Working out for me has been a steady roller coaster. There have been times when I have been extremely motivated for a few months and then times when I had no motivation at all. Growing up, I was a good swimmer and I swam almost every day of the year. It usually wasn’t too hard for me to go to practice because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t do too well at the next swim meet (and being the competitive guy that I am, I hated not doing well).
When I got into college, I tried to continue swimming, but the motivation just wasn’t there. I didn’t have a team to swim with so I would have to try and workout by myself, basically impossible. As I look back at my high school days, I now realize the reason it was “easy” to workout. I had a reason to, I had my “why”. Swim meets were my “why”. In college, my “why” was gone. There was nothing in particular that was making me workout. So I didn’t.
Finding Your “Why”
The very first thing you need to do before starting any kind of workout program is to figure out why you want to do it. Do you want to get into shape to live a healthier life? To feel more comfortable with yourself? To be around while your kids are growing up? To live a more active lifestyle? Why is getting into shape important for you? I challenge you to sit down with a pencil and paper and write down ALL the reasons why you want to get into shape.
For me, I was finally sick of the “inner tube” around my stomach. I hated looking back at old photos and seeing the guy I used to be. For years I wanted it back, but I did nothing to change it. I made my New Years Resolutions every year and that was the closest I got to changing my life. It all changed as I realized I would be starting a family some day soon and I didn’t want my kids to see me the way I was. I want my kids to see how to live a healthy and happy life. That is when I found my “why”. My “WHY”: to feel comfortable with myself and to be a good example.
Living Your “Why”
After you have written down all of the reasons why you want to change your lifestyle, think about the most important one, or two (maybe they are all the most important, that is ok too). The key to picking your why is to make sure it is a strong enough reason to keep you motivated. Wanting to look good for an event coming up might get you into shape for that event, but what are you going to do after the event is over? Your “why” needs to be motivation for a life long change.
Once you have found your “why”, post it somewhere that you will see it everyday. Maybe on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, in your car. Read it every day. Then when those days come around where you just don’t want to workout (and trust me, those days will come) your brain will have that “why” programed in. It will remind you of “why” you are trying to change your life and it will motivate you.
Letting your friends and loved ones know your why is also a great idea. If they know your reason for wanting to change your life, they will keep you motivated on those days you just don’t feel like working out. Not only that, but it might just motivate them to change their lives as well. Then you have someone else to workout with.
Stay Motivated! Don’t let all the little things of day to day life hold you back. Figure out your “why” and live it! Remember, it took you many years to get the lifestyle you have now, it is going to take some time to change it. YOU CAN DO IT! I encourage you to reply to this post and tell your “why”.