solutions with which to counter them.
3. Create a routine
Having the freedom to reinvent yourself every day and experiment with new recipes and types of training is extraordinary, yet it also requires a lot of energy. A routine, on the other hand, makes life easier. If you have already focused on the goal, following a precise path will help you get to the finish line, step by step.
A meal plan or training program is a simple and concrete solution. Are you looking for new ideas to train? We do not lack: discover our proposals on the page dedicated to the workout.
Establish fixed times to cook or train and stick to the plan: after 30 days, a new routine becomes a habit. And that’s it! So if you have “dark” moments, don’t give up. It takes time.
4. Don’t forget to reward yourself
The prospect of a nice reward after hard work can be motivating. Whenever you reach an intermediate goal, give yourself a small treat, like your favorite protein bar after a strenuous training session or a new pair of shoes after finally running a marathon.
5. View the goal
Keep in mind why you have chosen this path because you want to follow healthy habits or abandon the harmful ones in everyday life.
Try to imagine how you will feel when you have reached your destination. Think also of all the positive aspects of the journey that will lead you to reach it: maybe you will feel better, you will no longer have those back pains, you will have more confidence in yourself and a clear conscience, or you will know that you do not harm any animal with yours new diet. To encourage yourself to a positive approach, try to turn to yourself and motivate yourself: if it is a training day.