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How to get motivated

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“I want to start working out; I just need to get motivated.”

You’ve probably heard someone say something to that effect before. You might’ve even said it yourself. We attribute motivation as the key to getting results in all aspects of life. But is it really? Is our success dependent solely on our sheer force of will?DSCF0407

In great part, yes. But even the most committed exercisers or high-level athletes don’t always feel like working out. So how do they stay consistent with their routines?

To answer this, we must first distinguish between intrinsic motivation and emotional motivation. Being intrinsically motivated means doing whatever it takes to reach your goal, even if you don’t feel like it. It is fixed and independent of outside circumstances. Emotional motivation means working towards your goals when you feel pumped or when the circumstances are right. It is mutable and subject to whims.

It is possible to be intrinsically motivated and feel emotional motivation at the same time. This is a great state of mind to be in.

It is also possible to feel emotional motivation but not be intrinsically motivated. For example, this is what might cause someone to go to the gym and have a great workout but then not return for weeks.

It is also possible to be intrinsically motivated but not feel emotional motivation. In this case, the person forces himself or herself to workout even though they’d rather lie around watching TV.

When people say they need to find motivation, they are often talking about emotional motivation–the feel-good drive to get up and go do something. But like all emotions, this type of motivation is fleeting. It ebbs and flows.

Those who are intrinsically motivated and don’t rely on their emotional state to get things done. They know that they are not always going to feel like going to the gym, but they do it anyway.

So does that mean if you are not intrinsically motivated that you’re doomed to continuously fall off the wagon? Fortunately, no. And that’s because intrinsic motivation can be cultivated. You may have not been born that way, but there are things you can do to improve your consistency.

It’s important to point out that for people who are not intrinsically motivated, consistency will build their motivation, not the other way around. The more you do something, the easier it gets and the more you see the benefits. This provides you with positive feedback that reinforces the habit.

Now that you know you motivation is something you can build, how do you do it?

Start small

One of the most common reasons people fail with consistency is going too hard, too soon. If you want a habit to stick, your best bet is to pick just one manageable thing to focus on. Don’t take on anything else until you’ve been consistent with that one action for two weeks to a month.

For example, it’s unrealistic for someone to go from not exercising at all to running three miles six days a week and be able to sustain that for the long term. There may be a small percentage of people who can maintain that, but the majority will eventually burn out. A more practical option would be starting with three days of less intense exercise and then slowly adding on to that over time. By taking on a more moderate approach, you increase the likelihood of consistently following through.

DSCF0306Get in touch with your why

Why do you want to exercise and get in shape? For many people, the surface reason is to look good. But your desire for 6-pack abs is not what’s going to pry you out of a comfortable couch when you’ve got a pizza sitting in front of you. Things like more confidence, getting rid of back pain, being able to keep up with your kids, and a sense of accomplishment and empowerment are the real drivers. To find your deeper why, start by asking yourself why you want to reach a certain goal. Once you have that answer, ask why again. And again. Eventually you will get to the emotional core of your reason.

This process might look something like this: You want to workout to lose 15 lbs. Why do you want to lose 15 lbs.? To look better. Why do you want to look better? To feel more confident. Why is feeling more confident important to you? So that I can be the best version of me.

Once you have your deeper “why”, visualize what it would be like to have attained your goal. Put yourself in the future and really try to experience how you look and feel and how your life has improved.

Whenever you’re feeling unmotivated, practicing these exercises can realign you with your true reason for wanting to accomplish a goal.  

Set the bar low

Expect that some days you aren’t going to feel like working out even though you know you should. In these DSCF1931moments,tell yourself that you can show up to the gym and dial it in by doing the minimum effort. Oftentimes what happens is that once you’re in the gym you end up putting in the effort anyway. Ask anyone who works out regularly, and they’ll most likely tell you that the hardest part of working out is physically getting yourself in the gym. Setting the bar low and giving yourself permission to have a lazy workout gets you over that mental hurdle and keeps you on track.

Do things that you like

Hate running? Don’t do it. Love walking? Then stroll away. Fitness shouldn’t be about suffering or doing things you hate–both of which are terrible for compliance. So find a gym that suits you and do workouts that make you feel good. Don’t get caught up on what you think fitness should look like. The important thing is to do what works for you. You’re in this for the long game, and people don’t do things they dislike for very long.

Remember that you’re not always going to feel inspired to exercise or eat healthy. But if you implement these tools, you’ll maintain consistency as you get past the growing pains of adopting a new habit. As you start to see the benefits of your efforts, it’ll be easier to harness your motivation.

If you need help getting motivated or finding the right program, our coaches are happy to assist you. Click HERE to request a call to discuss your goals and what we can do to help you reach them.

The investment that gives you the biggest pay-off

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Homes. Stocks. Retirement. Savings.

These are all things you invest in with the expectation of getting something (usually a financial profit) in return. The idea is that with more money or material possessions, you’ll be secure and able to enjoy life.

But what about things that improve your health?

Gym memberships. Healthy food. Annual check-ups.

These are often seen as expenses, not investments.

DSCF4408Yet your health is one of the most important investments you can make. It gives you a significant return on your quality of life. And that is priceless. After all, what good is your hard-earned money if you aren’t well enough to enjoy it?

Money allows you to afford a vacation, but good health gives you the stamina to explore another country. Money will buy you a big home, but health gives you the freedom to run up and down the stairs with ease. Money lets you provide for your kids, but health makes sure you can keep up with them.

