Craig Leonard Fitness coach, Amber DeLeal, here. And today we’re going to talk motivation.
Over the past six months I’ve had numerous people message me about my fat loss transformation. Messages from people who desire the same type of physical change I accomplished.
Specifically, the change from being overweight, depressed, and embarrassed, to fit, happy, and confident. All the messages I received basically asked for the same advice.
They wanted to know how much weight I lost, how long it took me and what I did to get my amazing results. For me, answering these questions is always humbling and exciting.
And since I want to help other people achieve their fitness goals, I’m always excited when I receive these kinds of messages. Getting physically fit has drastically changed my life for the better and I want to share that with everyone I can!
I believe that once you change your body you’ll see everything in a whole new light. I wouldn’t believe this statement if I hadn’t experienced it myself, but it’s true. And you owe it to yourself to be happier – and to live a long healthy life that’s full of energy and confidence.
I absolutely LOVE hearing that people want to take control and change their out of shape bodies. It re-inspires me every single time I hear it.
That said, there seems to always be a little something nagging at people, keeping them from taking action.
You see, I’ve given individuals the advice they need to succeed. Even step-by-step instructions. I haven’t just done this for people messaging me specifically about wanting to lose weight, but to close friends and family members, as well, who are just curious to know what I did to earn this toned and sexy body.
I can tell you that almost every email, text message, or conversation eventually turns toward a similar topic that everyone feels is the real key to getting results. (This is the nagging part.)
“How do you stay motivated?”
“If only I had the motivation.”
“I found my motivation, but I lost it.”
“What can I do to stay motivated?”
Well, I’m going to give it to you straight. You don’t need motivation to get results.
Even though I truly believe this, and stand behind it 100%, I’m still going to give you several tips that will help you get and stay motivated, which will hopefully help you get off your laurels and get into the gym.
But, first, I’m going to explain why you don’t actually need to be motivated to transform your body.
Motivation Isn’t Reliable…Action Is!
Getting motivated is the easiest step in the process of making any change in your life. This doesn’t only apply to fitness, but I’m going to stick to the topic of getting in shape, since that’s what most of you are reading this for.
You see an infomercial for the newest, hottest, most effective workout or exercise gadget to hit the market, and it gets your motivational juices flowing. (I can only hope it’s not the Shake Weight that does it for you.)
Of course, the guys and girls in the commercial are ripped and sexy. What a coincidence! You want to be ripped and sexy too!
Or you see an online advertisement promoting the newest cleanse to help you drop that unwanted extra fat and water weight in just a few short days with minimal effort.
Or maybe your motivation didn’t come from anything that has to do with working out or losing weight at all. You could have simply laid eyes on someone at the mall with a physique that you desire.
Sometimes, seeing someone else with the body you want is as good a motivator as anything.
In my case, none of these things worked. It took being completely disgusted with what I saw facing me in the mirror to come to the conclusion that something had to change.
While having something to help spark your motivational fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing, motivation – no matter where it comes from – will not last.
You’ll eventually be left with dedication, drive and action as your force to get to the gym and make it through your workout day after day.
This shouldn’t be a discouragement to you. After all, dedication and drive come from within YOU, meaning you have the power to harness it and use it to your strategic advantage.
This power is much more useful and inspiring than the motivation you might receive from some infomercial, photo of some fitness model, or a cheesy advertisement.
So just keep that in mind when I give you these tips on how to get and stay motivated. Motivation isn’t the end all be all.
You can still achieve your goals without it.
Getting Motivated and Staying Motivated
Like I said earlier in this article, getting motivated or finding that one “thing” that makes you want to change is the easy part – and only part of the battle.
Here are 10 tips to help you get and stay motivated, even when you aren’t feeling it:
1. Remember the feeling you had when you were first inspired to change your body.
You were excited, energetic, and ready to start taking action as soon as you could to get to your goal as fast as possible.
