- What are your sources of intrinsic motivation for engaging in fitness this semester? How can you tap into these when you are feeling less than motivated?
- What is one of your fitness goals for this semester? Use the SMART goal tactic and explain what steps you will use to adhere to this goal.
- What is your relapse plan? Please elaborate. What will be your mantra for maintaining your program?
- What steps can you take to improve your self-efficacy? Draw from the four ways discussed in the lecture and please be specific.
I am driven by my curiosity and the sole pleasure of learning, trying, and exploring. Therefore, curiosity, challenge, and joy have always been the biggest sources of intrinsic motivation for everything, including engaging in fitness. When I first start working out, it was not about gaining muscle, strength, or changing the way I looked … not even for my health. I was simply and genuinely happy using all those different weightlifting machines because I enjoyed learning the mechanics behind them! Soon after that, I started realizing how challenging myself beyond the limits gave me so much joy, which is why I got more invested and started drawing fitness goals for myself. Now that there are not many machines for me to “play” with, it got a bit hard to push myself and stick with those goals. However, setting attainable small goals has always helped push through and kept the self-challenge going.
One of my fitness goals for this semester is to increase my strength, specifically my upper body strength. I enjoy climbing so much, whether it’s trees, rocks or walls! Therefore, I plan on joining a climbing club when I go home next Fall. However, my humble experiences with climbing have shown me how much I lack upper body strength to the point that I am unable to pull myself up. After so many attempts to failed push-ups, I plan on keeping it as simple as possible by using the SMART strategy. In order to increase my upper body strength, I need to be able to do bodyweight exercises as simple as full push-ups. To do that, I will be starting with 10 wall push-ups every day for a week, and modify them gradually as I gain enough strength until the end of the semester.
The inconsistency of my schedule often makes me prone to relapse. My mantra is “Today is a new day” for always. For me, this means that those delicious Popeyes fried chickens I had yesterday at 3 in the morning or the time I spent lying in bed for a week do not matter today. Because today is a new day, I shall be focusing on what I can accomplish for this day and not what I missed yesterday. When it comes to fitness, and keeping up with my goals, I try to avoid the guilt and punishment approach or the “binge/purge” behavior. Rather than that, I focus on keeping going not making up for what I missed.
Improving self-efficacy gives us the ability to keep up with goals and build confidence in our ability to accomplish even more. Mastery experiences are critical in establishing self-efficacy. Therefore, breaking goals into small, realistic, and attainable tasks as well as keeping track of those small success gives a sense of accomplishment when completed successfully, which ultimately improve self-efficacy. Another important step is paying attention to thoughts and emotions. Our perception is influenced by the emotional status at the time. Therefore, dealing with negative emotions, resolving stressful issues, and overcoming personal struggles, are important in improving self-efficacy. Personally, I think that the hardship of maintaining a positive, healthy emotional status is related to mastery experiences, and therefore it contributes to self-efficacy. In addition, a positive environment greatly improves self-efficacy. Being surrounded by successful motivated does not only persuade us, through modeling, to be successful people, but it also keeps us motivated to reach our own goals.