What does motivate you?

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
What does motivate you?
20
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 7:44am

This is one of my shortcomings as a trainer so I'd love to hear what works for people.  At one of my jobs, I give advice mostly.  Some people look to me to give them willpower to work out, resist foods, etc.  I can give them strategies but sometimes it's not enough. One person hates vegetables but wants to eat better.  Another wants to give up diet soda but won't drink water.  Diabetics won't give up sugar/carbs. There are many cases like that. To me, you're an adult, you just do it.  Sometimes we just can't do everything we want to do and have to do things we don't.  We all know the platitudes that it makes you feel better, healthier but that's not immediate enough.  What makes you decide to make a change when you'd rather do something else? How do you develop will power?

For me, long term results work. I can give up short term pleasures if I know there is a pay off.  I think of it as medicine and eventually it becomes part of your life and you don't even notice it, like my mom needed glaucoma drops twice a day. I hate eye drops but sure I'd do it if I needed to maintain eye pressure and not go blind.  






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Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 8:39am

At this point in my life I see all the health issues many of my friends have and it is motivation to me to try a little harder to eat better and keep exercising so I can continue to move and feel good. I feel so bad for people who struggle to move and have to take expensive medication every day just to make it to another day. I keep telling my kids that they really need to take their diets and amount of exercise serious as young people because once they start to age, it isn't as easy to reverse illness/injury as it is to prevent it to begin with. 

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 9:32am

Yeah, same here.  I would like to avoid the issues I've seen in my family that come from a poor diet and lack of exercise.  Does that mean I do everything perfectly?  Absolutely not.  

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 9:43am

First, I think that motivation for your clients has to come from within.  Otherwise, you, as the motivation, is only short-lived at best.  Each person is different, so the motivation will be different for each person.  IMHO, the only time people make a serious change is when something really significant occurs in their life.  Gee, that sounds pessimistic, but that's my opinion.  As for will power, I keep the goal/motivator in as my priority.  It has to be on the top of my priority list, otherwise, I forget.  Perhaps you can help your clients to define what their motivations are and help to remind them?  Here are some of my personal motivators:

1.  The trainer/instructor - their fitness level, energy, outlook on life, etc. is motivation itself

2.  My health and the ability to have a good quality of life going foward

3.  My family..the ability to help them and be there for them

4.  Personal goals

5.  Happiness...for example, dancing makes all of my cares go away

6.  Clothes size...I like to fit into my clothes 

7.  Competitiveness...I feel better when I am an overachiever...that's the Type A in me

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 4:44pm

Yeah, health is the biggest motivator.  It always surprises me the number of people who have problems, eg. diabetes and refuse to take action.  Really, do you want that candy bar or your legs/vision?  I think it comes down to being able to give up short term wants for long term.  Are we better at it?  My sister was talking about a study where they had a big group of little kids. They were told they could have one cookie now or if they waited, they'd get two cookies.  They came back to the kids 20 years later and found that the ones who waited were far more successful.  So, I need to remember that it could be hard wired into us. At the same time, it isn't always easy for us, either!  As I've said for me, it's about moderation and knowing when to cut back and when not to.






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 4:46pm

I think motivation can come from within but you look at the really successful teachers and they find a way to reach those who aren't so much. I think some people have that talent and I just don't.  I tend to shrug and say, "Oh well, it's your choice to fail then." I'd be a terrible school teacher!  I'd love to find ways to help others get motivated.  






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 6:02pm

Delayed gratification...YES, that is the correlation  Can you put the work in to try to compete in the olympics, get the diploma, "pay your dues", etc.?  LOL on, "do you want that candy bar or your legs/vision?"  Many choose the candy bar.  So sad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 9:20pm
Such a great question! My biggest motivator is wanting to fit in my clothes, buy cute clothes, feel like I look good. And I am not someone who values beauty over brains...I just like to lookinthe mirror and think I look good. I also like routine and to set and achieve goals, so that helps with consistency. My trainer motivates me because I know he could easily fill my slots with someone else but he always fits me in...and if I cancel at the last minute, he can't make a client appear, so he doesn't get paid for that hour...so I show up. And if iam spending the money towork out, I shouldn't diminish by not doing other things like eat well and work out on my own. That said, i eat a lot of crap...not fast food, not soda, not whole pizzas or quarts of ice cream at a sitting, but I love cookies, candy, chips, crackers and ibuy and eat way more than I should. I overheard one of the other trainers at the gym say 'I can't be responsible for what they put in their mouth' and I had that quote on my refrigerator for a long time. I am good at delayed gratification when it comes to financial things,and sometimes with food,but food to me is still a lot about comfort - and once I reach a certain stress level,no amount of motivation convinces me that I don't want chips....food is still my drug of choice.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Thu, 02-20-2014 - 9:56pm

Happy, on behalf of trainers everywhere, I'd like to thank you for respecting your trainer's time.  That is one of THE most frustrating things about being a trainer.  Several years ago, a client cancelled two sessions in a row the day of the session.  At the time, my policy was that if you didn't give me 24 hours notice, you lost the sessions.  The next time I saw her, she asked when we were going to "make up" those sessions.  I explained that per my policy, she had forfeited them.  She came unglued.  Screamed at me, yelled at me, started to cry.  It was surreal.  

And, on a similar note of motivation, my remaning client asked me yesterday if I was going to take any more clients.  The answer is no.  I'm feeling burned out on training and working with people who talk a good game but aren't willing to commit.  Of course, being sick so much has lessened my tolerance for such things as well as I struggle with my own motivation to stay active and eat healthfully (and that is SO MUCH HARDER when I dont' feel well.) I still love fitness and exercise science but I have zero desire to cultivate any more client relationships.  I think I don't have the patience for it anymore.   

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 02-21-2014 - 7:10am

Ditto what GR says about respecting your trainer's time. My clients pay when they don't show up but I've still gotten up at 4am to get into work.  My husband took piano lessons and was always cancelling last minute w/ things he knew about earlier.  He thought it was fine because he was paying already.  No, it's not fine, it's disrespectful.

I'm vain enough to admit that I love seeing muscles that are the result of my work.  And, while I'm embarassed by the attention, I get comments from others about them, too.  I love that I can jump into every activty and know it's a skill problem, not a fitness one, when I can't do it but I also know it puts me up a step being fit to row, etc.  I love that I can skate up the bunny slope better than the 17 year old boys who teach (although it annoys me because I'm skiing down far more kids than they are in that case). That's all long term and I think the problem w/ a healthy lifestyle is that the result isn't immediate. There is no instant gratification and, even worst, there could be pain and soreness when you start out. Who wants that?  But when adults tell me they want to lose weight but won't change anything, there's little I can say.  I wish I were more motivating but to me, it's like saying you want to be cured of cancer but won't do any of the treatments.  






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 02-21-2014 - 7:14am

Yeah. I'm getting tired of ego sitting. I have to remember that the vast majority are awesome clients but it does get tiring to have to be motivating all the time, especially when I teach skiing in my off time.  






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