Ignite your Self Motivation


In a world where most things can be bought or sold, self motivation is a force that we must each ignite from within.

So how does it work? What causes people to strive for something bigger and better?

How can we be better off tomorrow than we are today?

Everyone is different.  What inspires and encourages one person may not influence another...but there are many common motivators that we all share.

Coaches, mentors, families and friends can help spark our self motivation. Many of us are like a spring loaded toy just waiting for that ‘push’. And while we can all use a ‘push-start’, we are the only ones that can keep ourselves moving towards our goal.

Self motivation is fueled by the belief in your own success.If you don’t believe that you can achieve your goal…you probably won’t. Believing in yourself can be harder than it sounds. It takes a chain of successes and failures, trials and errors, milestones made and milestones missed. It takes time to get to know your capabilities, your weaknesses and strengths. And it also takes time to be able to set reasonable goals.

Reasonable goals can be the difference-maker. Attain a challenging goal and watch your confidence soar & your enthusiasm increase. It will start a snowball of momentum of inner motivation. Self motivation can be a tough to ignite…but once lit it can propel you through your fitness milestones and goals, through sickness and in health, through good times and in bad…you get the idea ;-).

Once you find and kindle this inner motivation, you’re see the positive affects in your fitness plan and other aspects of your life...so much so that you may just be the spark for someone else on a similar quest! Here are some tips to help you fire-up your source of self motivation:

  • Set short-term goals
    Seeing the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ keeps most people’s heads up and focused on the goal-at-hand. If your goal may realistically take months or even years to reach, short-term goals will give you milestones that you need to stay sharp and motivated through-out the journey.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
    While competition can be a great motivator, missing a goal can be a motivation-momentum killer. You can only control your performance, and doing your best should never be viewed as a failure…even if someone else’s ‘best’ was ‘better’. By focusing on self improvement, you’ll eventually leave the competition in the dust in the process!
  • Have a fall-back plan
    Setting a goal can be tricky. If it’s too easy, you’ll probably lose interest and drive. If it’s too hard, you may fall short and quit due to the feeling that you’ve failed. Give yourself some ‘wiggle-room’! Sometimes it helps me to have multiple planned outcomes: “I’ll be ecstatic if…”; “I’ll be happy if…”; or “I’ll be satisfied with”. We are hard enough on ourselves, as it is. Never view your efforts as failures, but rather as stepping stones to a goal that you will ultimately achieve.
  • Accentuate the positive!
    Remember - You started this fitness plan to be better off tomorrow than you are today - and you know that these changes take time and dedication. Falling ‘off the wagon’ for a party or skipping a week of work-outs during a vacation should not make you quit your long-term effort. Look at how far you’ve come and stay committed to remain on the road of progress (it’s a long and winding road for most of us...unlike our straight-line plans!).
  • Join a team or group
    While the term ‘self motivation’ implies something that we control, it can be propelled by others in the form of positive peer pressure. If you’re in a walking group, a hiking club, or a running team, the expectation of others can be the ‘push’ you need to exceed. We all place some emphasis on other people’s opinions (whether we admit it or not). Use this positive force to add to your motivation on days when your doubting yourself or thinking about quitting.
  • Be a coach or mentor
    Just as clubs and groups motivate us to ‘show up’, being a coach or mentor can serve the same purpose. Leading by example is a great way to help others and yourself! If you encourage someone else to start walking at night with you…what are the chances that you’ll quit in week 1? Try it and you’ll quickly see the benefits.
  • Reward yourself
    Often overlooked is the simplest motivator of all – rewards. From potty training to school report cards, I followed a steady trail of bribes through childhood…and there’s nothing wrong with it! Want to buy a new watch, shirt, or other treat? Make yourself reach a milestone first. It works. Try writing down your goal and putting it in an envelop with the money or gift certificate…it may just keep you going on that day when you don’t feel like getting out of bed!Self motivation is an individual and unique experience, but we all have something that “makes us tick”. You know what it is…use it. It only has to get you through one workout or one night without a snack. Pretty soon your progress will be all the motivation that you need. Here’s to your success!


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