You’ve been training for a long time, you’ve achieved some of the goals you set, but today you’re suddenly starting to notice the effects of demotivation. You don’t even know where to start.
You look at your mobile: 12 messages and 3 videos on WhatsApp. You read, view, and reply. You log on to Facebook, the same thing, and this is followed by Twitter, Instagram, email… you almost feel like opening up your Google+. You turn off your mobile, you keep wandering…
You end up giving up and going to the Elliptic. You plug in your headphones and “train”. You’ve lost the connection to your purpose, and if you continue to do so, you have little left to give up.
Does this situation look familiar? I hope not. But if you think it describes your case, you will have already come to the conclusion that something is missing: the motivation needed to train when doing sport .
What really motivates you to train?
Nothing motivates more than remembering what you train for. I am convinced that with this article you will remember the reasons that led you to practice your favorite sport.
Now, a little theory always comes in handy when it comes to locating us. Let’s start with the basics.
What is motivation?
According to the SAR, motivation is the “set of internal or external factors that partly determine a person’s actions”.Motivation is having reasons, which you don’t want, for carrying out an action.
Now, there are many theories that try to explain what motivates us and mainly we can divide them into two currents:
- Content-Satisfaction Theories : based on the study of aspects such as Needs, Aspirations and Level of satisfaction of the same. (Maslow, Mc. Gregor, Herzberg, Alderfer, McClelland).
- Process theories : focus their study on the thinking process by which a person is motivated. (Vroom, Adams, Skinner).
Also, depending on where you want to put the focus, we get the different types of motivation. Personally, the distinction between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation is very clear to me. If you want to know all the types of motivation read: “Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources”, although here you can find a very brief summary:
It arises from the hope of obtaining a benefit external to that of the action itself . The motives that make a person act are external to the action itself, materialized as money, promotion, commitments… Example: I joined the gym because my doctor told me that if I don’t lower my cholesterol I will have to take very strong medication.
It arises from the depths of our being and is linked to our values and life purposes . It is a driver of action without the need for external incentives. Example: I exercise to feel agile and autonomous so I can play with my grandchildren.
To keep in mind about what motivates us…
- Not everyone is motivated by the same thing.
- Motivations vary over time and with the person’s different environments.
- Feeling useful and capable is one of the greatest motivators.
- The satisfaction of what is well done is in itself a great motivator.
- If what we want is to motivate another person we must know their needs and manage to align them with an important objective for them.
When we reach the point of psychic exhaustion where the activities and sports that we used to feel like doing, now we don’t even want to start… Stop it! Become aware of what is happening and ask yourself: What has changed? or better yet, what has changed in me, so that now I no longer feel like exercising?
What keeps you motivated the longest?
Before you ask yourself, what motivates you or why you have lost your motivation, perhaps you should look for the answer to one of these questions :
- What activity do you enjoy as a child?
- If you could choose, what would you like to improve in yourself?
- Who would you like to train with?
- If you had to choose one of all the sports, which one would you take?
- Which sportsman inspires you? And what does he do to inspire you?
As you know, the benefits of exercise are multiple and among them I want to highlight the improvement of self-esteem , the decrease of stress levels and the possibility of making you feel more agile and autonomous, improving your self-image and self-concept.
So if after answering the questions you have found something similar to your motivational activity, you only have to answer one more question…Does practicing the activity you have chosen bring you closer to the person you want to become?
You need to invest time in becoming aware of and bringing to light everything that is important to you and that you believe is worth striving for. Now that’s a great motivator!
Feeling ownership of our actions
As I said before, there is nothing more motivating than stopping to think about what was the original trigger that set you off. If, in addition to looking for that deep motivation, you want to be a little more specific and you want to achieve a challenging goal for yourself , I recommend you to follow these steps with examples of people I have worked with throughout my career:
1. Don’t look for motivation; create it
Look for a lens that will make your eyes shine every time you remember it . Example: to be able to hold my grandchildren again.
2. know what physical and/or emotional situation I am in
Example: perform an assessment (bioimpedance) to know exactly the body proportions of fat-muscle and thus know how much fat I want to lose.
3. Knowing your strengths
This will help you to achieve your goals .Example: I can only train for two days but when I start something I don’t give up (Tenacious), I’m sure that for 6 months in addition to controlling my eating (Conscious) I will train for 2 hours in order to lose 7 kg. (Responsible).
4. Action plan
Example: put on a piece of paper a time line that goes from today until the day you are going to achieve your goal (lose 5kg in 2 months). Put two or three milestones along the way so that you feel you are achieving small results (Milestone1: Check my fridge-pantry. Milestone 2: Read 3 articles a month about food. Milestone 3: I lose my first kg.) Last Action: Divide each timeline until you have broken each milestone down into small steps, so small that you can easily reach the next milestone. This is how you achieve great goals.
5. Evaluation and readjustment
Example: check your progress or ask someone you trust to help you review, without attachment, the results obtained and readjust, if necessary, your path.
Recovering the illusion of training
In short, if feeling agile, autonomous, energetic, strong… makes you easier and brings you closer to your purpose, then don’t worry, the motivation will come. Be clear about what you want to achieve . Know exactly how to get there. And make sure that achieving it makes you better.
I hope I have helped you and above all I hope that the next time you look at your mobile phone during your workout it will be to choose your favourite song.