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Motivation, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “a force or influence that causes someone to do something”

It’s one of the great mysteries of human nature, whether we are aware of it or not, there is a constant all-out war going on within us between our will and our body. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” is a popular saying that illustrates this fact: no matter how motivated we are to make a positive change in our lives, we still need our bodies to be on board to carry out the act.

There are so many factors that can interfere with a person's ability to stay on track; whether it’s lack of sleep, too many other things to do, improper eating habits, and the list goes on. But while the decision to make regular exercise a continual part of your daily lifestyle ultimately depends on you, there are a number of resources and habits that you can utilize to help you stay consistent in the gym.

Keep your goals to yourself (or at least, tell very few people about it). Psychologists who study human motivation have discovered that when you tell someone that you are about to do something great or meaningful before you actually do it, the positive feedback that you receive from your friends triggers the reward center in your brain in the same way that actually accomplishing the task does. ( 

Make a plan (or have someone help you make one). Writing down a list of tasks to be accomplished is much more helpful at getting things done than just trying to remember what you need to do. For example, having an established list of exercises to accomplish for the day will do a better job of keeping you on task better than just “making things up as you go until you feel like you’ve done enough.” 

Create small rewards for when you reach different milestones: get a massage after 4 months of not missing a workout; let yourself have a cheat day at the end of a week of strict eating; get yourself a stylish pair of slacks once you get down to a new waist size; etc. The idea is that you give yourself something small that you want ONLY after doing what you have set out to do in the gym to earn it. 

The human mind-body connection is an incredibly powerful phenomenon. Without it, the history of human achievement would have never occurred. However, it does require mastery in order to be utilized effectively. The good news is that there is hope! Taking big goals piece by piece, working modestly, and surrounding yourself with people who you trust to help you are just a few ideas that can produce massive results. 

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