If you are motivated, then eating clean and developing a consistent exercise plan is not difficult at all. When we are focused on attaining a specific goal for a purpose we have decided is a priority to us, we will be willing to do anything to reach it. We will stay disciplined, evaluate our progress, and commit to improvement. The hard part is finding that motivation to drive us to stay focused. So many people say that they want a better body, or they want to be more toned/cut/lean. Then, when the advice comes and they realize that it will take commitment and dedication, they decide that it is not worth it. Sure, they want a better body, but they have no real reason to be motivated. Only a small percentage of people can truly be motivated by what they see in the mirror. Most people need something else.
Like I said in The Story of Dynamic Player Development and The Story of Dynamic Fitness, my motivation was found in my desire to be the best basketball player I could be. I gained discipline in eating productively and developed a work ethic towards improving my fitness. While I no longer play basketball, the habits stuck with me because I was, and still currently am, realizing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
So how do we find what motivates us? It can be very difficult. There are extrinsic things that can motivate us, like signing up for a triathlon or gearing up for a vacation to Hawaii and making sure you look good on the beach. These can work initially, but you still need to find a way to make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle once that event passes. My extrinsic goal was to become a better basketball player. Once I stopped playing, I gained intrinsic motivation because of the benefits I felt from living healthy.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein
Intrinsic motivation is self-made. Only each individual can find what motivates them intrinsically. If you are struggling to find motivation intrinsically, yet you desire a change in your fitness and health, you need to change your daily habits (and I’m not just talking nutrition and exercise). I’m talking about changing your routine to open yourself up to inspiration and allow yourself to be motivated. It can be drastic (example, exchanging your 2-hour evening TV session for a reading session), or it can be small (watching an educational show instead of a MTV Made re-run). Most importantly, it needs to be something different than what you’re used to.
Think about what you do, and commit yourself to finding one thing you can change this week. Cook a whole-food breakfast instead of having cereal. Follow someone on Twitter who posts meaningful thoughts (try @alanstein) instead of brainless ignorance (like @whiteboytatted). Read an article on personal development instead of story explaining why Kim K really got divorced. Take this week to start finding inspiration that will spark you to become intrinsically motivated to living a healthy lifestyle.