Involvement to a fitness routine mostly implies certain goals, no matter whether you’re training for your first triathlon or having the wish to lose a few pounds. Mental focusing on this goal undoubtedly helps when you need the motivation to make it to that 6 a.m. workout.
In accordance to a new study, having an even greater sense of purpose—like the “meaning of life” kind—might also help you follow those gym goals.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver wanted to investigate the idea that having a sense of purpose in your life—no matter if that be something like spirituality, success, or chasing some personal passion—correlates to greater physical activity. Previous research has shown a correlation between purpose and self-reported physical activity, but for this study, the researchers decided to go beyond how much effort participants said they put in at the gym.
At the beginning of the study, a group of 100 people filled out questionnaires that measured their overall health as well as their sense of optimism and purpose in life. After that, the participants of the study wore activity trackers for three days. What was the result? Those who felt like their lives had some greater meaning were way more active than those who informed of a more meaningless or apathetic worldview.
Previous research published in the journal Psychological Science has also displayed that an overarching sense of purpose, direction, and long-term goals, in fact, adds years to your life.
You wonder how to foster the greater sense of purpose? Defining long-term goals and doing of the gym exercises outside will be helpful. But according to Jonathan Fader, Ph.D., sports and high-performance psychologist in New York City, how you set those bigger goals is really what’s important; goal setting should all the time focus on the deeper motivation. Instead of saying “I want to go to the gym to lose weight” your goal should get at the greater purpose; more like “I want to go to the gym to lose weight and gain confidence so I can feel good about taking on bigger challenges in other areas of my life” Just take a time and decide honestly why you really want to become better. This will help you to set your goal and motivation more efficient.