Maintaining Motivation

Fitness needs to be perceived as fun and games or we subconsciously avoid it. - Alan Thicke


Randy Santel Maintaining MotivationThis page is LOADED with tips, secrets, and advice for ANYONE and EVERYONE that needs help getting & staying MOTIVATED to workout and maintain his or her fitness, diet, & weight loss goals!! You can read & find out all the best diet & fitness tips in the world, but everything means absolutely nothing if you don't use that knowledge in your everyday life to achieve your goals. Many people talk a big game, but very few people are actually able to follow through until the successful completion of their personal goals. There is a big poster on the door to my basement where I workout of a guy ice climbing that says, "Ambition: Many of life's failures occur when people give up without realizing how close they were to success." This is so true in today's world!! People lose hope so easily because they lack a hard work ethic & they lack proper motivation. Without proper motives, goals seem so far away!! With proper motivation, goals seem just around the corner, and you want to work even harder to get there.

Motivation is a term that refers to a process that elicits, controls, and sustains certain behaviors. It is a group of phenomena which affect the nature of an individual's behavior, the strength of the behavior, and the persistence of the behavior. Basically, motivation is the reasons that we do things, or the reasons that we behave the way we do. Motivation is what drives us to do what we do. In order to be successful in anything that we do, we have to be motivated. The best kind of motivation is to be self-motivated, and you cannot put a price on that!! There are many things that you can do though to help support your self-motivation to keep it going strong. I have compiled a pretty good list of things that you can do to stay very motivated towards your goals. Follow these tips to be successful!!

3 Tips For Getting Motivated!!

Self-motivation is most important!! - Like I said up above, there is no substitute for being self-motivated to do something. It's like the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." The only person that can make YOU change is yourself. Hiring a personal trainer is not going to make you fit or lose weight. A personal trainer is just a person to teach you & help you stay motivated. As you know, self-motivation is not easy. As Dave Ramsey says, "Change may only happen when the pain of 'same' is greater than the pain of change." If you are not motivated to lose weight & change your lifestyle, you will definitely not be very successful!!

Figure out the right reasons to change!! - Your success will only be temporary if you do things for the wrong reasons. My favorite scene in the movie Cinderella Man is where Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) is taking questions from reporters before his big title fight. A reporter says to him, "What's changed Jimmy? I mean you could not win a fight for love or money right? How do you explain your comeback?" Jim Braddock then goes on to say he had been fighting hurt, but at the end he says, "This time around I know what I'm fighting for... milk!!" His family was so poor that they could barely afford milk during the Great Depression. He was fighting for his family's survival!! This is a perfect example of what I mean. If you change your lifestyle for the wrong reasons, you will neither find success nor happiness. You may lose a little weight, but you most likely won't be able to keep it off. If you change for the right reasons, the transition is A LOT easier!! I have heard mothers say they went on a diet and started exercising for their children and / or grandchildren so that they can see them grow up. You may change your lifestyle to avoid getting a serious illness. Whatever you choose as motivation, make sure it's a great reason. If I had decided to lose all the weight just to win the transformation contest, I would already be right back where I had started. The contest was just part of my motivation. Make sure you are changing for the right reasons!!

Avoid the wrong reasons!! - While choosing the right reasons to change your diet & exercise lifestyle, also make sure that you eliminate the wrong reasons out of the equation. The best piece of advice that I can give is to make sure that you want to change for yourself & to make yourself happy!! Don't try to change for other people. It won't last and you will never find happiness by changing for others. Change because you want to and it will be A LOT easier. Also, changing for the right reasons makes it MUCH more rewarding!!

15 Tips For Staying Motivated!!

Remember that "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." Actually getting motivated & taking that first step is the hardest part!! Now that you have done that, here are many tips to stay motivated on your path to weight loss, fitness, & better health!!

