How To Find Motivation That Lasts: What You’re Doing Wrong!

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You’ll hear stories about someone having a medical scare. Maybe it’s a heart attack, something serious, and that motivates them to change their lifestyle.

They start eating differently, they start exercising, and they change their lives completely for the better.

Why We Struggle To Stay Motivated

A much more realistic story, and one that I’ve heard from clients over and over again is they have that motivation. They really wanna be, let’s say, a good role model to their kids. That’s really important at that time when they come to work with me.

Then maybe two months down the line, yes, that’s still important to them, but they’re struggling at work and now it’s harder for them to eat well and they don’t squeeze in their workouts, and while they still obviously want to be a role model for their kids, they’re also struggling with other things, so their motivation is gonna decrease. Even though it seems like a very strong reason that motivation doesn’t always stand up to the pressures of life.

I wanna tell you what helped me maintain motivation over time, and this is something that’s worked for my clients. It is something that’s been shown through research to be effective.

How I Learned To Started To Learn To Play The Piano

Now, I’ve wanted to play piano for a long, long time. I had just a pretty basic keyboard given to me by my fiance at the time (now my husband!).

It was a Christmas present about 10 years ago.

I had this keyboard and I wanted to play. And I messed around a few times, but pretty much it was just sitting there for years and years.

Then one year I just decided that I was going to start playing. And I found an app for playing the piano that sounded like fun. It had a bunch of fun tunes that I enjoyed.

NOT A New Year’s Resolution

I intentionally did this in December so that I could avoid that whole, it’s a New Year’s resolution, and then after that, I’m gonna forget it.

Most people give up their resolutions by the time it’s March.

Setting Small Goals To Maintain Motivation

Part of what I did there was that I didn’t force myself to play every day. I know sometimes people think that doing something every day is good, and we’ve got this whole gameification of everything. But I didn’t wanna do this with piano because I thought it was gonna be hard to maintain that. So I wanted to have lower expectations. I didn’t really set any goals apart from playing 10 to 15 minutes most days.

And that’s exactly what I ended up doing. I continued for about three years at that sort of pace, just a little bit here and there. I was enjoying it. And then my son, who’s now eight, started piano lessons again. After he’d had about three months of lessons, I saw that he was progressing really nicely and there were lots of things that he knew already that I didn’t learn after three years.

The Inspiration Behind The Motivation

I thought, “Hmm, okay, this is interesting. “So we can make this really easy, and I can also do piano lessons. So the piano teacher would come in, teach my son, and then teach me afterwards.

I’ve been doing this for three months now, and it’s made a huge difference for my motivation to learn the piano and to get better at it.

Setting Specific Goals To Enhance Motivation

Part of that is because I have very specific goals that my teacher gives me each week. So I’m working on particular short songs. They’re very basic right now. Really, really basic. She’s also taught me things that I didn’t understand through just playing. A lot of the theory that kind of makes the whole thing a little bit clearer in my head.

The Benefit Of Accountability For Maintaining Motivation

What’s also really useful in terms of motivation is that knowing that I’ve got a teacher coming to listen to me play and check what I’m doing once a week, I’m much more likely to focus on my practice.

I really want this to be good when she hears it. So it’s increased my desire to practice. Not that I have to please her, but I just wanna show that I’m putting in the effort. I’m paying money for these lessons too, so I want it to be effective.

A lot of times if I didn’t have her coming every week, I might just, uh, okay, just only do a little bit and then I wouldn’t progress.

Every week it’s a little bit different. Sometimes I have more time, more energy for it, and other times I don’t. But consistency is really the difference that for me.

How I’ve Helped My Weight Loss Clients To Stay Motivated

When it comes to weight loss clients has always been what gets the result. It’s not the people that come in with a huge amount of motivation.

“Oh yeah, I’m so ready to do whatever you tell me. I’m gonna eat chicken breasts and broccoli all day long. And I’m gonna work out every day.”

Those people don’t actually get the results. Sometimes they burn out after only two or three weeks, and then they’re all of a sudden back to their usual patterns.

Defining Motivation

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours.

There’s a process behind the motivation, and I really like that because motivation is something that comes in goals.

Not many people are those 24/7, 100% on all the time. Super motivated no matter what happens.

What Keeps ME Going

I definitely don’t have constant motivation. So what actually keeps me going?

Part of it is just having those systems in place. While you might have the habit right now of coming home exhausted from work, spending some time with the kids, maybe sitting in front of the TV. You can change that

Initially. You have to have something that kind of gets you up and makes you say, “Okay, I’m gonna change my habit.”

Just clicking on this YouTube video, for instance. You’ve already shown some motivation.

Right now your motivation could be extremely high and you wanna get really pumped up, or you could be just a little bit curious. What is it gonna take for me to finally achieve the things that I want to achieve?

Setting Achievable Goals

If people go from being very sedentary and eating a lot of processed foods and not having vegetables. You don’t need to commit to being this fitness person who carries their food in Tupperware and who gets up every morning at five o’clock to do their workout.

Let’s think about your goals right now.

Let’s say that you wanna lose weight.

What is motivating you to lose weight? Do you wanna have more energy to play with your kids? Do you wanna look better on Instagram? Are you trying to deal with high blood pressure or pre-diabetes?

And your doctors already said that, “Hey, maybe you should do something.”

Those are different types of motivations, and one is not better than the other, but having that consistency and having someone working with you can often be effective.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 9-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training, chocolate, mountain biking, and ice cream...not always in that order of preference.
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