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Why You Can't Rely on Motivation Alone



Motivation is a great thing to have. The problem is that it comes and goes, therefore it shouldn't be something you rely on to bring you the results you deserve and desire. In this blog we will delve into what motivation is, how best to use it and behaviours to recognise.

What is motivation?

In simple terms, motivation is the reason or reasons someone has for acting or behaving in a particular way. I am sure you already knew this but it is something that everyone experiences in life, especially in the health and fitness sector.

Everyday people and athletes alike take inspiration from people, events, online videos etc. which in turn motivate them to train like that, look like that and perform like that. Others find inspiration/motivation from quotes, movies or music.

Whichever way you look at it, motivation enters your life and the momentum for this can quickly fade. There are 2 types of motivation. Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is reward based and you do this because you get something out of it. Think getting paid for working or carrying out a service. Intrinsic motivation comes from within and it is a motivation that lies within you. People that are intrinsically motivated likely get the best results as it's something they actually want to do.

Now you might think that having a personal trainer will motivate you.. but in reality, our trainers are trying to help you find motivation from within by helping you enjoy the training and overall exercise programmes.

Motivation is different for everyone.

What motivates me may not motivate you. That is because we are all driven in different ways, by different things and likely want a different outcome. That is normal and expected. When you think of this in a fitness setting, anyone can perform an exercise session when motivated but it's when you're not that sets you apart.

Al good way of looking at motivation would be to look at a bodybuilding competitor as an example. Although our trainers don't necessarily agree with the extremes of bodybuilding it's clear to say that they train with the purpose of looking a certain way, stepping on stage with a great physique to take a 1st place win and do it all over again.

The process of this though is absolutely gruelling- competitors will be low on calories for months at a time, exerting lots of effort and energy, whilst being low on energy. Guess what else is low, motivation! It is hard to keep it up. But that goal at the end is, in their eyes, worth the suffering because at the heart of it, it isn't motivation that keeps them going, it is having a reason why they're going through the intense training and exercise routines coupled with a horrifically restrictive diet plan, a true purpose to why they are doing what they are doing.

Finding your ‘WHY’

One of the things our personal trainers always ask our clients initially is to understand their ‘why’ and the true reason behind why they are doing what they are doing, the results they want to achieve and progress they want to continue to make inside and out of the gym.

This should be personal to you and you only. Everyone's reason for training, aesthetic or performance goals will be different to each everyone elses because we all have our own goals and reasoning for it. You have to ask yourself why, and truly what it is you want and what it would mean to you to reach your goals.

One of the main reasons for this is because when motivation is low to train, eat well and get your steps in, you can look back at your why and your reason to keep you going. Things will get tough and you will lose motivation at various stages of your journey and you should understand that this is completely normal and expected.

Anyone you ask that has stuck to a plan for an extended period of time, will do what needs to be done when they feel like doing it and when they don't feel like doing it. Creating new habits, understanding certain behaviours and seeing the changes in performance as well as body and mind is what keeps them going.

Think about exercise and training as a lifestyle rather than being motivated to get up and train or not and you'll soon start to incorporate it as a new and healthy habit that you want to do without even thinking about it.

The next time you think you're too busy, can't be bothered, feel tired or find it boring, just get up and get moving in any way you feel comfortable with. It doesn't have to be a dramatic and intense workout but by starting to create routines with small steps consistently, your future self will thank you for it and you will feel great along the way.


Whatever your goal may be, find purpose in it and constantly refer back to your why to keep you on track. The reason you're putting the work in at the gym might be so you are able to play with the kids longer, walk up the stairs without losing breath, or just to feel better about yourself.. whatever it is, the reason is personal to you.

Once discipline and routine has been instilled in your daily behaviours and habits, you no longer have to rely on motivation because it has become part of your identity. As soon as you realise this, your effort will increase naturally and you'll likely see other areas of your life improve as well.

Find your why, put the work in, do everything with purpose and enjoy the continued rewards of your efforts.

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