What do babies, cigarettes and exercise all have in common? Motivation. No one has babies, smokes cigarettes or exercises consistently unless motivation makes each of them appealing.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Not your alarm clock, the dog licking your face or the child tugging on your arm. Why do you get out of bed? What’s the deeper driving force behind your life?
When it comes to exercise and healthy eating, many people believe that change is hard. When it comes to hard changes, there is no harder change to make in your life than having a child. Yet this is something many people do multiple times! It occasionally happens by accident, but most of the time it’s intentional. No one ever enjoys his or her first cigarette, because inhaling smoke is unequivocally toxic to the human lung. So everyone’s first puff of a cigarette is a miserable experience. Yet many people wind up becoming smokers for much of their lives.
What’s Going on Here?
Emotion. People have babies because the emotional rewards of having them outweigh the challenges to schedules, finances and freedom. People become smokers because of the emotional rewards of identifying with a certain social group or type of person who smokes.
Emotion is the source of motivation. Emotion is thus the secret weapon to lifelong, life-changing modifications to lifestyle habits such as consistently exercising and eating healthfully.
What’s Your Why?
The early part of my fitness career was hard. It took me some time to figure out how to get comfortable selling fitness. I was really frustrated as I kept stumbling along in the early days. What kept me going? Why did I stick it out when I quit a steady salaried government job for the uncertain life of needing clients for income? My father’s death at 424 pounds gave me the drive to keep doing what I knew I was meant to be doing. Without that powerful emotional motivator, I may have not toughed it out during those early challenging days.
You need to know the powerful emotional reasons why someone cares about fitness in the first place before you can get to the how. I call this discovering the “emotional relevance of exercise.” Many people come to us seeking weight loss or more energy, or to get back in shape (whatever that means to them). These are all vague and emotionless. Even people who are deeply emotional about their weight are not seeking weight loss directly. They are really seeking the way they will feel when they are fitter…it just so happens they will most likely also be lighter or leaner.
What will be
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