Want to boost your motivation without having to do anything but change how you refer to your physical activity self?
The more resilient your motivation, the more likely you are able to stick to and grow your activity routine. One ingredient of resilient motivation is autonomy, meaning having a sense of your physical activity identity and the ability to exert control within the activity environment. The more defined your identity, the stronger your connection to physical activity and the more likely you make engagement decisions accordingly for your habit takes on its persona.
Net/net, you become what you identify as which goes a long way toward getting you to the gym or basketball court regularly. For example, consider how autonomy sounds different between these characterizations:
I am a runner I sometimes jog
I lift weights I use the weights
I am a swimmer I swim laps
I am a Crossfitter I go to Crossfit
I am a dancer I do Zumba
I cross train I go to step class
Not semantics. Not ‘Oh you know what I mean.’ No ifs, ands, or buts. Identifying as the noun rather than the verb of each pair inspires your psyche to approach engagement with purpose, intent, and meaning. Runners create purposeful running plans that include interval work, shorter and longer distance days, and pace work. Joggers jog when they can with no predetermined plans for distance, time or pace.*
And here are the kickers:
–You can have more than one identity
–You don’t have to be an elite performer to claim an identity
Identities don’t need to be earned according to criteria or rationed to be doled only to a certain few, rather claimed by anyone willing to make the psychic commitment. So, put your stake in the ground, become your business card, claim your territory, or exercise whatever other self-identifying cliché.
Then, when you are ready, take the ultimate step to make it real – include it in ALL your social media profiles.
*Any activity is always better than no activity – the point here is to offer a strategy that builds your motivation to engage consistently in activity that is more intentional than ‘any.’