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How to Stay Motivated so You Can Crush Your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

"People need BHAG's- big hairy audacious goals." - James C. Collins

Point To Ponder: How will you stay motivated throughout our "I Love the way I look and feel 30 class challenge" or as you pursue the goals you have set for the new year. In other words, what is your wining strategy?

"Big goals work best when we’re passionate about the subject of the goal and it’s end results." These are the words from a book I’m reading titled The Art of Impossible by Steven Kolter. Since launching our "Love the Way I Look and Feel 6-Week/30 class challenge" I’ve been told by many of you that this is a hard challenge. I haven’t heard the actual word “impossible", but I would say it could fit in the semi big, hairy and audacious goal category (per our quote). In fact, it’s the most challenging challenge we’ve ever offered, and yet, 22 of you accepted it, which is awesome! What I believe makes this challenge a bit bigger and harrier than those of the past is it will most likely require us to step outside of our exercise schedule flow and/or comfort zone, and add the fourth or fifth weekly class, which can (at times) feel impossible, especially if we get behind a class or two. However, as I am reading The Art of Impossible, I want to share some exerts that I believe will help you better understand how to maintain our motivation and therefore, achieve our 30-class challenge or any other big, hairy, audacious goal you have set for yourself. The exerts are:

  1. In order to stay motivated and achieve the impossible, it consistently requires three things: curiosity, passion and purpose.

  2. Intrinsic (psychological) drivers (eg: feeling good, experiencing confidence and excitement) are the long-term and most powerful drivers of our motivation.

  3. When the brain is trying to create drive and motivation it sends out a neurochemical message via one of seven specific networks:

    1. fear

    2. anger/rage

    3. grief

    4. lust

    5. care/nurture

    6. **play/social engagements**

    7. **seeking/desire**

  4. The wrong motivation can easily produce the wrong behaviors (eg: the wrong motivation would be punishing your body with exercise b/c of something you ate rather than exercising because it’s what make you feel great; I get to rather than I have to)

  5. When pursuing challenging goals or "the impossible", 7-8 hours of sleep each night is critical. Without proper sleep we experience a smorgasbord of all around performance deficits. Motivation, memory, learning, focus, reaction time, and emotional control suffers

  6. Exercise goals aside, to stay motivated to pursue your challenging goal, exercise is a non-negotiable for peak performance. Chasing any big harry and audacious goal can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. If you can’t regularly calmer nervous system, you’ll crack of burn out. Exercise doesn’t just reduce the level of stress hormones in our system, it replaces them with mood boosters like endorphins and anandamide. The calm optimism that results in critical for long-term peak performance.

  7. There’s powerful relationship between hand motion and memory, which means, for learning, pen and paper triumph over laptop and key board every time. Therefore, when it comes to any goal/challenge, with pen and paper, write everything down.

Interestingly but not surprising, of the 7 specific networks our brain sends neurochemical messages through (listed above), play/social engagements release the most dopamine and oxycontin: two of the most crucial reward chemicals. These are the pleasure drugs that make us feel good. Coming in at a close second is the seeking/desire system. Per neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp, “In pure form, 'the seeking system' promotes intense and enthusiastic exploration and anticipatory excitement and learning. When fully aroused, 'the seeking system' fills the mind with interest and motivates organisms to effortlessly search for things they need."

Here'e the discerning point: when pursuing a difficult goal, we must relax, keep it fun and stay curious throughout the process. (Side note: fun in one of iGnite’s core values, as is growth and family (social engagements)". It's during play/social engagement, a.k.a "fun" that we experience the physiological surges from dopamine and oxycotin. This promotes more fun and more curiosity (just think about your kids and grandchildren). Per our 30 Class challenge, rather than your default response be “this is hard!”, I recommend a mindset shift to one of fun and curiosity. For the sake of getting your curiosity wheels turning and for your consideration, below are a some curiosity questions:

  • Will my body feel better by the variety?

  • Will I experience noticeable strength changes by adding more strength classes?

  • Will my body feel less tight by adding more yoga classes?

  • Will I sleep better because I am exercising more?

  • Will I experience mental clarity and sense of calm?

  • Will I feel less stress throughout the day?

  • Will regular exercise help me be more productive.

  • Due to attending more classes, will I feel more connected to the iGnite community?

  • Will taking more classes positively impact my energy level?

  • Will taking more classes positively affect my mood?

  • If I really push myself in the cardio classes, by week 6 will I see improvements to my cardiovascular capacity?

  • Is there a real correlation between my food choices on the days I exercise?

  • Will my flexibility increase?

  • Will there be noticeable difference in my core strength?

  • For optimal performance, I will stay hydrated. Will better hydration make me feel physically and mentally better: better mental clarity, less brain fog, improved elimination, etc?

  • Can I push myself harder in the cardio and strength classes?

  • Can I relax and be less fidgety while taking a yoga class?

  • At the end of the challenge, will I feel better in my clothes?

  • As a result of consistent exercise, will I experience more patience, confidence and self-esteem?

Finally, as you remain curious, define your passion and purpose with your potential goal. For the sake of our challenge, define your passion and purpose for accomplishing my goal (your why). Some thoughts are:

  • I am competitive and love to win

  • I love prizes

  • I love the feeling of accomplishment

  • I love the way a good challenge makes me look and feel

  • I love reminding myself that I can do hard things

  • I want to keep up with my children/grandchildren

  • I want to gain strength, flexibility and stamina for upcoming trips

  • I want to stay fit and healthy so I can enjoy all that life has to offer

I for one love a good experiment and I am looking forward to staying motivated, having fun and remaining curious with you. Neissa

Action Item:

1. Relax, keep it fun and get curious about your goal. Write down your goal and the things you are curious about discovering.

2. As it relates to your goal, write down your passion and your purpose: your why.

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