Self- Motivation: the key to sustaining effort

You've decided to start a new exercise program to get in shape, or maybe you're finally ready to commit to the study of martial arts you've always wanted to do. Perhaps learning a musical instrument or a second language has been on your mind for the past several years. Great! You have to start with day one, so if you have, congratulations!

In my last post, I talked about three ingredient's to success: Effort, Time, Enthusiasm. These three things must be present or not much will be accomplished. Many people start something, but can't seem to sustain it after the initial excitement has worn off. Why is that? The answer I believe is, they haven't learned to self-motivate.

Self-motivation is the key to sustaining effort over a long period of time. It's a skill that must be learned; we don't seem to come by it naturally. A technique I have found very useful is to allow yourself to have the realization that you are never sorry you talked yourself into working out, practicing your instrument or language coarse or whatever it may be. You never say: What was I thinking by talking myself into this? What a waste of time! -- It's impossible to not feel good about yourself when you have motivated yourself to get the job done. Self-motivation works every time. After a workout or practice session, by reflecting on how glad you are that you motivated yourself, you come to believe it will work and it gets easier to do. You feel good about yourself and you will make it a priority to continue. Self-motivation eventually leads to self-discipline. Once you have that, the rest is easy!   


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