If you are human, you’ve struggled with motivation. Sometimes it’s really hard to get yourself moving, to stop procrastinating and to get started on your daily tasks. Exercise can help change all that. Regular exercise changes it even more thoroughly than occasional exercise, so be sure to make life changes that create dependable exercise in your life as a matter of habit.
Exercise also improves self-efficacy, your ability to believe you can do hard things. This is essentially motivation. People who are exercising feel more self-efficacy than people who do not exercise and that fact is another illustration that you must start doing a behavior before you feel like doing it. You might be one who could react to this information with a sense of frustration, discouragement or even outrage: “It’s not fair that you have to do it before you feel like it!” Let me assure you that you will feel like exercising once you start doing it regularly. It will get easier. But in the beginning, there is no substitute for the hard work of starting. Part of your increase in self-efficacy once you exercise regularly is that you’ll have just experienced multiple instances of getting yourself to do something hard, something you didn’t want to do. This action increases self-efficacy.
When, as a result of regular exercise, you have changed your life so that your attention is better, your creativity is increased, your mood is good and you have generated a sense of self-efficacy and power, then you will find yourself more motivated than you ever thought you could be! You feel better about yourself. You will be much more likely to follow through on what you need to do to accomplish your other goals. These effects can start showing up the first day!
Find something you like, something you can see yourself doing regularly for years. Figure out a way to create the space in your life for exercise, and then treat the time it takes like a really important meeting. Don’t let yourself let it go for anything.