A frame of mind, a way of life, and how we can all obtain it
by Nick Manzoni

A lot of people ask me how I became the "fitness guru" with the appearance to back it up. Do I do steroids? Do I have the secret diet? Do I have the perfect workout plan? The answer to all of these questions is "no". I am motivated. I am driven. What got me to that point? How can I get others to feel as motivated as I do? I hope to give you some insight in this article.

"I am NOT motivated, but I want to be. What can I do about it"?

There are several theories psychologists suggest help one gain motivation. Some more than others work better in the long run. I have always been telling people that most people respond to motivation if it is intrinsic, meaning an inner desire to complete a goal. This is opposed to extrinsic motivation, you know; the kind that your parents or bosses force on you: do it or you're grounded/fired. Sure, both can complete a goal, but self satisfaction leaves you more likely to complete yet another goal after you reached your first. THIS is what fitness is all about, reaching a goal and finding yet another. Success breeds success.
I mention "goals" and believe it or not, it's harder to set a goal than one would think. I see dozens of people a week who just become members of the gym I personal train. It seems that four out of five of them have a goal, but don't know how to formulate it properly to get the motivation needed to complete it.

Form a "proper" goal, and by proper I mean a goal that it would more than likely create another goal afterwards.

To promote motivation is to have three major factors:

1. Set it within reasonable time frame,
2.Set it with specificity,
3.Set it with an appropriate level of difficulty.

For example: "I want to lose 30 lbs. in 2 months". There is a concrete and specific goal, but the difficulty is too high and the time frame is too short. A better goal would be "I want to lose 30 lbs. in 6 months". This is better, but the goal is too lofty for someone starting out.

How would one who doesn't know a treadmill from an elliptical hope to achieve a 30 lbs. fat loss? They couldn't. So I have found that one should set "mini-goals" for themselves that guide them toward the ultimate goal: "30 lbs. fat loss in 6 months".

Start by saying, "I will reach a 10 lbs fat loss in my first two months of working out" Once one gets into the swing, losing the other 20 lbs is a snap. I've found that losing weight while being heavier to start with is easier than one who isn't AS heavy, but still overweight. But this does not stop someone from wanting to lose those 5 vanity lbs. for that summer beach trip. We're back to proper motivation. How badly does this person want to lose the weight?

Set the goal, and make it a priority. If changing your body isn't high on your priority list, then you won't see the same results as those like me who put it on high priority. That, my friends, is the true purpose of motivation. Results yield motivation. Tangibles make this world go 'round.

There are times in workouts where you just stop changing, or stop getting stronger, it seems more of a hindrance than a benchmark, but it is exactly that: a benchmark. You are as good as you are going to get doing the same thing you've been doing so far. It is at this time where you have to assess your program, and see how it is responding for you and make changes accordingly.

People getting encouraged through slumps and plateaus are more likely to continue than those without support. And this is the key, no man is an island: it's good to have encouragement. Ask for advice from people you know and trust, and the occasional fishing for compliments never hurt anyone either.

So thank you again for reading and keep coming back, another article is soon to come!


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