Two important acts you NEED to maintain your Fitness Motivation
If self-motivation and willpower can’t lead you to body transformation, what can?
The answer is intention and commitment—two acts that turn a goal into a concrete process.
This might seem like a joke, but the facts are undeniable: there are countless studies showing how making a commitment—and preferably writing down your intentions in specific details—make it much more likely that you’ll not only stay on task but also achieve your goals. It’s behavioral psychology 101, but it’s skipped for training and meal plans. And yet, making these simple changes will enhance the effectiveness of any workout or diet.
Research from the British Journal of Health Psychology shows how it works. In the experiment which focused on helping people become more consistent with workouts, one group tracked their exercise [the control group], and another group tracked exercise. This second group was motivated by reading about how exercise prevents disease. [The motivation group]
And a third group did the same thing as the motivation group, but they also had to specify their intentions in the following way:
The results? About 35 percent in both Group A and B trained at least once per week. And Group C? They had an awesome 91% compliance rate. Coincidence? I think not.
The examples are everywhere. For diet compliance, researchers from Norway found that those that formulate a plan for their diet eat healthier.
Why does it work?
Several factors make your transformation dreams a reality. Researchers from Australia found that taking a step-by-step approach, such as building one habit at a time, helps reduce cognitive load. Or in simple English: your brain has less to process, which makes it easier for you to find your way to the gym.
When you create big tasks (I’ll lose 20 pounds), your brain relies on precedent. Did you fail in the past at getting shredded? Your brain will remind you of that on a subconscious level and trigger what’s known as learned helplessness. Fail enough and you come to expect failure.
You still have to work hard, put in the effort, and stay consistent. If you expect a miracle in a month, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be frustrated and searching for a new plan in a month. You must play the long game to see success.
But following a plan instead of achieving an intended goal is different. It’s basic processing, no different than taking a grocery list to the store and buying food.
When you make your goal simple, clear, and easy to follow, you reinforce behaviors that make success a more likely option.
It might seem basic or even ridiculous. But in no time, you won’t worry about lost motivation. Training your brain for success will build a mindset that will guide you to the body you want.