Could you offer a few tips for keeping motivated with my business and keeping my clients motivated with their training programs?
Thanks for the great question. Motivation, or “inner drive,” is indeed absolutely essential for long-term success, no matter what the endeavour. Sometimes we think that simply setting our sights high and pushing hard is enough to keep us fired up, but this is not always the case – and it is certainly not always the case with our clients. This topic really deserves a book (of which there are many), but here are a few quick key principles I have found to be extremely helpful when seeking to generate powerful, enduring drive within myself and those I work with.
- Have a clear purpose and ultimate outcome. Get clear about what you really want and more importantly, get clear about why you want it. Understanding and connecting to the deep reason WHY you are doing your exercise program (or anything for that matter) always outweighs the HOW of what you are doing. If you have all the means and you know how to do something that is good, but it will rarely generate enough energy in you to actually follow through and do the thing. (How many people buy gym memberships and never use them?) If, and only if, you have a deep, emotional connection with the reason why you must do something will you find a way. Clarity is power, and when you really know why something must be done, nothing will stop you from doing it. In this state, self-discipline is no longer needed. (Stay tuned for an upcoming article on the Power of Purpose, which explores this topic in detail).
- Balance expectation with acceptance. The art of aiming high but also accepting and immersing yourself where you are now is a huge key to gaining satisfaction and fulfilment along the way – and opening the doors to greater achievement. Modern fast-paced, ultra-competitive environments have taught us to impose some pretty hardcore pressure upon ourselves, but I have found that if we are only accepting of ourselves after we’ve reached a certain goal or threshold, the journey can be long and lonely, fraught with frustration and self-judgement about why results aren't coming more quickly. If however, we can fully accept ourselves where we are now, while simultaneously maintaining an elevated vision for where we want to go, we will gain tremendous satisfaction from every step of the journey. Strange as it may sound, when we let go of some of our huge expectations of how things are “supposed to happen,” we actually open the way for things to happen in ways that often go beyond what we could have hoped for in the first place.
- Balance routine with variety. We all need BOTH. Our bodies need a sense of routine and certainty to connect with and rely on day-to-day; this enables us to "drill in" and achieve skill and mastery in certain areas. But we also need variety and change in order to grow. From a physiological standpoint, our nervous system needs a sense neurological variety and stimulation to challenge the muscles to grow in "functional" ways. Find the balance between routine and variety (in your training and in life) and your mind and body will enter a natural state of harmonious stimulation and rhythmical expansion!
- Attitude is everything. Focus on the positive. We can do all the right exercises and eat all the right foods, but if we're stressed out or angry in our approach, we will never get the results we desire. Nothing opens the channel of healing, creation and growth more than gratitude and positive energy. If you want amazing results from your training program or your clients, bring amazing energy. How will you act, stand, breathe, move, when you ARE the trainer you want to be? When you are your ideal weight and body shape? Act, stand and breathe that way NOW, and you will be amazed at the rapid acceleration of results - and you will also be amazed at how good you FEEL along the way!
All of these topics are worthy of at least a full-length article (keep an eye on the site!). In the meantime, I hope this helps you find your inner drive and begin to line things up for yourself and your clients, from the inside out.
Good luck and please feel free to contact me with any questions!