Goals and Motivation

Goals And Motivation

What keeps us from working out on a regular basis and adhering to our goal and fitness regimen?

Breathing, eating, or sleeping may be integral parts of our lives, but these are necessities without which our bodies would completely collapse. On the other hand, showering, exercising, or walking often turn out to be optional for many people, depending on their mood, amount of time we have, the weather, etc. What’s the phenomenon behind such recalcitrance towards certain activities? Science apparently has the answer.

Findings and Verdicts from the Most Veritable Research Institutes

Research has discovered how the brain is directly responsible for motivational factors, so if you feel too lazy to go to the gym, the composition of your brain chemicals might be the reason behind it. In a test scenario conducted with mice, scientists at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute discovered that the desire to exercise is directly linked to the dorsal medial “habenula”.

Even more importantly, this region is similar to that found in human beings, indicating the link between mice and men. Researchers from the Centre of Neuroscience, Montreal University, in an article entitled “The Role of Habenula in Motivation and Reward”, provide even more information on how mood regulation and motivation may be linked to each other.

The 3 Killers of Motivation

In terms of a physio-social perspective, there are very specific reasons for our loss of motivation. According to behavioral analysts, there are three motivation “killers”: 1) Unrealistic Expectations, 2) Perfectionism, and 3) Boredom.

  • Let’s start with the first. When we begin to work out, we may have a set number of goals for ourselves. However, most of us expect gym equipment to be easy to handle, and to work wonders in just a week. While the loss of weight and improvement of muscular structure may start happening quite rapidly, there’s almost always a “weight plateau” that typically occurs around the 1-2 month mark. This “False Hope Syndrome” generally leads to delusions and finally disenchantment.
  • With that, we come to reason 2, perfectionism. It might help you stick to your goals for a bit, following regimens to a tee, but this causes too much stress. Ultimately, it becomes no longer sustainable. It’s always healthier, therefore, to put yourself in a social context without expecting your body to have the same needs as your next door neighbor’s.
  • That brings us to reason 3, boredom. Both the weight plateau and unsustainable routines that do account for all-too-human contingencies can be detrimental to maintaining a fitness regimen. It not only burns us out, it also creates boredom. As human beings, we get bored quite easily, as does our body: which is why constantly reinventing and switching exercise regimens is a poignant way of dealing with all these problems.

Just follow these three tactics: positive reinforcement, self-control, and social context, and you should be well on your way to maintaining a regular exercise regimen.


Written by Benjamin Roussey for bodono.

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006) where he attributes his writing prowess. He has worked everywhere from small businesses to large corporations, and also for public agencies. He has lived in Korea and Saudi Arabia where he was an ESL instructor. He misses Saudi food and living in Korea. Benjamin has a tremendous work ethic and is quite focused. Now he writes professionally for several clients that covers one sector of our economy to another. Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online: www.infinista.com.