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The Ultimate Feeling of Anticipation: Meeting the Ideal You

Life is dynamic. Not every day feels the same or goes the same way. There may be times when you start your day full of energy and optimism and others when you start off tired or uninspired. Hopefully, those days are few and far between, but they do happen. Even something as simple as the weather can affect your mood and how you decide to spend your time. So, if your motivation to work out waxes and wanes over time, it’s nothing unusual.

Staying committed is ultimately the key, but it’s always easier to get up and go to train when there’s a strong source of motivation, and we can broadly define three types: fear, anticipation, and hunger. Motivation doesn't have to be positive, and anxiety about future consequences can be a great motivator. A nagging fear about your health, for example, could be the thing that keeps you exercising regularly. In fact, some people would never exercise if not for being terrified of the consequences of not doing so.

On the other hand, you could have a compelling, seemingly unquenchable desire to overcome or achieve something, which is the essence of hunger. I would argue that it’s the most powerful type of motivation among the three. It’s literally the same feeling as being deprived of food and being unable to think about anything other than finding a meal.

So the happy medium between fear and hunger is anticipation. If you’ve ever been young and excited about your first date with someone you were head over heels for, you know what anticipation feels like. Perhaps you don’t quite feel so giddy about your fitness all the time, but in the same vein, it’s the feeling that there’s no better time than now to get up and go work out; the belief that you're going to have a great experience and a favorable outcome. Anticipation is powerful because it puts pep in your step and makes it easy to act.

Try to build a healthy sense of anticipation about working out as often as you can. Identify some positive outcomes you want for your body and mind, and then visualize them in detail. Understand that visualization is the log that feeds the fire that is anticipation. Do you remember that big date you were excited about when you were younger, when you would imagine the person, the places you would go with them, and the things you would say to them? Visualize being in your best shape in the same way. Anticipate meeting the ideal you, who looks great and feels strong, and discovering what you’re capable of with intent and discipline.

Sayonara until next time.

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