Stay Fit While Others Quit: The 4 Stages of Lasting Motivation

Do you ever wonder how some people stay motivated?  They seem to have endless amounts of motivation while you're left empty?  The good news is its not black and white; they have it and you don't. It is a process and perhaps you stopped just three feet from gold. To keep your fitness momentum going, shed awareness on your journey by recognizing how these four stages of motivation influence you. The key is to NOT stop at stage one or two and wonder, what's wrong with me? Be curious and think of yourself as a science experiment. Keep going until you discover the formula that works for you. 

Stage One > Sustainability is a Marathon, not a Sprint

The first type of motivation we all experience is based on an emotional feeling. The emotion could be positive or negative that kick-starts our desire. Perhaps you read a success story about a person losing a hundred pounds and because you resonated with the inspiration it evoked, you felt motivated to start your weight loss journey too.

Often people feel suddenly motivated when they hear bad news from their doctor. When the doctor drops the bomb-news, "You have diabetes" or "You are at risk for a heart attack or stroke", we are fearful of what the future may hold and we spark up the fire to do something about it.

Both of these types of motivation are only temporary. The initial burst of energy dissipates, and is not sustained by the inspiration or wake up call. Perhaps you've been there?

Your eagerness to overcome and succeed must continue in order to keep the wheel rolling in a positive direction. Proceed to stage two.

Stage Two > Recognizing misguided power

Another type of motivation already exists within you. You can be motivated to watch television instead of running the neighborhood. You can be motivated to eat a bowl of ice cream instead of preparing a healthier snack.  

A client, who is on our Healthiest You program, came back from lunch with a bag of fast food. When asked what motivated her to make an unhealthy choice, she answered, "Because I was mad at my husband."
When we are motivated to produce negative actions, there is always a reason behind it. In this case, sabotaging foods would not mend the issue. Proper communication would have been a better choice.

Be mindful of where you point your motivation. It's powerful. Begin to create awareness of what motivates you to make wrongful decisions for your health and well being. Consciously recognizing your 'triggers' will help you to laser focus your motivation towards healthier goals.

Like an onion, keep pulling back the layers and continue on to Stage three. 

Stage Three > Connect the dots

Stage three goes into effect when you dig deep and penetrate the true meaning behind the initial flame. The ultimate motivational coach, Tony Robbins, says emotion is the force of life. Strive to create a connection with your emotions.

 Make a list of your resources: journals, books, gym, coaches, recipes, or training programs, and apply your emotional resourcefulness. Tap into your determination, resolve, caring for yourself, curiosity and your passion. Combine the emotion with the resource for a powerfully fueled motivation.

For example:

  • Trainer + Enthusiasm= Success
  • Whole Foods + Desire to be healthier= Results
  • Journal + Understanding = Self Love
  • Knowledge + Curiosity = Continued Growth
  • Hard work + Love = Life Balance

Go for full immersion. The best way to learn a language is to be immersed in the culture. Replicate that philosophy by surrounding yourself with the right people that will help you grow and develop your emotional fitness. Create an environment around you that is fruitful and uplifting on a daily basis.

Here are some ideas:

  • Collaborate with co-workers. Do a pantry and/or fridge makeover in the work kitchen. Expand your awareness and set up your environment for success.
  • Join a local running club or bootcamp that will help keep you be accountable and offer low cost training and camaraderie. 
  • Create a blog or Facebook page to post your daily activities, and invite others to join your page.
  • Set yourself up for success. Carry an extra pair of running shoes in your car, and pack an igloo to have healthy snacks on ice.

Stage Four > Don't just do it, be it

Living a fit lifestyle, opposed to temporary on-again-off-again habits, has an organic force that automatically replenishes its motivation. Stage four is encompassed in service. Living as the example can inspire friends, family and neighbors and automatically positions you for leadership and accountability.

When you live your truth, victories, mini-failures and all, you embody the realities of living a healthy lifestyle. There are highs and lows, but the success is won in being an explorer of both the peaks and the valleys. Become an inspired ambassador of health sharing knowledge, skills and insights. Motivating others will continue to ignite your drive and instigate a renewal of goals and achievements of your own.

Remember the glue>

There is an important link between all four stages that must not be ignored. You can intellectually know all the right foods to eat, and the proper training you've learned through doing and reading, but courageous action is the glue that holds your emotional drive and knowledge together. When you think with vertical mobility, striving for continued growth and learning, your motivation will always be plentiful.