Just keep in mind that results take time. Be patient, be consistent, and the results will come.
2. Keep the picture, video, or keep sake that pumped you up and made you realize that it was time to turn things around.
But don’t just keep it… Look at it as a reminder. And look at it often.
Anytime you’re feeling like all your hard work isn’t worth it, this will come in handy.
3. Take a before picture.
I know how dreadful this might sound. I was extremely hesitant to do it myself. But I promise you won’t regret it.
This is the visual you can look at and be reminded of why you’ve committed to building a better you.
4. Picture yourself in the body that you dream of.
Never lose that visual. After all, that is who you are working your ass off to become.
Or do what Wendy did and paste your face on a picture of the body you desire.
5. Think of every single positive change that comes along with losing weight and gaining muscle.
Quickly brainstorm all the ways your life will be improved after you achieve your goals.
My list is entirely too long to possibly hit all of them, but here are a few:
More energy, greater self-confidence, better sleep quality, the daily stress relief provided from exercise, more positive outlook on life, having the ability to inspire others, and the list goes on and on…. But I think you get the point.
6. Never forget how far you’ve come.
Even if you’re just starting out, deciding to make a change is a step most people fail to ever accomplish, so you’ve already made a huge leap in the right direction.
Whatever you’ve accomplished. Focus on the positive, be proud of it and strive for the next milestone.
7. Reward yourself.
Not with cake, ice cream or fast food… Treat yourself to new work out clothes, a new pair of running shoes or that super cute outfit you’ve been putting off buying.
8. Keep two jars on your dresser.
“Say what, Amber?”
Here me out…
One jar should be labeled “pounds to lose” and the other labeled “pounds lost”. Fill each of them with marbles or any other small object to represent “pounds”.
This will allow you to visually assess your progress as you transfer marbles from “pounds to lose” jar into the “pounds lost” jar while you continue progressing towards your goal.
9. Keep a fitness log.
I’ve been doing this and it has helped tremendously!
On the very first page I taped my before pics with my measurements and weight. I kept track of everything I ate and all of my workouts in this notebook.
After every month, take another photo and log your measurements. This will give you a convenient place to track all of your progress and identify areas you might be able to improve to accelerate your results.
This is something I learned from Craig’s Ripped Out system.
And, trust me, you’ll be happy you did this.
10. DO NOT weigh yourself every day.
Don’t even weigh yourself every week if you’re the type who will obsess over it.
Remember that results happen even if a change on the scale doesn’t. So there’s no need to get discouraged (which you will) by stepping on the scale every single morning.
Give it some time for measurable results to occur and don’t sweat it too much if they aren’t coming as fast as you’d like. Progress is progress. And progress is something to be proud of.
BONUS MOTIVATIONAL TIP!
You know, because who doesn’t like bonuses? Here it is…
Start listening to music that will get you mentally in the zone, and get your heart pumping, 20 or 30 minutes before it’s time to workout. While you’re getting dressed and ready for your workout is a perfect time for this.
Nothing pumps me up more than a little pre-workout AC/DC. “Hard as a Rock” anyone?
Find the tracks that make you want to get up and get moving and put them on before you leave for the gym, play them while driving to the gym and keep them coming until your last set is complete.
Whenever working out is the last thing you feel like doing, or you realize that the drive-thru is so much faster, cheaper, and easier to feed your family and clean up afterwards than making a few delicious and healthy plates of chicken and vegetables, think of these tips.
And when your motivation is gone, nowhere to be found, dig down deep (I know you have it in you) and find the will to do what you need to do to take action without it.
Nobody is 100% motivated 100% of the time. However, these tips will maximize the motivation at your disposal if you put them to use.
So put in the work – even when you don’t feel like it – and let your results be the motivation you need to keep you going. Above anything else, putting in the work is your first (and most important) step on the path to the new you.
And when your motivation begins to wane, these tips will give you the kick in the butt you need to get it back.
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