3 min read ⌚
How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness
The “No Sweat” way of motivating yourself to drop those unwanted pounds and finally improve your health.
About Michelle Segar
Michelle Segar is a motivational scientist and leads the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy
(SHARP) Center at the University of Michigan.
“No Sweat Summary”
In all areas of self-improvement, people face the hard task of maintaining their motivation over an extended period.
The same goes for the wellness area and losing weight.
Sure, people get motivated the first week or so, but their levels of dedication decrease as time goes by.
Why is that?
Because they perceive their regimen as a task, which they find too hard to achieve.
So, instead of motivating people, or yourself to lose weight and pursue better health, adopt another approach: fun.
People who are having fun while doing an activity will not want to stop doing it. So if you find a way to make dieting fun, the results the process yields will be much better.
To make you understand this more in-depth, we will explain the cycle of motivation to you.
A successful cycle of motivation is connected to choosing an activity for the “Right Whys.”
Now, we all know that people love instant gratification, so you can understand that “losing weight to improve the future health” will not act as a significant motivator because people do not get immediate results.
On the other hand, having fun provides “immediate positive feedback.”
So, people who find a way to make an activity enjoyable, maintain their motivation longer.
Sure, you know a bunch of people who go to the gym, and you know that that is the best way to get into shape. But, studies show that formal physical exercise programs end up in people quitting within six months.
However, the gym is not everything that you can do.
Any type of movement provides amazing benefits to your health. Just try to move as much as possible: take the stairs, take a long way home, clean more frequently, or whatever else you like.
Stop reading about the best way to burn those calories and lose the fat: be it weight training or cardio.
Instead, find an activity that you enjoy and stick to it.
That way, you are far less likely to quit halfway.
Read our lessons bellow where we will discuss the four MAPS program motivators, which is an acronym for “meaning, awareness, permission, and strategy.”
Key Lessons from “No Sweat”
1. Find a Meaning
4. Design a Strategy
Find a Meaning
Motivation is based on meaning. The meaning you find in an activity depends on your “why” when you decided to select it.
If you comprehend the “why” your motivation will last longer.
Self-awareness is needed for you to make changes in your lifestyle.
In other words, being informed and self-aware will help you make better choices about what activities are both fun for you, and great for your health.
Stop sacrificing your valuable time for people that surround you, and allow yourself to make yourself a priority.
You will be a much better “anything” if you are healthy and happy.
Design a Strategy
- “Plan the weekly logistics”
- “Confront challenges, not roadblocks”
- “Brings friends and family on board”
- “Be flexible and improvise”
- “Listen to your body’s message”
- “Evaluate and recalibrate with compassionate nonjudgment”
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