Take a minute to think about what motivates you to live a healthy life – to make nutritious food choices, manage stress, and continue working out. Perhaps you’ll think about the reason that sparked your journey, or what keeps you going in the last seconds of a brutal workout. For many of us, these thoughts motivate us initially but the motivation quickly wears out. What keeps successful people going? Darla Leal, a Master Fitness Trainer, shares her thoughts and what works for her. Even though she’s fifty years young, she looks (and feels) much younger.
“Motivation mojo” – what exactly is that?
When it comes to improving our health, it is truly up to us to find out what turns our switch on or off when it comes to fitness. Your motivation mojo is what gets you going. A part of that is to understand and learn what you want and what you do not want.
What is your motivation mojo?
My occupation as owner of Stay Healthy Fitness, Master Fitness Trainer, Consultant and Coach has definitely helped me maintain my Motivation Mojo as I am inspired each day by my clients and online contacts. I celebrated my Fab and Fifty Birthday this month and that in itself is very motivational. I attribute my healthy lifestyle to how my body looks and feels at fifty years young, 5’6” tall and 125lbs.
Do you struggle with staying motivated?
I will not tell you it will be easy, because there are days when it will be straight up hard. Do not think that I do no struggle with the tough days of keeping it healthy…I do. On these days it is important for me to remember that it is crucial to live the healthiest life because we only have one with no playbacks.
How do you stay motivated, and what do you recommend to those who have trouble staying motivated?
Regardless of what suits your motivational fancy when it comes to getting yourself going, the important thing is to get yourself going. It takes a bit of homework to discover your motivational mojo, but it is worth every minute of discovery to create a lifetime of health. These have worked for me and may work for you:
- Motivational posters and sayings – some may be motivated by visual words of encouragement. Social media platforms (like my Facebook page, and About.com Health’s Facebook page) offer these as well as a community with similar goals to yours. Seeing others success stories can also help.
- New workouts – as long as my mind is stimulated and I am changing things up in the gym and eating a variety of foods, maintaining my mojo is easy.
- Fun workouts – Health and fitness is about having fun and doing things that are enjoyable. It is a great idea to write down a list of physically active things that you enjoy and implement them into your exercise program.
- Accountability journals – One of the best ways I teach my clients to stay motivated is through accountability journals, where they document their food intake, exercise completed, thoughts, feelings, and what they have achieved. Expressing yourself this way and then looking back at how you have changed and what you have achieved can help you progress further.
- Motivational pick-me-ups – Although it is important to believe in yourself, it is nice to receive encouragement to keep going. I contact my clients on a regular basis to offer support. Choose someone to do the same for you, who will keep you accountable, or become part of an online community that can offer you encouragement.
- A tip jar – One of the best strategies I have offered to clients to find their motivation mojo is to create a tip jar. Every time a workout is completed, a dollar goes into the tip jar. Keep up the tip jar for 6 months to one year (no borrowing from the jar allowed) and reward yourself with a shopping spree, spa day, or anything you’d like. Seeing the money pile up serves as a reminder for the work you have already put in as well!
I would like all of you to find your own “Motivation Mojo”. You can incorporate the above, but if you don’t know where to start get out a piece of paper and write down your active passions – fun things you like to do. It is time to get off the couch, dance your pants off inside, hike outside, play games with the kiddos and dogs. Do what makes YOU happy and this will ensure that you keep coming back for more. No more “exercise is a burden” stuff.