What is Your Motivation Style?
How many times have you thought, “I should exercise”?
Yet you’re tired, maybe you’re really out of shape, and the idea of exercising seems so overwhelming that it’s just easier to push the idea of exercise from your mind. Deep down you know that moving your body would likely help with the sleep, energy levels, body aches, and your mood. It’s hard to get started and it may just take one small step.
I’m going to be sharing with you a series of posts designed to help you spend less time being sedentary (sitting most of the day). I’m sharing ideas and tips that put you in charge of how you move your body. I always stress the idea of small steps so that you create a pattern of success. It boosts confidence and helps you make exercise part of your lifestyle.
This week I’m sharing the many ways that people have shared with me about what motivates them to exercise. Perhaps one or a combination will get your body and feet moving a little more each day.
Some people find it easier to get and stay motivated when they’re accountable to someone else. For example, if you and your friends create an exercise club and you begin meeting every day to work out together (and motivate one another), then you’re accountable to someone else. Accountability might also happen when you’re motivated to get healthy so that you are around to take care of your children or someone that you love. I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s “Better than Before” and enjoyed her discovery about people’s core tendencies and the diversity of the how and why people pick habits and stick to them. Check out the book and read about the Four tendencies to learn more about what works for YOU! Note:These are affiliate links to the items on Amazon, these links help me keep the blog running and provide quality info for you.
Other people are motivated by the idea of an event or being part of a group experience. Training or exercising for an event taps into their competitive side and gets them off the couch and out the door. An event can be anything from a 5K race to a mixed martial arts competition to a dance marathon. There are so many different types of exercise and physical activity to consider.
I’m motivated to exercise because I want to keep improving my skills as a dancer. I can’t have flowing arms and powerful shimmies if I don’t train for them with strength and flexibility exercises. Plus, I love group experiences and energy.
Data and Hard Numbers
You might be one of those people who is motivated by numbers. You might enjoy tracking your data and improving on those numbers every day. For example, you might time yourself to see how many squats you can do in a minute. Maybe you do 15 in a minute and tomorrow you push yourself to do 16 because you’re motivated by the data and trying to improve on your performance.
If this is your motivational method, consider finding a way to track your progress. There are may fitness, food, and exercise journal options. You can create your own or download this free journal page available for use.
If you’re motivated by material rewards, leverage that aspect of your personality. For every goal you achieve, buy yourself something nice or treat yourself. For example, you might reward yourself with a massage for every 30 days in a row of exercise.
There’s no shame in wanting to look and feel wonderful. Take a photo of yourself now and create a system where you take a photo of yourself every 30 days. As you exercise each day think about that upcoming photo. As the weeks and months go by, you’ll start seeing a change in your body and that is motivating. It can be really fun to see your hard work pay off.
Because It’s on Your Schedule
Some lucky folks are motivated to complete a task simply because it’s on their calendar. If that is you, then put exercise on your calendar right now. Get up fifteen minutes earlier or find a nugget of time during your day and schedule exercise. Make it a non-negotiable appointment (barring emergencies or illness).
I have a friend who pays a hefty amount to be a member at her local gym. To justify that expense, she decided that she had to hit the gym 25 times each month to make the expense worth it. She’s motivated by money and doesn’t want to waste hers. She knows that she has to go to the gym six days a week to reach her goal of 25 times a month, and it gets her out the door and into the gym every month.
There are lots of other things that motivate people, but this is a pretty good start. Did any of these methods resonate with you? Think back to other goals that you have achieved. Why did you achieve them? What motivated you? This can give you a clue about your motivation style or personality and help you integrate exercise into your daily life. Take note that your motivation for exercise might be different than what motivates you for other habits.
If you’re not sure what motivates you, that’s okay. As you begin your new exercise program you’ll start to see patterns. Become aware of those patterns and you’ll learn your motivation personality.
If you would like to have a conversation with Nancy about your habits and motivation, schedule a video coaching call today!