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Self Motivation - The Difference Between Wanna-Be and Gonna-Be

Stew Smith, CSCS

Most people who email me are pretty motivated but need guidance on how to get to a new level of fitness and health. From the unfit seeking to getting healthy and lose weight to the athlete seeking to change from a sport workout routine to a military workout routine to better prepare for the different challenges that the military provides, I am honored to help.

However, every now and then I receive emails from those who say they want to serve but have been unmotivated for a year or more to physically prepare for a profession in the military or law enforcement. This is a problem. With the current economic recession and job losses, recruiter’s offices are full of young and older recruits looking for a job.

Here is an email from a young man seeking to join either the military or police force:

Hello – I am a recent college graduate and used to be an athlete in high school, but have not worked out in more than two years with any consistency. I know I need to lose weight for my health but I also want to get a job in the military or police. I am not sure which one and I just cannot get motivated to go and workout. Any suggestions?

The good news is that you are young enough to get in shape relatively quickly. Four to six months of daily fitness at your age will help your ability to survive whatever training you are seeking. However, ask yourself: is this an attempt at “job hunting” or are you really motivated to serve your country in the military or police force? These are honorable professions that require personal drive and motivation to succeed, not just a place to pick up a check every two weeks.

One day while performing your duties, your fitness may mean the difference between life and death for you or your buddy. If that does not motivate you to workout then I am not going to be able to do it by holding your hand and telling you that you can do it if you try. You have to ask yourself, do you really want to serve your country enough that you are willing to suck up the pain of preparation in order to achieve the goal of proudly wearing that uniform?

Another thing you will develop when you start to train hard is the confidence in yourself. You will sharpen your mental toughness by pushing your fitness levels each week.

One thing I have learned by being in the military/law enforcement fitness and fitness writing business for the past ten years is that you can set the example for people to follow, but you cannot make them follow. I do not motivate people to workout – YOU have to do that. When you are motivated, let me know and I can help you get the the level of fitness you need.

When you are truly motivated to serve, you will do whatever is in your power to prepare yourself. You have to understand that we are at war with people who want to shoot you for your ideals and beliefs. Whether it is your belief of freedom for all or justice to those who break the law, you will one day embody that belief in the uniform you choose to wear. It is not just a job – it is a noble profession that you will always treasure having served in and you will never forget those who served and the new generation that still serves after you.

Now get to work!

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