Fake It Until You Make It--
How to 'Get Motivated.'

by Jenny Legan, Home Bodies Trainer to
greater Portsmouth NH

The arrival of a new year never fails to propel a new mass of people intent on adopting a new healthy lifestyle, ceasing the fresh opportunity offered by the new calendar year.

Unfortunately, by the time February rolls around, treadmills are again nothing more than makeshift storage shelves and gym memberships have dwindled down to normal levels. The most common reason cited for an individual’s failure to maintain a diet and exercise program is a lack of motivation. Regardless of the important role that diet and exercise play in ensuring wellbeing, apathy ensues, a potentially destructive force. A lack of motivation has the potential to sabotage even those with the greatest of intentions. But, most have a fundamental misunderstanding of the actual role that motivation plays in enabling goals to be reached and healthy lifestyles to be maintained over the long run.

Ultimately, a person cannot ‘get’ motivated. Motivation must be created through positive momentum. In order to create this positive momentum, one must make a conscious decision to practice healthy habits, on a consistent basis. This is what creates a flow that carries one through the tough times when adherence to a program is challenged. It is a mistake to buy into the notion that motivation is something that must be captured as it comes along. But, the fact of the matter is, that in order to have true and lasting success, motivation must be manifested by conscious and decisive actions. True motivation that sustains the ability to overcome challenge and adversity is not a free-floating entity resulting from a feeling or emotion that drives an impulse to act. Motivation must be generated as a result of decisive action, not a fleeting emotion you wait around for to make an appearance.

Take a look at the daily challenges of life. Do you always wait for the motivation to strike you before you clean the house or go to work? Sure, from time to time, we may experience a spark of motivation that drives otherwise unpleasant tasks to be completed. But, it must be understood that although a powerful and sudden sense of motivation may provide a catalyst that spurs the initial processes of reaching a goal, this type of ‘emotional’ motivation can’t be relied upon to fulfill the most challenging commitments. Surprisingly, even personal trainers, who consistently demonstrate a passion for a healthy lifestyle, don’t rely on an abundance of motivation to meet their goals. In fact, most days, even trainers don’t feel like following through with their often-tedious diet and exercise regimes. With that said, successes in honoring commitments and reaching goals are dependent on battling the inherent laziness that no one is immune from. Success depends on understanding that the short term discomfort and sacrifice a healthy diet and exercise program yield benefits that make for a worthy battle.

In order to be successful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the long run, one can’t wait around for motivation to make an appearance. It is only through the consistent and conscious overcoming of challenges, that motivation can become a force than enables goals to be reached. So, don’t wait for the motivation to strike before following through with healthy habits. Get out there and manifest your own motivation, thru action!

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