But despite the benefits of working out and getting in shape, people are often reluctant to sign up for a gym membership. One of the biggest objections we hear is that they don’t want to spend the money.

Of course you don’t have to make a financial investment to start getting healthy or fit. Going for a run or doing a bodyweight workout in your home won’t cost you anything aside from time and energy.

But if you find it hard to get motivated on your own, there are advantages to joining a gym. Such as:

  • Meeting new friends/socializing
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Access to coaching
  • A weather-safe environment

Sometimes levelling up means taking a chance and spending some money. If you wanted to fix up your house, you’d have to pay a contractor. If you wanted to get a new degree, you might have to take out a student loan. And if you wanted to get in great shape, purchasing a gym membership could be the first step.

You might be thinking that a renovation or new degree would at least potentially get you more money in return–something a gym membership won’t do. But think of the money you would be saving on healthcare and possible medical bills.

Ultimately, it comes down to your priorities and what’s most important for you. When weighing the pros and cons of joining a gym or maybe hiring a coach, ask yourself what you would need from that experience to make it worth the price.

Would losing the extra 20 lbs be worth it? Would feeling stronger and more confident be worth it? Would making new friends and feeling like you fit in be worth it?

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Without a doubt, you are worth the investment. In fact, an investment in your health—whether it’s buying organic food or getting a gym membership or purchasing dumbbells for your home—is an investment in yourself.

With so many stressors in everyday life, self-care is critical. On a smaller scale, you practice self-care when you get your hair done or get a massage. These things makes you feel good. They rejuvenate you, and thus you are able to give more to the world around you.

Because you can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

Just as monetary investments contribute to economic abundance, investing in yourself creates personal abundance. You are taking a chance on opportunities for yourself, like renewed health and happiness, personal growth, and new experiences. You are making your world bigger.

When you don’t invest in yourself, your world stays the same, at best. You continue to play small. Stay safe. Maintain the status quo. And for some people, that’s fine. But if you’ve found yourself reading this post, maybe you want something more.

The investment in self is not only limited to a gym membership. If you are looking to level up your life, you can also look into:

  • Personal development
  • Therapy
  • Learning a new skill
  • Educational books
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Joining a club
  • Learning new ways to be creative

We get that finances might be tight. But if there’s a personal investment you’ve been wanting to make, there are ways to make it work. Can you find a way to cut down on expenses? For example, cancel your all-access cable subscription for a couple of months or cut down on the number of meals you eat at restaurants. If you have a specialized skill, consider bartering services. Get creative!

Investing in yourself sends a message to the world that your sense of self-worth is such that you are willing to put time, effort, and, yes, money into reaching your goals. The pay-off is not only improving yourself, but bringing that positive energy to the world around you.DSCF3972

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the leap and invest in yourself, Crossfit Soul’s bootcamp program is a good starting point. It can be modified for all fitness levels, making it one of our most accessible programs. Workouts include skill work and high intensity workouts that incorporate compound strength movements and cardio. And clients can always expect a friendly, laid back atmosphere. If you’d like to get started, click here to reserve a free trial class today. 

Should Kids Workout?

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How many of us as adults wish we would’ve started exercising when we were younger? The extra pounds that inevitably come with age could have potentially been kept off and we would’ve gotten a head start on developing our fitness. It’s also much easier to keep up with a habit when you grew up with it.

But should kids workout? And if so, when is a good age to start?

You can find a sport to put your kid in pretty much as soon as they start walking, but it’s not always a good idea. Specializing in one specific sport at an early age can lead to overuse injuries by the time the child is a teenager, and young children can get stressed by competition. Instead, toddlers and preschoolers should focus on free-play and having fun [Link].

DSCF4038It’s been rumored that lifting weights can stunt children’s growth, but according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), there’s no evidence of that [Link]. This is provided that children are lifting weights appropriate for their age and under careful supervision. Kids shouldn’t be working with maximal loads or high intensity exercise, but light weights in the range of 12 to 15 reps done with proper form are safe and beneficial.

The age kids should start resistance training is often a question of maturity more so than physiology. Can the child listen to and follow directions? Can they behave in an orderly manner and follow safety protocols? Usually around the age of seven or eight kids are mentally prepared to start lifting weights [Link]. However, it is important to note that children younger than that might not have the coordination or balance to properly execute certain movements [Link].

Americans have increasingly struggled with sedentary lifestyles, and it’s not just the adults who are stuck behind a screen. Almost 42% of high school students spend three hours or more on a computer or playing video games [Link]. And nearly 25% of teens report watching three or more hours of TV a day [Link]. Spending hours a day sitting isn’t good for anyone, and incorporating daily exercise benefits kids as much as it does adults. Working out can help adolescents fight obesity, build strength, improve cognitive function, and grow stronger bones.

Soul knows the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle early on. That’s why we have a Youth Crossfit class that DSCF4367incorporates play, bodyweight movements, and light weights. Kids ages six and up can workout and have fun under close supervision.

Whether it’s sports, bootcamp, dance, or gymnastics, kids should enjoy whatever physical activity they partake in. And if parents set the example of exercising regularly, their children are more likely to absorb that mentality.

Depending on your stance, maybe you believe that kids should just be kids and not engage in formal exercise. But working out and lifting weights is a safe option for children, and regardless of what form it takes, no one will argue that kids and teenagers benefit from being active. We encourage children to find a physical activity they enjoy so they grow up strong and healthy and grateful they started early.