Ask the Trainer: Motivation

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Amy Fortier

Four tips for finding your mojo

Question: "How do you find your mojo after injury or absence from workouts?" - N

I think one of the mistakes people make is to assume that what motivated them in the past will always motivate them. The truth is, sometimes you're not even motivated by the same thing week to week, day to day or even hour to hour. Even the most motivated people lose momentum. But just because you lost momentum doesn't mean it's gone forever. Although the question above is specifically about working out, what I share below applies to all aspects of your life.

The What, Why, Where, When and How of finding your mojo:  

1) Know WHAT you want

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The key to motivation is knowing what you want. Like really want. Not the kind of want that happens when a 5 year old sees an ad for a toy on the TV, shouts, "I want that!"and then instantly forgets about it as the next ad comes on. I'm talking about the kind of want that you think about first thing in the morning (Or maybe after your first cup of coffee.) If you really want it, you'll do it. If you don't, you'll make excuses. Maybe what you think you want isn't what you actually want. You just think you're supposed to want it. Which leads me to...

2) Know WHY you want it

The WHAT is a tangible thing - lose weight, workout, write a novel, etc...The WHY is intangible and varies from individual to individual. If you're convinced there is something you want and you're not able to motivate yourself to work on it you really need to do some soul searching and find a why. Fill in the blanks - "I want [x] because [personal answer here]." If you take the time to fill in the blanks, does your answer motivate you? For example, "I want to lose weight because none of my clothes fit." If you have a lot of nice clothes you can't wear that response may be enough to get you going. But if you look at that and say "meh" it's not a good enough reason. Dig deeper. 

3) Show Up (Where/When)

Sometimes all you need to get your mojo back is to just show up and force yourself to do the activity. There are days where if they didn't pay me to teach classes I would not be showing up for them, or working out at all. I happen to have the motivation of a paycheck but, at the same time, when it comes to doing my own workout it can be a struggle. Because I work at a gym working out often means that I'm staying at work longer. and who wants to do that? Since a longer work day is not motivational to me I've learned to fit my workout in elsewhere in my day (instead of at the end) or go outside instead. Ask yourself, "What is stopping me from showing up?" It can be as simple as needing new sneakers or as complex as something like depression. You may need help to get going. Don't be afraid to ask for it. 

4) Take Action (How)

In the immortal words of Elvis, "A little less conversation a little more action baby." Don't just sit there, DO something. 

  • Put whatever it is you want to do on your calendar.
  • Tell a friend about it.
  • Buy those sneakers...

I could go on and on. In fact, entire books have been written and careers have been made just on this one topic. Start asking yourself the hard questions - What, Why, When, Where, and How - and you'll hopefully find your way back. There will be peaks and valleys to your motivation but if you keep moving you'll eventually see the horizon. 

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