I really want to go to the CrossFit Games Athlete, but I don’t think my current training habits will allow me to be one anytime soon. It’s because if I were to be honest with myself, my focus is definitely not laser-like on becoming a Games Athlete. I have not train at the volume needed to get their or have the mentality of an athlete of that calibre. So if it laser focus concentration is what makes a normal individual into one of success, then why are you or I not practicing this all day, every day? It is because we are not motivated. Motivation is the direction and intensity of one’s efforts. Focus is the center of interest or activity, where one has clear visual definition of what they are focusing their efforts upon, according to Google. Motivation is the only building block to achieving a laser-like focus and ultimately becoming a successful person, athlete, or complete badass in whatever you choose to be. Now that we have our definition of motivation clearly stated we can move forward in looking at how to control and build it. Straying away from this definition can lead to not only misunderstanding but also an inability to delve deeper in building up your motivation. Q: What do you want to have laser-like focus for?
Step 1 - Your Personality and Situation: Starting with personality, it is one of the easiest aspects to blame when attempting to enhance motivation. This can come in the form of, “I had a business meeting,” “My family won't eat that” or “I hate doing cardio.” These are hard attributes to put on people and it completely dismisses bad motivation or responsibility in assisting people in developing motivation. Ending with situation, we can also say things such as, “I didn’t hit my clean PR because I didn’t use the ‘Olympic lifting bar’” “That coach’s style is throwing me off,” or “My clothes didn’t fit right.” A combination of these excuses will lead into a lack of motivation for you. Focusing on changing one or the other might help a bit, but it is truly looking at how our personality and situation interact for us to start building motivation.
Q: What are your personality excuses? Situational excuses? Which intersect?
Step 2 - Your Multiple Reasons: Motives have a heavy hand in influencing your individual or team performance as well as participation in exercise and following rehabilitation programming. Being aware of all of your motives is important because of this. It has shown in research that the two main motives for children and adults are developing skill and being able to demonstrate competency. Next up is challenge, excitement, and fun. For adults, a health factor is also added in and is in many cases the leading motive which puts a lesser importance on skill and competency. Categorised with health; weight loss, feeling better, and fitness are all important as we go along in life as well. Motives can be completely: unique, cultural, gender-oriented, or competing against another motive, to list just a few.
Q: What are your motives? List them out.
Step 3 - Change Your Environment: It’s great that we know now what your mental war is with but it doesn’t improve anything unless you change outside stimuli. Put yourself in an environment that gives you the choice of recreational and competition participation. This will give you an option that will most fit your comfort level and help you get out there at the same time. Change up your environment so that you meet multiple needs for enhanced motivation. This can be anything from adding a few ‘fun’ exercises in to an intense exercise program to taking a few exercise classes in a group setting versus the typical individual setting. Lastly, this could also take form in informing your coach or workout buddies of any needs unknown to them which will help create your positive workout environment such as needing lots of encouragement to not wanting to be singled out during a class.
Q: What will you change in your environment?
Step 4 - Look up to a Leader: Influence motivation. Influencing your motivation can come in the form of you looking up to someone who inspires you. In the gym, this could come as all of the coaches that take pride in assisting you to your maximal fitness. We work hard to be role models in the gym and out. Outside of the gym this may come as a mentor, boss, or perhaps a friend or family member. Positive influences and role models can be anywhere, if you don’t have one I would encourage you do find one today or over the next week and study what motivates them and how their motivation is displayed.
Q: Who positively influences your motivation?
Step 5 - Take Action: This will come in the form of behaviour modification to change any negative motives. This is the final step to building your motivation and perhaps the most difficult. Be real with yourself about your motivation. There is only so much you can look into on enhancing your motivation before you must look at what (if any) negative motives you have. For example a negative motive could be joining a rugby team just to hit people. Q: What are your negative motives (if any)? What will you do to change your behaviour to obliterate this negative motive?
Do you have a clear direction and intensity for your laser-like focus now?