Change up your routine!! - One of the biggest keys to staying motivated is to switch up your diet & fitness routine, mainly your workouts. If you do the same two workouts multiple times per week for a period of time, eventually you are going to get tired & bored. There are many bad outcomes from not switching up your routine. Along with getting bored, your body will get used to your workout, and then you won't experience as much progress or the results that you used to. Your body will definitely "plateau" which is a very disappointing experience for people that workout a lot. Seeing results is one of the big things that keep a person motivated. Change up your workouts every 3-4 weeks. If you want, feel free to switch things even more often that that. There are hundreds of different workouts to choose from. Do the Spartacus Workout, run, swim, box, do yoga, kickbox, do CrossFit-style workouts, weightlifting workouts, or combine multiple types of workouts. Do what you enjoy and have fun doing!! The more fun you have during your workouts, the more likely you are to continue doing them. This theory works for your diet too. Your taste buds will get bored if you eat the same things every single day. Find ways to change your diet up too!! Keep your diet and workouts fresh and fun to keep yourself from feeling bored and disappointed, which are 2 key ingredients in weight loss failure!!

Use negative thoughts from "haters" - Think about all the people in your life that have told you that you will never change your lazy & unhealthy lifestyle. Remember all the people that called you fat or lazy, made fun of you, or upset you. Hopefully you have seen the football movie The Waterboy where Adam Sandler's character Bobby Boucher uses past memories as "tackling fuel" (click here for the scene). Well use your negative thoughts as "fitness fuel" and try this before your workouts!! Just don't use this as your main motivation.

Listen to music - When I am working out, and also while I am eating, I listen to music to help me stay moving around & motivated. I love to listen to music that makes me want to dance & party!! I have been asked MANY times what I am listening to during my food challenges. Many people think I am listening to hard core music or The Eye Of The Tiger theme song from the Rocky film series. Well lol I am definitely not!! My playlist consists of my girls Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Rhianna, & The Dixie Chicks along with NSYNC & Eminem. I also have a few rap & rock songs to make the playlist a little more "manly". My favorite song "Party In The USA" is on there 3 times to make sure that it plays often. Ke$ha is on there the most though!! Before the bigger challenges, I try to listen to "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly, and after the challenge I listen to "Bye Bye Bye" by NSYNC. When working out, pick a radio station or CD that really gets you motivated & in the mood to workout. Even feel free to make a playlist like I do during my food challenges. Try putting your favorite songs at the end of the hour-long playlist to keep yourself from cutting your workout short. Music is definitely a great way to stay motivated!! Your workout will be better & focused!!

Mirrors always tell the truth - When I lived by myself in my apartment, I had a mirror hanging up in every room other than my bedroom. I typically did not wear a shirt very often, so I used my mirrors to constantly motivate me to continue working out & eating healthy. I had a mirror in my kitchen to remind me to cook & eat healthy foods. All of the mirrors in my workout room were for making sure I had good form & also to motivate me while working out. The mirrors in my bathroom were so that I could visualize myself and what I wanted to look like while brushing my teeth & getting ready for bed. Then I had more motivation when I woke up, and I could also monitor my progress while brushing my teeth after a full night of sleep. The mirror in my living room reminded me to stay off the couch, which was easy because I did not have cable. The mirror in my dining room was the mirror I looked at before leaving & right when I got home. That mirror reminded me that I was looking good & that I needed to be confident and to not cheat my progress while away from the apartment. I did not have a mirror in my bedroom because that would have made me look too narcissistic to people visiting. Scales can sometimes be off, and you can vary each day depending on how much water you are retaining. Let mirrors track your everyday progress, and always visualize what you want your body to realistically look like at the end of your sexification ;)

Keep your home motivational - I said above that there are no mirrors in my bedroom. My bedroom is filled with motivational posters that I had framed to match my bedroom furniture as decorations. I have three big 24"x36" posters hanging up with motivational quotes & pictures that I like. I also have a few in my workout room along with the famous picture of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston after his big first round (first minute) knockout. I try to maintain a very motivational atmosphere at my house. I don't buy any junk food, I usually don't have any alcohol other than wine, and I have a lot of motivational posters hanging up. This atmosphere definitely keeps me positive about working out. Maintaining a very positive outlook is the key to a successful diet!!

