You know, motivation can be tricky. Finding the motivation to exercise is often something I struggle with. Yes, it’s my dirty little secret. Shhh…
Staying motivated is easy for some; they just have the exercise bug and nothing slows them down. For me, I have a conversation daily with the 3-little voices in my head, yes, three. The Angel, the Devil and the Middle Guy. No, I’m not crazy, and I know you know what I am talking about.
The Angel is my enthusiasm and excitement; he desires to feel good. I only hear him about 21% of the time, unfortunately.
That little red-horned dude, well he tends to be seriously loud at times and tries to talk me out of everything. Not only does he try to talk me out of it, but also makes suggestions that I know will not serve me. No, I do not need a chocolate chip cookie right now, thank you very much.
My middle guy, well he’s just a plain old bore. But, he is the voice of consistency and the one I hear the most. He is pragmatic and matter-of-fact. He helps me figure out how the most pleasant way to get through something I am not that into doing, like working out when I could be watching HBO.
Luckily my middle guy and my angel are in cahoots together and can override that devily little guy, but I gotta tell you, it’s not easy. What I have found is that the key to staying motivated is to have a plan and be consistent.
So, here are some of my tricks I have discovered along the way to help you stay on track, even when there are a million obstacles pulling you and the devil voice is shouting in your ear.
1. Make a plan – having a plan keeps you accountable.
2. Make variety part of that plan – variety keeps your interested and goes a long way toward motivating you to do what you need to do.
3. Focus on the rewards – what rewards will you receive from staying motivated and consistent?
4. Engage in gradualism – Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps; you get the idea
5. Make OPIE your best friend
a. One Project at a Time – Pick one thing to start with and go for it
b. Partition that Project – break your project off into bite-sized pieces
c. Ignore Your Screw Ups – You will mess up, but this is not an excuse to quit. Own it and move on.
d. Evaluate your Project – check in periodically and make sure this project is still working for you. If not, switch directions
Staying motivated may not always be easy, but if you follow these little tricks you will definitely have a better experience than if you wing it.
Remember, no one is perfect and if you’re striving for perfection, you are guaranteed to fall short. The important thing is to move forward anyway, even if it’s ugly, wonky or a little slower than you think it could be. Just get it done. No excuses.