In our humble opinion there are four different methods to get yourself that get up and go each morning. Each of us are driven by different desires and outcomes, be they intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external). There are those of us who are driven by things like challenge or the feeling of pushing themselves through a workout – and there are those of us who prefer an external motivation such as a physical reward or a sensation. If you’re struggling for motivation, and it’s not a matter of being bored with a workout, maybe it’s time to utilise a new approach.
The REAL Reward Path:
Not all of us will thrive on the vagueries of “better health” or “faster times”, no sometimes there will need to be a “here, you did well, now you can have this” type scenario. Whether it’s a small treat (be careful with this one not to undo your workout!), or perhaps you set a rule not to watch the new Game of Thrones episode until you’ve done that 5km run or Pump class. The great outcome of an external reward is that there is a good chance of habits forming. There are set causes and reactions which trigger neurological links of association. More repetition – more connection, more exercise. Win, Win, Win.
Sign a Contract with Penalties
This is a slightly different version that works on the same principle, but in a wrist-slap kind of fashion. The premise being that you sign a contract of sorts that stipulates a particular commitment to an exercise regime – be it a certain number of classes, or sessions per week – or perhaps a particular class attendance each week. It can be quite effective when clauses such as – “I will pay my friend/s a kitty of $20 if I miss that Yoga class”. This can be seen as inherently negative, but a better way to look at it perhaps, is as structured. It provides a desire vs outcome pathway that many logically minded people find clear. There is a cost to achieving what you want, and there is a cost of missing the steps to achieve that desire.
Rethink Positive Thinking
This falls more into the abstract area of thinking and also into emotional. The structure behind this method involves actively thinking about how one will feel as a result of the workout. How GOOD are you going to feel with the adrenaline moving through your body – with the wind and sun on your skin – as you stretch out worked muscles. That positive reinforcement goes hand in hand with problem solving out constraints to your workout. Too tired to go to the gym after work? Set up a lunch time or an early morning session. Visualize where your hurdles are, and instead of jumping those hurdles, just take them off the race-track. Seems nice a simple hey? It is really 🙂
Find You TR1BE
We’ve stolen this one off Les Mills here, hardly surprising seeing as we’re Les Mills Instructors ourselves. The reason that group fitness is so effective is that it combines all the previous methods in one! There is a REAL reward in seeing your friends in one place and being able to catch-up, there is a positive reinforcement in being able to tackle a workout together, it always seems easier with support. If you were to not turn up, your friends would ask you why? This can all be magnified with the right setting. You into competitive functional training, Crossfit will have like-minded people. Individual competition but training with friends? A Tri club. Team sports? They’re a dime a dozen. Find the one that you WANT to go to. With people who share cultural values with you. For us? Fitness hasn’t felt like a chore in a VERY long time because of our culture. Our gym is an amazing place of positive people all supporting each other. Be it group fitness, individual weight training, small group P.T – ours is a friendship that will not be taken for granted.
No matter which of these works for you, and it might take a few goes to figure out which one it is – fitness and health CAN be FUN. You are capable of so much more than you think – our whole business is built on that concept 🙂 We love our clan of Possiblers – and that includes you.
Yours in Fun and Fitness – Pete.
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