Track your progress - I did this during my transformation contest diet and it worked well for me. I had a calender hanging up in my workout room listing all 60 days that I was on the diet for. On the last day, I was set to take my final photos. Each day, first thing in the morning when I was the lightest, I weighed myself and then wrote down my weight on the calender. Some days I lost weight, some days I stayed the same, and some days the scale said I gained weight even though I did great the previous day. No matter what the scale says, write it down. As you continue to decrease in weight & lose fat, this progress will provide great motivation for you to keep going until the end!! Make sure that you don't get upset if the scale does not say what you want it too!! Just look in the mirror :)

Set realistic goals - Part of motivation is to have a reason to exercise & eat healthy for. Well you also need reasonable goals. Before you can go anywhere, you have to know where you want to go!! During my transformation contest, I knew my final date was March 12th, 2010. March 13th was not an option. I worked my butt off until that date came & did everything that I could to win that contest. Along with knowing my final goal date, I also established a goal weight to get to. I wanted to get to 219.5!! I never made it that low though, ending at 223lbs. For yourself, establish what you want to weigh or what you want to wear at the end of your diet. Maybe you want to be the same dress size that you were in college, or wear the same jeans that you wore in high school. Maybe you want to lose 25lbs like I did during my big diet. Once you establish that part of the goal, give yourself a final date that is reasonable. Maybe you want to lose the 25lbs before your big vacation in 3 months or before your wedding in 4 months. Just saying that you want to lose as much as you can rarely works!! Set goals & make sure you stick to them!!

Start slow & increase gradually - If you drastically cut your diet & you start working out like crazy, that will only last a few days (if even that long!!). Start slowly & let your body adapt to the new lifestyle changes. You definitely don't want to get your mind & body burnt out. Then you will go back to your old ways and you will probably gain back more weight than you originally started at. Your goals from above should be challenging, but not too challenging. You should have given yourself enough time to gradually build your routine so that you are able to produce the results AND maintain your new fitness levels after your goal has been achieved. Each week, increase your workout just a little. If doing cardio, add 5-10 minutes. If lifting weights, add a few sets or another lift. Let your body adapt slowly & you won't suffer as much fatigue. Fatigue & boredom are disastrous for diet & exercise plans!! Gradually increase your routine & you will be happy with your results!! When I won the body transformation contest, I pushed my body way too hard & long. Afterwards, I had to take a few weeks off just to let my body recover. This would not have happened if I had advanced gradually.

Take progress photos - Just like tracking your weight everyday, its good to track the progress of your body. Before you start your sexification, take a before photo. Then take a progress photo once per week every week, typically on the same day. Maybe you want to take the photo every Monday if that works best for you. Then you are able to compare your current photo to what you looked like exactly 1 week ago, and then 2 weeks ago, & so forth... This really helped motivate me to keep going!! I'm sure it'll work for you too!!

Get your friends & family involved - A big thing that helped me during my big diet is that I had the support of my friends & family. The people at my work even supported my diet. Don't be shy about telling people that you are trying to workout more & eat healthier. There is a great chance that the person you are talking to is trying to be healthier too!! Let the people you know help you stay motivated. If a friend knows you are on a diet, he or she will be less likely to bring you a batch of cookies, and more likely to call you out if you are eating cake or cookies!! Also, he or she will be more likely to compliment you that you are looking great, which will help your self-esteem & give you more confidence to continue your program!!

Wear tighter clothes - Nothing makes me laugh harder than when a man asks another man if he is wearing a "schmedium" shirt!! Lol I have been asked that question a few times jokingly. I am not saying to wear clothes too tight out in public, but try wearing a smaller shirt around your house. By wearing tighter clothes you will feel heavier & flabbier than you actually are which will keep you motivated by feeling these areas of higher body fat. Plus you can think about & visualize how awesome you will look when these clothes actually fit!! You may be laughing at this idea, but it really does work well!!

