I’ve been doing a little bit of study in my spare time about what motivates people, partly to help keep on track with my own training and my business goals, but also to help get a better understanding of what motivates other people. My job as a personal trainer is to motivate people to get up and get active, to get the most out of themselves and achieve their goals and build the life that they want. To be successful in this I need to understand what motivates people to get started, to keep going, or to give up and quit – as well as the technical side of things regarding exercise, nutrition and physiology.
So this post is aimed towards those people who really want to start getting into shape, who know that they really should do something about getting into shape, have even gone so far as to search the internet for articles related to personal training and found their way to my blog, but for some reason still haven’t quite gotten to the point where they are ready to sign up and get started.
In very brief and simple terms, what motivates us boils down to two factors. Pleasure vs Pain. So for the people I’ve described above, I suspect that (most probably due to a bad past experience) the idea of diet and exercise is even MORE painful and unpleasant than the idea of staying unfit and unhealthy. Even so much as to outweigh (no pun intended) the pleasure they would get from getting into great shape, looking and feeling their best.
In other words, they’re thinking “being out of shape and unhealthy is bad, but getting into shape would be even worse!”.
Right now I’m going to address what I think are the most common reasons for this line of thinking, and I’m going to do my best to shatter these misconceptions and get you ready to take your life to a new level of health and happiness by doing what you already know you should be doing!
#1 : It’s too expensive!
Is it really? Women in particular spend a hell of a lot of money on having their hair done, expensive make up, treatments, new clothes! Recently men seem to be doing the same as well! Oh, tattoos as well – those are expensive!
Why do we do it? Because it makes us feel attractive. When we feel attractive, we feel better about ourselves, increased self esteem, confidence, just HAPPY. If you feel this way from having your hair done, just imagine how much more you’ll feel from having to buy pants two sizes smaller, looking in the mirror and realising you look AMAZING? You can’t put a price on that.
If you really can’t afford regular PT sessions and gym fees, do what you can. Walking, eating right, body weight resistance training. I will have a lot of free information on this stuff coming to the site in the weeks ahead, it will be more than enough to get you started.
# 2: I hate exercising more than anything.
There might be a few reasons why people hate exercising. My guess is that they probably weren’t good at / didn’t enjoy PE and sports in school, and just have a lot of negative feelings they associate with sport and exercise. If you had a bullying PE teacher like I did, that doesn’t help much either! (jerk!)
My other guess is that you might have tried to get fit once or twice in the past, and just gone out and ran yourself into the ground until you were exhausted, felt ill, pulled up sore and thought “THIS IS HORRIBLE!”
Either that, or you bought a treadmill or some other device and were bored out of your brain after 15 minutes and couldn’t bring yourself to keep doing it for an hour a day every day. I don’t blame you!
I’ve written a few articles about this already, it really doesn’t have to be that way! A personal trainer’s job is to make exercise fun AND effective, and to introduce you to some new activities you probably haven’t tried before. Eventually you’ll find that you DO enjoy training after all, especially after the first time you realise you’ve just completed an activity with ease, that would have been physically impossible just a few weeks or months earlier.
#3: I’ve tried to lose weight several times, and it didn’t work. I just put it all back on again.
OK, good. That means you already know what DOESN’T work. Most probably, it was a crash diet or something like that. But at least you tried something! This time, try something different. If your trainer is in shape, what he’s telling you is probably going to work, right?
#4: Eh, I tried a personal trainer once but I didn’t like it for some reason.
I’m a fan of the industry and I really believe the vast majority of qualified trainers out there have something to offer. But, you’ve got to find one that’s right for you. If you tried a trainer and it wasn’t a good match, it’s pretty simple – try another one! Now you have a bit of an idea of what you’re NOT looking for, at least. If your car needed repairs and the first mechanic you went to didn’t do such a great job, would you just give up on taking care of your car? Or would you find a better mechanic? Your health is more important than your car!
Hopefully I have you convinced by now. Click the CONTACT button up there right now, I have some great deals going at the moment.