An interesting conversation was overheard recently. A highly motivated woman, in training for a major competition, was talking about how her motivation had slipped. If it can happen to someone with such a strong and defined goal, then it can obviously happen to rest of us.
The woman decided to enter her competition over a year before it was scheduled. For the past 11 months, she has been training with her goal in mind: skill work, strength work, careful diet, and consistency. She has worked through various injuries and set-backs, but she has kept on going. Until the last month.
So what was the difference?
Motivation is transient. This is especially true for long-term goals.
We are not talking about a full-time athlete here. She works, has children, runs her household, has a social life, and fits her training in around other responsibilities. Just as most women do. Her skills coach is always there for her, but the rest of her training is self-directed. Without someone to be accountable to, she has lost her way.
Think about any time you’re tried to lose weight. You start out full of motivation and commitment, determined that “this time it will be different.” If you believe the internet meme “I started a new diet and all I lost was the last three hours”, you’ll understand that motivation can last a very short time for some. Unless you have specific support and accountability it is very hard to maintain the initial levels of motivation.
What sort of support is needed?
The answer depends on the sort of person you are and your present state of mind, and it can take on a variety of forms. Most of us need a bit of each type.
- A cheer-leader is always encouraging, building you up and walking the path alongside you. She’ll be the one telling you “You can do it” and “You’re doing so well”.
- A mentor has been there before you. She understands the emotional as well as physical aspects of losing weight because she has done it herself. She acts as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on.
- A whip-cracker will hold you accountable, questioning your choices and behaviours, in order to elicit change.
- An educator has all the information you’ll need, and is able to deliver it as it’s needed. Perhaps they really are a mind-reader as well?
- A coach can be all of the above, and is also skilled at helping you to do what needs to be done. She is the person who can get you to do what you don’t necessarily want to do, in order to help you get the results you want.
The effectiveness of the Healthy Inspirations programs lie with our Health Coaches. They’re a mix of the five forms of support listed above, and are experts at helping you maintain motivation and in picking you up when you fall.
Perhaps our friend preparing for her competition simply needs to come along to Healthy Inspirations for her regular dose of fun, motivation and the occasional butt-kicking.