It has never come all that easy to me personally and I have marveled many times when others seem to be able to motivate themselves to stick with their diet and exercise plans to achieve the body they want.
Then I discovered their secret self motivation tips
Each of them uses one or more of the self motivation tips below to keep them on their nutrition plans and exercise regimes, and as a result, their efforts to build muscle and burn fat are that much more effective.
Over the years since my journey back to the body I had in college, I personally have used each and every one of these tactics to build muscle and burn fat.
The effects of these self motivation tips can be enormous, and it is often what sets those people who can obtain the perfect physique apart from those who cannot.
Before we delve into those self motivation tips, let's take a minute to define motivation, and why it is one of the most important ingredients to fat burning and muscle building success.
Motivation is your incentive to do something. In this case, we are talking about the incentive:
There were (and still are) many days where I just do not feel like getting out of bed and going to the gym and meals where I would much rather eat a greasy, cheesy pepperoni pizza than a grilled chicken breast. However, I find the self motivation to get to the gym, and to resist that pizza.
How do I do it? What do I do to find motivation?
I think about a duck.
How big is a duck?
Oh, about two feet long, maybe.
Have you ever seen a duck move through water on a lake? You don't see its feet paddling under water, but let me tell you, the duck really moves.
For me, what was impressive was to look at the wake the duck left behind as it moved forward. WOW! It opened up an angle of at least 40 degrees and the water rippled as far as...oh, say 40, 50 feet, maybe even more.
That's a lot.
Think about it, that duck left a wake that's 600 times its actual size. That's a lot of effect from a duck that's only two feet long.
The neat thing about that duck, is that it glides across the water seemingly effortlessly, just like those people at the gym I mentioned at the beginning of this article. You just do not see all of the work that it puts in under the water. That is the duck's secret.
Now it is time to discover the self motivation tips and secrets to help you stay motivated to burn fat and build muscle.
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Set goals that are intelligent and SMART Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-Bound. These types of goals often lend them selves to specific actions and steps we can take to reach them.
Thinking about the actions we need to take in achieving our goals is something tends to focus our mind on performance. That is the power of setting fitness goals the SMART way. We focus our mind on actions that lead to performance and achievement.
Bonus self motivation tip: Remember, too, to set short term, small goals to help you keep focused and self motivated. A race is run one step at a time!
You can find more information on setting SMART goals, with examples, in this free SMART Goal Setting article.
Consistency is definitely king when it comes to self motivation, for three very specific reasons.
First, the only way to see results is to be consistent in applying your exercise and nutrition plans. And we all know that results are motivating! When we see results, we all think, "Gee, I lost two pounds this week, I can definitely keep this momentum going!"
The second reason is that we, as humans, are generally creatures of habit. If we can get into a routine, that routine becomes a habit. Once the habit forms, we find it hard to stop. We feel like something is missing once the routine gets thrown off kilter. Therefore, if we can consistently go to the gym, and consistently keep track of our nutrition and calorie intake, we start to feel weird when we break from that routine.
The final reason is the same reasons people go to work sick, or athletes play game hurt. You start a streak. If you consistently go to they gym 3 (or 4, or 5) days every week, then you start to put together a little steak, and you want to keep it going.
You can reward yourself (see below) for reaching certain milestones, such as your 14th consecutive day without missing a workout or straying from your nutrition plan.By being consistent, you are setting yourself up for self motivation success.
Keeping a journal is a great way to keep your progress on track. It is much more than just writing down how much you ate or what exercises you did that day. It is a way to vent your frustrations and concerns, to get if off you chest, so to speak. Often, once you have "cleared the air," you can turn your attention back to the task at hand, losing fat and gaining muscle.
Tell anyone who will listen that you are setting a goal. Tell you best friend. Tell your co-workers. Shout it from the nearest mountain top
Open a build-muscle-and-burn-fat.com!). In fact, a blog is a great way to not only tell other people about your goals and aspirations, but also a great way to create a journal.
A great example of a blog as a journal is Roni's Weigh. She used her blog as a way to "to vent, celebrate and share" her road to obtaining her new look. Roni is an inspiration and her success now motivates many others to follow in her footsteps.
One of the great things about a journal is that it also allows you to keep track of your progress. However, you do not necessarily need a fancy journal to keep track of your progress. For the first few months, I charted my progress, literally, on a phone message pad on the refrigerator.
When I started my fat loss journey, I would weigh and measure once per week and write the results, along with the date, on that pad. On the occasional week where I gained weight or inches, I would have moments of doubt and frustration. Then, I would look back at that pad, and see where I started and how far along I had come, and I would be motivated to continue.
The other neat thing about that pad was its location on the refrigerator. Every time I reached for the handle, I saw a reminder of where I was when I started on my path for fat loss. There was a reminder of the body that I was striving to have, and it helped me with self motivation to let go of that refrigerator handle and leave those extra calories behind.
Another neat self motivation tip is to take a picture when you start your journey and hanging it on the bathroom mirror, to remind you of how far you have come when you look at yourself each morning.
This is one self motivation tip that really helped me the most.
When you have a success, give yourself a pat on the back. For me, if I stuck to my nutrition plan, and I did not miss any workouts for two weeks, I had a day where I could eat anything I wanted (usually that greasy, cheesy pepperoni pizza I mentioned before).
For you, it could be a new CD to listen to when you lose 5 or 10 pounds of fat, or a new outfit when you lose a few inches. Find a reward for yourself, and keep your eyes on the prize!
At the end of the day, only you can motivate you. There is nothing I can say that will get you off the couch and into the gym, or to push that extra serving of dinner away. I can only provide you with tips and tricks to make it easier for you to motivate yourself.
If you are finding it hard to get motivated, choose one or more of the self motivation tips above, and use them to as motivation to get started (or to keep going) and get your muscle building or fat burning plans on track.
Now that you are fired up and you have motivated yourself, take these self motivation tips, explore this site and read about the ways that I applied business principles to my own fitness goals, and get started building muscle and burning fat!