You can’t develop new healthy habits without first finding motivation. “It’s the force that drives you. It’s the desire for action,” said Jenn Giamo, a personal trainer and the owner of Trainers in Transit. But how do you get motivated—and, most importantly, make that motivation stick around? That’s exactly what she went into in a recent webinar for Ten Spot.
Giamo says motivation is a tricky thing because even when you know the value of certain behaviors—like working out or eating healthy—that’s not motivating enough to actually make those behaviors stick. Instead, you have to take additional steps to achieve your goals.
“The first step is being very clear about what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve it—what is it that’s driving you,” says Giamo. “The next step is imagining what it feels like to have achieved it. And what it allows you to do once you’ve achieved it. That’s how you start to find your motivation.”
After you dig deep into your what, why, and feelings comes the work of making your motivation stick around. That first involves becoming more self-aware. “Self-awareness leads to behavior change. When we’re starting a new habit, we have to be aware of our potential weaknesses and get ahead of them. It’s important to anticipate anything that might stop us or inhibit us,” she says. “This takes a lot of willpower, dedication, and mindfulness. But once you catch yourself, you’ll be successful because you’ll be aware of what those pitfalls are.”
For instance, if you know scrolling through social media before your workout makes you lose motivation, it’s important to be aware of that. Instead of getting onto Instagram, put your phone away and dive right into your workout class. Confidence is also important. “We all have that voice inside our head that tells us we can’t do something or why we shouldn’t,” she says. “Maybe you beat yourself up because you missed a workout or have been eating junk food. Whatever it is, positive self-talk is one of the most important ways to create change. You have to believe in yourself first.”
Lastly, there’s purpose—something Giamo says is the ultimate motivation driver. “It’s the why—why are we pursuing this goal or behavior. If your reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same,” she says. “Write down your top three reasons why you want to implement a certain behavior. Because without meaning, there’s no direction to focus our energy. A meaningful objective also doesn’t have to be something life-changing—it just has to be important to you.”
By taking these steps, you’ll not only be able to get motivated this year, but ensure that motivation sticks around. Before long, you’ll be celebrating some pretty big wins.