If all human beings were self starters, there would be no market for Tony Robbins. The pumped up feeling we get from listening to someone we admire, or watching someone who inspires us succeed, is incredibly difficult for the majority of us to self create. Difficult, yet unfortunately necessary to succeed at improving our short and long term health and fitness. There are some hard truths to self motivation that I want to share with you. Being aware and embracing these truths can help you overcome them when they try and trip you up.
1. You are all alone.
It does not matter who you pay to train you, who you persuade to come for a run with you, or who you tell that you are ‘going to do it this time’ , everything comes down to just you. Not going to the gym because your friend cancelled is your fault. Eating chocolates because someone bought them for you is your fault. Understand that you alone are accountable for everything and you will succeed; do not rely on others.
2. There are no excuses.
You either want to succeed or you don’t, there are no reasons for your failure, just excuses. Here are the top five excuses I hear and the translations:
I don’t have time. ……………………… I don’t want to make time.
I’m old……………………………………….. I’m tired.
I’m injured………………………………… I’m scared.
My kids take up too much time….. I don’t see my health as a priority.
My schedule is too crazy……………… I’m afraid to commit in case I fail.
3. You have to generate your own cheerleader.
I have written articles on the saboteurs of your exercise goals and unfortunately they are usually the people closest to you. Learn to celebrate in your own small achievements and do not rely on others to keep you motivated. It is wonderful when people give you compliments but relying upon this to keep you motivated will not help in the long run.
4. Take the punches on the chin not in the gut.
I have watched people work so hard on themselves and then fall when they feel they have failed, when that is not really the reality, just their perception. For example, a client who had lost 8 lbs on her first weigh in, had only lost 2 lbs on her second. Any loss is a triumph for me but she took it as a failure and consequently gained 4 lbs at her third weigh in. Self sabotage: a most dangerous psychosis.
5. You have to help others to succeed.
The feel good result of helping others can propel you to heights that you can only imagine. I had lost 35 lbs when I became a trainer and was completely stuck on the final 15 lbs. I would lose 3 and gain 5 but I knew I needed to be healthier. After I had signed up my first three clients and they were on my program, I systematically lost the 15 lbs by gaining strength and motivation from their triumph and struggles. Watching their pounds come off because they were listening to me was a huge motivational boost. By supporting and training my clients in the ways of health and fitness, they keep me motivated to take care of myself.
Lynda Linforth is a certified personal trainer, licensed nutritionist and owner of Train Inc., a private personal training studio in Arcadia specializing in weight loss, post-rehab exercise, post-cancer exercise and nutrition. She can be reached at (626) 447-1049 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Train Inc. also offers self-defense classes for men only and women only and Bride and Bikini Boot Camp for brides to be or ladies who want to get into shape for summer.
By Lynda Linforth