In wondering how to motivate my clients, I asked myself: "what motivates me?", and it's an interesting question. What does, intrinsically motivate me, what basic assumptions am I working under, that make me go through the rigmarole of the training life, the difficulties of lifting weights, doing intervals and dieting?
For me, it comes down to 2 ideas; (a) the first 25 years of my life, especially my teen and early 20's, were spent eating junk food, drinking and generally punishing my body, and mind. I used to eat, 6 meat pies over a day, and the only liquid I would drink, by the gallon, was soft drink. When I diverted from this, it was to eat McDonald's, KFC, and still when I diverted from this, I drank booze! I never exercised, I stayed up all night, I did nothing positive to and for my body. This has put a fear in me about my latter days, am I going to get bowel/esophageal/stomach etc cancer at age 40 because of the crap I've done to myself?
Maybe. It's on the cards.
(b) I also, from about age 12, went absolutely spastic for comics, I own a modest collection of about 10,000 (don't ask how much money I spent on them!). What does this have to do with motivation? I grew up, as a skinny little dweeb (no wonder why when you look at the above eh?) who emulated muscle, the power, confidence and general appeal I took from that made me want to get involved with weight training, but I didn't know how. Fortunately I worked with a big guy, who took me under his wing, let me train with him, and immediately, my inner geek, fan boy was addicted.
Trying to look like an action hero? That was for me.
These 2 driving principles, the desire to avoid an early death, and the desire to emulate the action heroes I grew up with, are what, at my core, motivate me. Don't get me wrong, I want to be healthy for health's sake, I enjoy learning about training etc, this has become my life, but the reason I get up at 5am to come to work, to train you guys, and to train myself, and to get better at it, starts from those two basic, intrinsic desires, that I'm barely conscious of anymore.
If you're wondering how to motivate yourself- ask yourself- what motivates you? At your core, what basic assumptions keep you where you are, from your goals, and from the body you want.
If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear your thoughts!