I’ve been reading a lot about motivation lately.  It seems every fitness website and blog has a simple plan to become more motivated.  The problem is, most don’t address the real reasons you are lacking in motivation.  Most people aren’t simply lazy but they lack motivation for many reasons.  Most of the reasons, I am finding, come down to reward and discipline.

In your life you learn by trial and error.  If you try to walk through a wall and bump your head then you wont walk into the wall again.  When you see someone walk through a door you’ll realize you can get to the other side of the wall by going through the door.

The same is true with exercise.  If you attempt to run a marathon when you’re out of shape you will fail after about a minute.  This would make a couch potato out of anyone.  If you run 1 minute intervals with periods of walking for 20 minutes as instructed in couch to 5k then you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done and confidence in yourself.  Below is my seven point by step plan to reaching your goals.

  1. Data Collecting Phase – Spend a week logging your bad habits. Don’t attempt to change any of them at this time.
  2. Recognition Phase – During this phase you will recognize where your problem areas are.  Consider this your project to work on.  If you watch TV all day and never get up then say “when I get up to use the restroom (or go to the kitchen) I will do a couple reps”.  Pretend you’re a lawyer and find some loopholes in your routine and bad habits.
  3. Social Phase – State your intentions verbally to your friends and family.  You will then commit yourself and inspire others.  Inspiring others is like a stock that pays dividends.
  4. Trial Phase – See how many push ups, sit ups and squats you can do.  If you can do 1 that is fine.  If you can’t do floor push ups then do wall push ups.  Take the next couple of days off.
  5. Journal Phase – Start a journal.  A blog is a great way to journal or just buy a notebook.  You’re going to log your exercises so you can track your success.
  6. Action Phase – Do 70% of your max reps per set every time you go to the rest room or kitchen.  If you were able to do 10 push ups then do 10 reps per set but shoot for 7.  Do one of the workouts (push ups, sit ups, squats) per day. Drink plenty of water and eat something with protein.
  7. Success Phase – Pat yourself on the back.  You’re working out.  Do this every day, tell your friends how well you’re doing and they will celebrate with you.

For more information on the action phase, please see my Minimalist Workout Quick Start Guide.