How to Feel Incredibly Motivated
Three Tips for Feeling Motivated and Supported
I hear from a lot of women that they can’t lose weight because they lack the motivation to exercise. But is that what is really holding us back from losing weight? Recent studies have shown that it may not be what is keeping us stuck. More likely it is a combination of things. Our weight can be affected by hormone levels, dietary choices, exercise choices, lack of sleep and so much more.
Maybe what we are missing is not a lack of motivation, but a lack of support. If you don’t have support, it is super easy to slack off on making healthy choices. Today, I am sharing my top three best tips for staying motivated and feeling supported, so that you can meet your health goals.
Listen to Your Body. Sometimes we have an exercise that we love, but our body just doesn’t love it. For me, it is running. I love to run. However, my body doesn’t love it. It tried to tell me for years, but I refused to listen. From shin splints to plantar fasciitis, to knee pain; I just kept on going. It led me to long stretches where I had to heal before I could get back to it. And back to it I would go for another round of pain and injury.
When I started the process of learning to listen to my body, I was doing a mix of Pilates and running. As I really started to watch for the cues, I really began to see that my body had been telling me for years that running was not good for it. It was being injured MORE than it was being helped. On the other hand, I found that my body loved and responded to Pilates. Yes, I had sore muscles. But that was good discomfort that my body relished and appreciated.
Motivation can really be hindered when your body is protesting. Start evaluating the exercise that you love to do and check in with your body. If you find that you keep getting an injury that requires you to push through the pain or requires a long recovery time, then this may be a clue for you to reevaluate. Another thing to look for is an unexplained lack of motivation. If your mind loves the workout you are doing, yet your body doesn’t seem to follow through with the energy and get-up-and-go to do it, then you may have another clue.
Find Your Deep, Dark, Hidden Why. I’m not talking about the desire to fit into your skinny jeans. Yes, that can be a why and it can be a little motivator. But there is something that goes deeper that is going to sustain and motivate you when the doldrums and obstacles stand in your way. This why is the one that stays hidden and maybe you have to dig to find it.
They say that finding your why takes asking the question five times. Keep asking, why? But why? Until you get to the thing that is really going to motivate you to stick with it. Here is an example from my own life. When I was 39, I was sick, unhealthy, overweight and unhappy. If you asked me why I wanted to lose weight, I would have told you that I wanted to get healthier. Yes, but why? I was scared that I would turn 40 and be unable to lose weight. Yes, but why? I was tired of buying bigger and bigger clothes. But why? I was tired of hating my body. But why? I wanted to lose weight so I would be confident getting back into the dating world after 10 years out of it. I wanted to have a companion in life and knew I would never date because I didn’t feel good in my own skin. My deep, hidden why was that I wanted to feel beautiful and confident so that I could put myself out there and find love.
That why was totally unrelated to getting healthy. But it was my real why. Once I found it, it kept motivating me to eat better and stick with my exercise plan.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself why until you get to the REAL motivator.
Find Your Favorite. In order to be motivated, I believe that one of the most important components is finding something that you AND your body love to do. That exercise, for me, is Pilates. I’ve tried a lot of movement practices from yoga, to belly dancing, to step aerobics, to running and more. The thing to realize is that each person is different. What works for me, may not work for you. But I think you will know what that movement practice is when you find it. I remember the first time I took a Pilates class, it was like coming home. My body loved the movement and the breathing, but my mind also loved the release it got from stress. I could no longer think about my “stuff” because I had to think about the movement. I had to become fully conscious of what my body was doing unconsciously and I LOVED that.
Once I made this connection and found what my body loved, it became so much easier for me to stay motivated and keep going.
Using these three simple tools can not only help you stay motivated, but can also help you feel supported. You are supporting your body and mind in ways that feel natural and make staying motivated easy!
Sherry Parks is a Wellness Coach who helps career women escape feeling trapped and out of control in their work life, so that they are happy on their own terms and have joy and excitement for their life.
To connect with Sherry, join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.