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Why I am Never Motivated to Exercise!

by GrahamB. on February 18, 2013

Has your doctor ever told you that you needed to exercise because you were at risk of some health issue? You left the office feeling motivated to get going to the gym but a month later the motivation was gone. Yes, exercise is medicine! But who loves taking medicine for a long time?

When you start exercising because your doctor said “You Have To” in order to lower your bad cholesterol, lose weight, beat diabetes, lower your blood pressure, and prevent heart disease from occurring in the future, you are setting yourself up to fail.

While those reasons to exercise seem to make rational sense, they will not motivate you over the long run – they will not sustain. They will motivate you to start exercising but not to keep exercising. The key is going form “I Have to Exercise to I Want to Exercise”.

Think of motivation as fuel. Put the right fuel in your system and you get lots and lots of energy. Put the wrong fuel in your system and you get a very limited source of energy. When your fuel comes from an outside source like your doctor, pressure from a partner, or from a TV and or a magazine advertisement, this is called external or extrinsic motivation.

When your fuel comes from an internal source, yourself, this is called internal or intrinsic motivation. According to University of Michigan behavioral psychologist  Dr. Michelle Segar, “For most people, the common thinking is that it makes no difference if our energy source is external or internal. However, research clearly shows that whether our fuel for our goals is sourced externally or internally has tremendous implications for our success in achieving them.”

When you start an exercise program because “You Want to” in order to fulfill your desire to have fun, feel great, and be with your friends, you are setting yourself up to be very successful. The key is making fitness fun and focusing on the process. When the process is fun the results will take care of themselves. Too many people focus on the results and lose their motivation.

The irony is that when you make fitness fun and change your goal to having fun at the gym you will end up lowering your cholesterol, losing weight, beating diabetes, lowering your chance of getting heart disease, and lowering your blood pressure. Stay focused on your true source of energy, your real motivation, and trust that the results will be better than you ever thought!

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