I’ve met two types of people in my fitness journey. On one hand, some have problems with motivation. On the other hand, some have too much.
Which type of person would you rather be? If you were to ask me, I’d say neither. Why? While the lifestyles of these two types of people are different, these people have got something in common — the unhealthy relationship they’ve got with motivation for fitness.
I know. It’s a mouthful. The motivation for fitness is like any other commodity. It’s valuable. And, like anything valuable, whether it’s good or not depends on the relationship you have with it.
Yes, it’s awesome to have motivation. However, too much of it can be unhealthy for you. It’s a good thing I’ve put up this guide to establishing a healthy relationship with fitness motivation.
Do you want to have a healthier relationship with your motivation? Read on!
Know Where You Are in Your Fitness Journey
A healthy relationship with motivation will look different for everybody. My relationship with fitness motivation will not be the same as that of a professional athlete. Yours may not be the same as someone who hasn’t touch a single machine in the gym.
Before you implement strategies to make any adjustments to your motivation, you need to know where you are. If you are a novice, then you don’t need to be too concerned about being too motivated. But, if you’ve been running and lifting for years to the point where it gets in the way of life, you may want to reassess.
In short, know where you are in your fitness journey before trying to tweak your motivation for fitness.
Keep Your Motivation for Fitness Healthy and Sustainable
I’ve gone through a phase where I either hit a big fitness goal or I failed. In life, things aren’t as binary, nor is how you select goals that will motivate you.
A sign of an unhealthy relationship with motivation is any type of binary thinking. One is all-or-nothing thinking. When you start falling into this psychological trap of perfectionism, you’ll either do too much or be too demotivated to do anything.
The best mindset to have in place of this is all-or-something thinking. Here is an example of it in action:
Say you were trying to lift a heavier weight but failed. Instead of putting it down as a failure, see if you achieved anything. Maybe you lifted with better form. Perhaps it was the sixth day in a row you showed up for training.
You get the idea. Always count what you did better even if it wasn’t the goal you wanted to achieve.
Chase an Intrinsic Motivator over an Extrinsic Motivator
An extrinsic motivator is any goal that you and everybody else can see. This can be toned abs, Jennifer Aniston-esque arms, or sculpted legs. While these goals are great to have, they change. When they change, so can your relationship with what motivated you to train in the first place.
This is where having an intrinsic motivator can help. Intrinsic motivators are experiences or goals you alone perceive. According to Very Well Fit, intrinsic motivators are usually positive feelings after exercise. These are excellent to chase if you want to keep your relationship with fitness motivation healthy.
Chase an intrinsic motivator, and you will be in the fitness game for the right reasons.
Don’t Ignore Signs of Overtraining
If you’ve determined that you’re a novice or you’re taking your first steps on your fitness journey, skip this part.
However, if you’ve been noticing restless sleep, unusual thirst, a higher-than-usual heart rate, and moodiness, take heed. You may be overtraining. Overtraining is a sign that your relationship with motivation may be on the unhealthy side.
Overtraining may not be a sign that you lack motivation. It’s the opposite. It’s a sign that you’ve got too much. When you’ve built your world around exercising and fitness at expense of your health, you’re missing the point.
Listen to your body. Also, take stock of what your life around fitness looks like.