The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as:
“A reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”.
Motivation comes in many forms. It can be visual, emotional or physical and is subjective to an individual. What works for one person, won’t scratch the surface for another. There are occasion-specific types of motivation such as: pre-workout, intra-workout and post-workout… And then there are much wider and more generic forms of motivation, such as in business, in relationships or in general life.
Easy to define. Hard to put into practice. Regardless of your goal, whether that be to lose 5% body fat, or to grow your business to £1 million yearly turnover, it is my goal in this blog to communicate two things:
- Motivation ISN’T something that you either have or you don’t have
- It’s those individuals that keep themselves motivated on a daily basis that succeed!
How to find what motivates you
Motivation starts from the moment your feet touch the floor upon waking each day. Having helped dozens of clients move forward in their motivation, I’m a firm believer that your first thought can shape how your day is going to turn out. Waking up and thinking “Why am I up this early? I can’t stand the thought of commuting to my job that I hate”, is going to make a significant difference to if you were to think “I’m thankful for another day and today I’m going to achieve one thing that will make me 1% better than I was yesterday”.
So get up each day with a purpose, think something positive and watch the difference it makes!
From this point, it’s then up to you to find your subjective motivation. Different circumstances throughout the day will require different sources that inspire you. A song to motivate you for a max effort lift will be significantly different to a song that would inspire you in the build up to a big business pitch. One would be to raise adrenaline, one would be to calm nerves, but both can increase motivation.
The quickest and easiest way to access these sources of motivation, or maybe to even test out and find what motivates you is the internet, and more specifically YouTube. It’s my go-to whenever I’m searching for an occasion specific type of inspiration and you will have access to anything and everything that has ever been recorded, so you’re bound to find something specific to you!
What motivates me
Before training – even though I enjoy training, there are days when I’m feeling slow and sluggish I will jump straight on YouTube and search for “workout motivation”, “greatest sporting achievements”, “world record squat/deadlift/bench press”… It doesn’t matter if you’re not trying to lift heavier weights – they all have the same theme: people succeeding at something physical.
Think about what the occasion is that you are searching for inspiration for and then search accordingly!
Whilst training – if it’s for a personal best attempt or something nearing that, ever since I started training at the age of seventeen it’s always been one song: Limp Bizkit – Rolling. One; it’s heavy metal and two; it’s euphoric, so it gets me pumped! Again this is where you would find YOUR song! Using the same song over and over again can also be of benefit if you’re repeating a particular exercise, as it gets you in the same routine for each and every time you go for it… That extra 1% can make such a difference.
If it’s for your every day kind of session, my playlist is all over the place, ranging from grime and rap to heavy metal and rock, with the occasional nostalgic world cup song added in for good measure. But it always has to be loud and upbeat!
I don’t pretend to be a life coach of any kind, but I find the commitment I make to motivating myself through exercise and living healthily has a knock on effect in every other aspect of my life. From this I’ve found myself becoming more motivated in other key areas:
In life – I find motivation from setting and accomplishing goals. I find motivation from the thought of people saying, “wow, he’s done well for himself”, or “wow, that’s some achievement”. The thought of being highly regarded and respected from those close to me and my peers is what drives me on to better myself each and every day.
In business – motivation for my business is similar to the motivation I find for my life. It’s to achieve a pre-planned set of objectives to improve my business that extra 1% each and every day.
If I find myself feeling lethargic with things still to do, I will head back to YouTube and watch a ten minute video to give me a kick up the backside.
Some people find themselves motivated by wealth and the things wealth can bring – nice watches, expensive clothes, fast cars, big houses etc. Whereas there will be others that are solely motivated to provide for their family and to be able to spend as much time with their loved ones as possible, with no interest in the ‘finer things’ that life can bring. The most important thing is to realise that everyone is different! Just because someone else desperately wants something, it doesn’t mean you have to want that thing just to ‘fit in’. Find your own targets and goals and work towards achieving them!
As a Personal Trainer, I find motivation from being successful and being seen as making a success of my business/life. I get motivated by seeing results that my clients have achieved, as it lets me know my product is of a high standard. Everyone can find motivation when they’re feeling good; it’s the days where you don’t feel like going, or you don’t feel 100% at it and focused that really push you forward and towards your goals! It just depends how bad you want it!!!
There’s no wrong way to be motivated, don’t feel guilty, harness it and use it in the right way to motivate yourself to be 1% better every day. Imagine what you could achieve in a year if you were just 1% better each and every day! That can be 1% better physically, 1% better socially, 1% better emotionally, 1% mentally. If you struggle to find what really motivates you or provides you with inspiration, give a few of the routes listed a go, then develop your own path!