“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” ~Muhammad Ali
Motivation is needed to maintain momentum. Becoming motivated is a lot easier than you might think. Here are 3 key factors, and it all starts with baby steps.
1. Baby Steps
Break your goals down into smaller increments and assign a time frame for each increment. For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds, you may consider losing two pounds per week over a ten week period. Write that down and begin checking your weight once per week. The same goes for exercise. You don't have to jump into full 2-hour workouts to get started. Instead, schedule yourself for 15 minutes the first week and allow yourself to build up endurance, stamina, and strength. Then schedule 30 minute workouts the second week, 45 minutes the third, 1 hour the forth, and so on. Schedule all of this on a calendar and mark off the workouts as you go. Celebrate each and every milestone and enjoy the journey. Notice how you are starting to feel stronger and more energized with each passing week. Let that inspire you to work harder.
2. Anticipate Road Bumps
Road bumps can not only slow down your momentum, it could put it to a halt. That is if you don't anticipate them. Most people don't expect to cross the road bumps that will inevitably exist on their path. Let's say something comes up that prevents you from doing your scheduled workout. Or say you cave in and eat the slice of chocolate cake you've been craving. If you have not considered the possibility of road bumps, then you are likely to tell yourself "ah, what the heck" and allow yourself to fall back into old behavior patterns. Start your journey with reasonable expectations and foresee yourself overcoming obstacles. Life happens and we are only human. Tell yourself that when setbacks occur, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Better two steps forward and one step back than to fall back to square one.
One of the most effective ways to become and remain motivated is to have a source of inspiration. I personally enjoy the documentary Hungry for Change. It has a variety of people who tell their story of overcoming health obstacles by changing their diet. They address the obesity crisis in America which is higher now than it has ever been. Overall, I found it to be an interesting film, very informative, and truly inspiring. Find something that inspires you and expose yourself to it every day.