What comes to mind when you think of motivation?  Is it a halftime speech in the locker room? Maybe it’s the thrill of starting your new dream job or the opportunity to train or coach at a professional level?  Or perhaps it’s the adventure that awaits behind the prospect of travelling the world?

All of these can be major drivers for inspiration, yet realistically these are only partial forms of motivation.  All the possibilities listed above are geared more towards positive “gains”, while still there lies a constant pull of two other driving forces concerning motivation: (1) pain or fear and (2) energy conservation or complacency.  The primary challenge as humans is that we likely battle all three forces at any given time.  The human brain generates nearly 70-90 thousand thoughts a day, with only 5% of those being new ones.  That’s a lot of thoughts that are geared towards and based on experience, trials, errors, doubts, fears, and an endless possibility of reasons why not to change our behaviors.  The pressure and biological drive of the body to conserve energy, have a consistent pattern of familiarity, and in many cases stay stuck, is a big reason why the pains and gains must be huge in order to change behavior and create new patterns of thinking. The principle of controlling our mindsets in order to get and stay motivated is not just a theoretical one.  There are multiple ways to work one’s mental muscles and reshape. Many of these are covered in depth in our Mindset Performance Credential Levels 1 and 2. Still, listed below are 3 simple ways to flex your “Mindset Muscles” and master your motivation.

3 Keys to Better Mindset and Motivation:

Focus: In a world full of distractions fueled by technology, bells, whistles, beeps, buzzing, and shiny objects (aka Instagram models), it’s never been easier to live a life full of distraction.  Distraction is the enemy of fulfillment: fulfillment in getting what you really want and staying truly motivated. Distraction is inevitable, but it can be minimized by controlling your focus.  This starts at the beginning of the day.  Determining what 1-2 things must be done that day and recognizing that these things will move you closer to what you want in life is a great start.  Writing these priorities down somewhere visible and easily accessible can be very beneficial if you work in an environment where there are constant interruptions.  Try and silence phones, put emails on hold, and block out smaller, less important tasks until you have made serious progress towards these 1-2 “musts do’s” each day.  Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s The 1 Thing can be a great resource here.

  Focus and effort alone can assist greatly in keeping your thoughts clear, yet if you don’t know why you are working hard to stay focused, this might be short-lived.

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”
-  Viktor Frankl

Knowing your purpose and keeping this clear and visible is a powerful way to build mental stamina.  Using tools such as the PTA Global Decisional Balance Sheet can be a great way to extract specific reasons to get “unstuck” and uncover huge pains and gains as reasons to get motivated and stay there.

This can be a powerful vehicle for you and your clients when setting goals or simply getting back on track. You can access this in your PTA Global Downloadable Tools when logging into your account.  Our PTA Global Behavior Change in Exercise course covers this in deeper detail.   Purpose can be faith-based, family-based, or mastery and legacy-based. Ultimately, the purpose for most is based simply on what we value.  Try connecting goals and dreams to the impact they will have on others, especially those that matter the most to you.  A great visual might be this:  When you are on your death bed, who are the people who you think would certainly be there at your bedside?  How much time are you spending each week with these individuals and showing them how much you appreciate them right now?  This can be a powerful mental exercise to create urgency in how you prioritize your time and the people you spend it with.  These same people are the ones, many times, that will be there for you as you work to accomplish your dreams.  Although it can come in many forms, urgency is a must in reshaping your thoughts and providing you the motivation you need to succeed.

Practices:  What are your common or daily practices?  What do you spend most of your time doing? What do you find yourself constantly repeating?  These things are your practices.  Practices can also be framed as habits.  Because of the theory of Hebbian Learning, we are constantly forming new connections and associations in the brain. These can push us towards motivation or just as easily pull us away.

The key here is combining our Focus with our Purpose to give us both the intent and the discipline required to accomplish the level of needed repetition that will transform our thoughts into the habits we want.  The Gordan 1000 Times Rule states that this repeated strengthening of neural networks takes approximately 1000 times of practice to form a consistent habit.  In MPC Level 2, you will discover triggers you can use to rewire these thoughts, habits, and behaviors, supplying the mindset needed to get and stay motivated and help your clients do the same.

Here’s to your success in Personal Training and to getting there faster!

PTA Global

To find out more on how to change your mindset click here!