STAYING COMMITTED TO EXERCISE – MOTIVATION
EXERCISE IS HARD
So, now that we know the secret to staying committed to exercise (i.e., making exercise a life habit) we have to try and figure out the key to making exercise just that – a habit.
First and foremost, as previously mentioned a number of times on this website, it is so much easier to do nothing at all that the fact we do anything is quite amazing. So, how in the hell are we supposed to make something that almost all American’s hate to do a daily part of our lives?
As mentioned in the previous post, exercise, when done correctly, is pretty tough business. Exercise, when done properly, can make your legs feel like jell-o, your muscles hurt by the simple act of moving them, and/or even bring many people to the point of losing the contents currently in their stomachs….
…So, what’s the trick to putting your body through this 5-6 days a week?
MAKING YOUR APPLES ORANGES
In an attempt to not keep you waiting….
…MOTIVATION IS THE TRICK TO MAKING EXERCISE AN EVENTUAL HABIT.
Well kids, there you have it, it’s really all about motivation – a topic I’ve written about a number of times on this site but still worth mentioning yet again.
Motivation is really all we need to do…anything in life really.
Why do you get up in the middle of the night to go use the bathroom?
Well, you’re motivated enough to not wet your bed.
“Really…that’s the example you’re giving?”
“Why not…I mean it really stinks to get up in the middle of the night just to use the restroom, but it’d stink more (literally) if we weren’t to get up. So, the motivation for not stinking is more powerful than the motivation to just stay where you are and relieve yourself right there in the comfort of your own bed.”
“Yeah, but we don’t really have a choice, we have to get up and pee?”
“Uhm, do you not “really have a choice?”
“I mean yeah, you technically do have a choice, but it’d be ridiculous to just relieve yourself where you sleep.”
“Oh…but it’s not ‘ridiculous’ to stay healthy, feeling young, and energetic just because you’d rather not do something annoying…?”
“I get your point, but, you’re comparing apples to oranges.”
“Well then my friend, you need to start making your oranges apples…or your apples oranges.”
COMMITMENT DOES NOT MOTIVATION MAKE
The single biggest mistake people make when on their road to staying committed to exercise is that they confuse motivation with habit.
You see, as my good friend Mr. Jordan noted the other day, he is committed to exercise but, at the moment, not motivated to do so. So, Mr. Jordan is currently working out at least 4 days week but feels a bit lackluster due to lack of motivation…
…BUT HE HAS MADE EXERCISE A HABIT and is exercising even though he is not motivated.
You see, there is a big difference between commitment and motivation and, though motivation helps lead to commitment, motivation comes and goes while habits (i.e., true commitments) remain.
MOTIVATION COMES / MOTIVATION GOES
Motivation itself is a very powerful tool to use when building commitment, but as powerful as it is to build commitment, it is just as powerful a tool in building the façade of commitment (faux commitment if you will).
You see, motivation comes and goes yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly basis and this is something everyone (from the fittest individuals to the unhealthiest of us all) has to deal with on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly basis.
AND MAKE NO MISTAKE, BEING MOTIVATED TO ACCOMPLISH A SHORT-TERM GOAL AND STICKING TO THAT SHORT-TERM GOAL DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL BE COMMITTED TO EXERCISE ONCE YOU’VE REACHED THAT SHORT-TERM GOAL.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people get in shape for their beach vacation, an upcoming wedding or reunion, and/or countless other reasons and then just simply STOP ALL FORMS OF HEALTY HABITS (eating and exercise) after the occasion passes.
So, just to be clear, just because you’re motivated doesn’t mean you’re committed….but WE CAN USE MOTIVATION TO ACHIEVE COMMITMENT STATUS!
MOTIVATION FORMING HABITS
Now, knowing that motivation itself does not form habits, the truth is that if we can find a way to stay motivated enough, or in other words, if we find enough motivation, to exercise more days than not, then one day, all that motivation will turn into commitment.
So, find ANY REASON at all to get started AND THEN FIND MORE TO STAY ON TRACK!
Be it an upcoming wedding, a beach trip, a class reunion, wanting to look like Arnold, whatever the hell will get you started on your journey to fitness, just pick something. Yes, the more long-term your motivation (i.e., you want to live long enough to see your grandkids) the better chance that motivation will, in time, turn into commitment to fitness and health…
…BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A LONG-TERM MOTIVATION…YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A NEW MOTIVATION EVERYTIME YOU NEED ONE!
The thing is a lot of people get motivated to look good for some short-term goal or occasion AND THEN SIMPLY QUIT! Don’t let this happen to you. Short-term motivation is a good thing, don’t let anyone tell you different, BUT don’t kid yourself in thinking you’ll stay committed to fitness after you’ve reached your short-term motivational goal.
The TRICK is to make sure you have some sort of new motivation every time your old one fades. Be it looking and feeling good for yourself, keeping up with your kids, fitting into those high school jeans, running a marathon, gaining bigger arms, doing 15 pull ups in a row…whatever might motivate you, the KEY IS TO TRY AND ALWAYS STAY MOTIVATED because, if you do, one day you’ll wake up committed to exercise!
“How long will that take?”
Well, it depends on each individual person but the day the benefits of exercise (much like the benefits of brushing your teeth) motivate you enough to actually exercise is the day you know your motivation to exercise has finally become your commitment to exercise.
“So, the key to staying committed to exercise is to stay motivated?”
Well yes and no.
You see, the key to staying committed to exercise is making exercise a habit (i.e., making exercise a part of you – something you do everyday) and the key to making exercise a habit is to find something and everything that makes you motivated enough to exercise so often that one day you’ll find yourself exercising simply because that exercise itself is motivation enough to exercise…Snailed it – man I love simple sentences!