Stay active & more energetic - If you have a desk job like I did, then you know what I'm talking about. After a long day of sitting at your computer & in meetings, especially if you have poor posture, you feel very tired & sluggish afterwards. You have low energy levels. Get your butt up & moving as much as you can!! Your energy levels will raise with the increased endorphins from movement. Take the stairs or go on a quick walk while at work. When not at work, turn off the TV, get off Facebook, & quit Tweeting!! Get up and get active!! You will burn more calories & you will feel a lot better!! 30 minutes of watching TV can soon turn into 3 hours, and by then you won't feel like working out. Whenever you have the opportunity, stay active and your body will definitely appreciate your efforts!!

Follow a specific schedule - You are a lot more likely to workout if you have the time built into your schedule to workout. This is a reason that some people take fitness classes. They start at a certain time everytime, and if you don't make the class on time, you miss the workout. Telling yourself that you are going to workout at 5pm everyday is a lot more effective than telling yourself you are going to workout after work everyday. You have a lot higher chance of skipping your workout if you don't have specific details set for the time & place. What you are going to do is not as important as where & what time. Don't let anything get in the way of your workout time, and make sure it takes precedence. When you have a set time to workout, you will be a lot more motivated to make & follow through with the workout!! Use other motivation methods once you arrive!!

Reward yourself!! - Its perfectly okay to "reward yourself" with a cheat meal once or twice per week where you get to eat some of your favorite foods. Just don't go overboard & become a pig by eating everything in sight!! Allowing yourself a time to eat a little of the foods that you really enjoy will calm your food cravings and give you some satisfaction that you are doing well on your diet. You also have something to look forward to while you are choking down all the vegetables and lean meats during the week. A "cheat meal" involves 2-3 pieces of pizza & not a whole large pizza!! Remember that!! While eating your "reward" meal, make sure to congratulate yourself mentally on the job you have been doing with your diet. This will motivate you & help you not break your diet at other times.

Workout with other people - People take fitness classes because they like the extra motivation provided by the other 5-30 people doing the same thing at the same time. Some people just don't have enough motivation & self-drive to workout by themselves. Other people simply don't really even know what to do!! For people like this, just be honest with yourself. It will most likely cost additional money, but there is no problem with hiring a personal trainer or attending fitness classes!! Some gym memberships even include some classes. A fitness class instructor is basically just a personal trainer that is responsible for many people at once. There are fitness classes for almost everything now!! You can do boxing, kickboxing, spinning, shadowboxing, CrossFit, aerobics, yoga, water aerobics, and many other activities as a class. Gyms are constantly adding programs to include everybody. If you can't workout just by yourself, workout with other people. If you can, find a partner to workout with. That person may be a friend, your significant other, or even some guy you talk to a lot at the gym. Motivate eachother to succeed!! I know from experience that it SUCKS working out by yourself all the time. It's fun to workout with groups sometimes!!

My Conclusion

That is a pretty darn awesome & complete list up above that I have developed over a few years of attempting to lose weight!! Using all of these tips, I am now able to maintain my figure while being a professional eater!! Hopefully that tells you most of the tips work ;)

For additional help with motivating yourself, you should definitely read my page about A Sexification??!! I developed that word a few years ago, and the thought process has definitely helped me keep my weight loss fun & enjoyable. I am sure you are wondering what I am talking about. Well make sure to check the page out. If anything, you'll at least get a laugh after reading it!! Click here to read it!!

Feel free to try any or all of the advice up above. Like many things though, motivation is something that is personal to you. I cannot motivate you. Your coach cannot motivate you. You allow yourself to be motivated!! You probably already use some of the methods listed above to stay motivated. You also may be using other methods that I don't have listed. If you have ideas that you think I should include, please contact me!! I definitely appreciate the feedback!! After all, I have compiled this list to help other people stay motivated on their path to personal fitness, & not myself. I definitely don't claim to be a genius, so I am always open to new ideas. I appreciate help!!

Please feel free to check out the rest of my Fitness & Nutrition Advice section along with my Fitness Training section and my Nutrition & Diet section. These sections will help you know what to do with the motivation that you have developed. All the motivation in the world does not mean much if you don't do anything with it. You also must use it wisely too!! Good luck on your path to success & please contact me if you have any questions along the way. If I can't answer your question, I will help find somebody for you that can :)


Randy's Sponsors: