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It can be tough when setting out to achieve any new challenges or lifestyle changes, as it often involves going outside our comfort zone!

So How Does Motivation Really Work? 

We all have basic motivations which drive us such as hunger, thirst and sleep. What happens after that? Do we go about our daily routine and do nothing more? How do we explain how high achievers such as Richard Branson keep achieving some amazing things?

A great way to keep up our motivation for what we want to achieve is to set specific rewards (this is why we set goals) and then everyone has different degrees as to how they value the end prize of achieving the goal they have set.

The best way to keep motivated especially on health-related behaviour changes is to start to change our attitude and behaviours around what you would like to achieve that is not conflicting with your thoughts. The short term pleasure of bad habits such as smoking or binge eating may bring about a short term feeling of pleasure but the long term impact of these habits and the nagging emotional feeling that you are not doing the right thing will eat away at your sense of wellbeing.

Leanne & Fitness Tips Say: 

So How Can you Kick Start a Lifestyle Change? 

There are two types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic. Being aware of these can help you find the most effective way to achieve your goals.

An extrinsic motivator is the desire for external rewards, such as wealth or respect from others. For example, someone may be motivated to lose weight so they will receive compliments and acceptance from friends and family.

An intrinsic motivator is desire for internal gratification, such as the self-satisfaction of achieving a goal. For example, someone may be motivated to lose weight for the satisfaction of knowing they had the discipline to stick to their exercise regime and achieve their goal weight.

Participating in any sort of activity – a brisk walk, a coffee with a friend– will help your improve mood and general wellbeing. Acknowledging negative thoughts and reluctance to be active, then participating in the activity in spite of these challenging thoughts, breaks the pattern of withdrawing from social activity, exercise and other things that bring enjoyment.

You also gain a sense of achievement, enjoyment, and improved mood from having participated in an activity you might have missed. And, with time, as the link between these positive feelings and performing an activity strengthens the internal feeling you have become a key motivator to keep on increasing activity levels.

So it is important to persevere. Breaking the hold of negative thinking isn’t easy but, with time and practice, you can do it.

Eyes on the prize 

Remember to reward your efforts. On a day where you do 20 minutes of exercise, reward yourself in a way that is important and relevant to you – and that will help with repeating the behaviour. When you manage to go for a walk 10 times in a fortnight, maybe that’s the time to reward yourself with new exercise gear to wear the next time you head out and get active.

Doing tasks that let you feel you have achieved something will help you feel you are getting back on top of things again. This will motivate you to keep ticking items off your list of things to do – which in turn builds your motivation to tackle more!

Remember you can put anything you put your mind to!

What Goals are You Going to Achieve?

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