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Article: Motivation - What it is and how to get it

Motivation – Vad det är och hur du skaffar den

Motivation - What it is and how to get it

Making a lifestyle change requires courage, patience, planning and support both from oneself and partly from one's surroundings. Then one more thing is required Motivation.
But finding your motivation is not always easy, so below we have compiled a list of how you can best build and keep your motivation alive.

What is motivation?

What exactly is motivation? If we look up the word, we see synonyms such as: ''drive, interest, direction of will, ambition, inspiration, desire, spur, stimulus'' etc. The meaning of the word is described as; ''Anything that drives someone to strive toward a goal, complex of drive-en-er '' . It then undeniably makes sense that motivation is something that is required to implement changes and achieve one's goals.

However, we believe that the meaning of the word today has lost its meaning and is used more as an excuse than as the above description. ''I'm going to start but I just don't have the motivation yet'' is a phrase we've come across more times than we can count in our work as personal trainers.
After several years of experience with clients, friends and acquaintances who have ventured into uncharted territory to bring about a change, we would describe a journey of motivation like a flower; Motivation has been expressed by starting and deciding. It has from the start been buried in the ground, behind/under the courage to want, then penetrated the ground, through planning, and blossomed from the results. Then the flower has occasionally lost its leaves and started to wither, only to bloom again when it was watered by the reminder to decide and perhaps above all, to continue.

That being said, motivation will never last forever. Setbacks, obstacles and failures will always be there in one way or another and it is how you deal with them that will define your success thereafter.
If you think you've lost your motivation because of a small defeat, you've lost control of yourself. You and only You will always bear the responsibility for how you choose to handle situations and the way you see things. Do you allow yourself to give up when something feels difficult, or do you choose to review options to find a new path that might work better by learning from what didn't work?

How do I stay motivated?

As we wrote in the introduction, planning is partly required to succeed in achieving one's goals.
When we decide to start working out, do the job or take on a new challenge, it is usually the case that we make a plan for how to proceed. We check the calendar, count on possible time measures for the new project, take help from relatives and/or outsiders for more knowledge, etc. In this way, we create the best conditions for success and keep motivation alive.

Below we will go through a list you can use as an aid at the start, during the journey and at the end of your journey to continue creating and maintaining your motivation.
The list can also be used as a reminder and pillar of support when you encounter any obstacles on the way.

The list consists of both questions and things to check off:

  1. What is the goal?
  2. Is the goal realistic?
  3. Planning
  4. Expectations
  5. Involve others in your goals
  6. Tune in along the journey
  7. Reward
  8. The time after

Let's begin.

1. What is the goal?

Try to be as specific as possible. Writing, for example, ''better health'' is undefinable and therefore difficult to measure your success in. Instead, specify, for example; ''Be able to walk 7km in 35 minutes, praise myself for at least three things I did well every day, read a book every quarter about something that inspires me, exercise three days a week (two strength sessions and a long walk) or lose 5kg in ten weeks''.

2. Is the goal realistic?

Let's say you have a goal to lose 10kg in ten weeks. You have previously tried and partially succeeded in losing a few kilos through improved nutrition, diets, exercise, etc., but unfortunately could not keep it off.
The excess weight you are carrying has been put on over the last 2-3 years. Is it realistic then that you get rid of excess weight in ten weeks that you put on for 3 years? Or is it putting too much demand on yourself that causes more stress and anxiety than well-being?
Be true to yourself and rather set a goal that you genuinely believe you can handle and then set a new and slightly more challenging one.

3. Planning!

Start by reviewing how your weeks look like. Where can you prioritize time for your new goal? Is there time?
If there is no time, in such cases, is there an opportunity to remove that extra hour on the TV sofa to go to bed earlier, so you get up an hour earlier and have time for your goal?

For example, if your goal is to start training and start with five sessions a week (here with the assumption that you have never trained that way before), is there room for that in the schedule?

At this point, you are given the opportunity to reconsider your goal setting based on your circumstances. You may realize here that five passes a week is not suitable right now, so instead of giving up, you make sure you get two passes a week anyway.
Continuing to plan along the way is also an important part of maintaining the course towards the goal. Every week or even every month you should use this. Go you!

4. Expectations

Take the time to write down a few points about your expectations. The points should include both the expectations you have of yourself and your performance as well as what you think might happen along the way.
By doing this, you mentally prepare yourself for both performance and potential obstacles, making it easier for you to deal with them as they arise.

Here you can also take the opportunity to write down feelings and preparations regarding who or what can support you when this happens.
It may also be an idea, a little depending on how well you know yourself, to write down what obstacles may appear and how you will deal with them when they appear.

5. Involve others in your goals

Although it is your responsibility to prepare and implement your set goals, you should never be alone in your successes or failures.
Confide in a friend, partner, coach or in various forums where you can tell about your journey without condemnation and pats on the back and get support when needed and cheers when you've done something good.

6. Tune in along the journey

Set up milestones in the calendar where you review your goals and the development that has taken place since the start.
It's easy to lose sight of your progress if you don't continually praise yourself for what you've accomplished. Everything is included here, not only numbers on the scale, performance, number of hours worked, etc., but also notable events such as, for example , ``meeting my friends more'', ``sleeping better'', ``has got better hair quality'', ''not been sick for X number of weeks/months'' etc.
Also review the obstacles you may have encountered and see how you got through them.
Here you are also given the opportunity to reconsider your set goals if necessary. Are they (point two) still realistic?

7. Reward

Perhaps the most important point to keep motivation up is to reward yourself.
Reaching the goal is definitely a reward in itself, but to get there it always helps if we can also give ourselves something every now and then.
Check your set milestones in the calendar and set a reward for yourself for each set milestone. It can be anything from a breakfast/lunch/dinner in town or at home, a thing or an experience. You decide for yourself, but give yourself the appreciation as a reward for being on the right track.
A suggestion is also to involve someone close to you in your plans for future rewards to increase motivation and support from outsiders.

8. The time after

When you reach your goal, a feeling of emptiness may set in. We have often heard clients say; ''Well, what am I going to do now!?'', while they are incredibly proud and happy to have reached their goals.
Most people know that there will be an equal amount of time and commitment after reaching a certain goal, but the feeling of being a bit at square one again, stuck in a new situation, can be too much for some to handle.
Our advice to you here is to go through the same process as you did before, but to set the goal ''Sustainability'' where you previously set more measurable goals.

After this, you will know how to manage and build your motivation. You have gotten to know yourself and you now know your strengths and weaknesses.
Working towards goals is challenging and at the same time developing. It drives us forward and teaches us about ourselves and our surroundings.

Summary - Motivation

In conclusion, we can say that motivation is not something that suddenly strikes you like a bolt from the blue, but you create it yourself.
Of course, we will feel motivated to start new projects or promises to ourselves, which is great. But we want you to remember the important aspect we mentioned above, that it is YOU who bears the responsibility for giving yourself the conditions to plan for and maintain the strength in reaching your goal.

Good luck and ask us if there is anything you are wondering about.

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