How to Stay Motivated and Get Lean at Last
Let me ask you a question: Why do you want your goal physique?
Why work that hard? Why track your macros? Why would you eat salad when you can eat pizza?
If you can’t answer these questions, of course it’s hard to stay motivated.
Motivation is personal. Two people can achieve the same goal, but their motivation is always unique.
For example, when Andrew Carnegie died, the man that built the steel industry in America, they found a note in his desk. On that note, he had written the goal for his life and he did it when he was in his 20s. It said: I’m going to spend the first half of my life accumulating money and I’m going to spend the second half of my life, giving it all away.
Would that motivate you to become the richest man in the world, to accumulate about 450 million dollars, about 350 billion in today’s money, and then give it all away?
Probably not. Why? Because it was Carnegie’s reason. For you it may not make any sense. Motivation is personal and the reason you want to achieve your goal often has meaning only to you.
Meaning vs Rewards for Motivation
Now, you probably want to lose fat to get a ripped physique. You want that because you’ll look better, feel better, be healthier, more confident, more attractive, all those rewards. You’d think that should be motivating enough on it’s own. Aren’t those reasons enough to get you motivated?
No, rewards are not enough.
In the last few years, behavioral science showed that meaning is a more powerful motivator than rewards.
For example, in the mid 1990s Microsoft started an online encyclopedia called Encarta. They paid professionals to write and edit thousands of articles. They had managers to oversee the whole project to make sure it was done on time. A few years later, Wikipedia was started, but with a different model. People were invited to write articles because they wanted to and nobody was paid a cent. Ten years ago, if you had to predict which model was going to win, what would you have said? Obviously Encarta because the writers were being rewarded right?
Internal motivation wins every time. People wrote for Wikipedia because they wanted to do it. Their work had a sense of purpose and personal meaning. And this is what we need for getting lean as well.
How to Create Internal Motivation
The problem with creating internal motivation is that we’ve never been taught to give purpose to our own goals. We’ve been raised in a society that teaches us to follow orders from an authority but not follow orders from ourselves.
As a kid you listen to your parents. In school you listen to the teachers. At the job you listen to your boss. When they give you a command you do it. But what about when you give yourself a command?
Did you ever stay up all night to work on your own goals? Probably not. But did you ever stay up all night to work on a school or job project? You probably did.
For some reason we don’t value our own commands. If the president of your country came to you and said “We require you to get lean, the country depends upon you.” You’d do it. But when you give yourself a command…you slack off. Like your words don’t hold any value.
This is what we need to change. You must be able to give meaning to your goals yourself and not wait for an authority to do it for you.
How do you do that? There’s a simple method you can use.
You write 100 reasons why you want to achieve your goal on a piece of paper and you put it somewhere you can see it daily. 100 reasons why you want to get lean.
You may say but Radu I can’t write 100 reasons I can barely write 10. Well that’s the problem. You don’t care about your goal enough. Sit down and think really hard why do you want to be in shape.
To give you an example, I wrote my 100 reasons for getting ripped. You can definitely find 100 reasons as well.
The real value of this exercise is that you dig deep inside yourself and often find that the most motivating reasons are actually very silly. I had a friend in highschool that became motivated to lose weight because a classmate drew him like a fat stick person while he drew every other person in the class like a normal stick person.
He felt so embarrassed that in a year he became one of the leanest guys in the class.
The most motivating reasons to get in shape may be ones that you don’t even think about. And by writing this list you will discover them. Once you have all these reasons written down, you will never lack inspiration again.
The ShredSmart Program shows you exactly how to eat and train to get a lean and muscular physique. But other programs do that as well. What I felt was missing from most fitness programs was the psychological part. So I included a “Think” part that shows you how to change your habits so that being fit is your normal way of life.
Learn more about the program here.
Hi Radu I’m a 6’5 200lb 18 year old and I am wondering how many calories I need to consume to be at a deficite, I play football so I have a 2-3 hour football practice Monday-wensday I know you must get this question a lot but I just started watching your videos and would love to hear what you have to say.
Use this calculator and for the activity level, choose active.
Hey Radu! Thanks for all the amazing content! Really appreciate all your advice. I find that most of your videos are tailored more for men. I wonder if you would have some advice for women. I’ve been intermittent fasting for 2 months now and it works for me. But I’m just curious about my calorie intake I feel like it’s a bit too low. If I follow you calculations for weightloss and because of my height and my weight I my calories are at 1100. My height is at 156cm and my weight is at 52kgs. I’m at 25% bodyfat. I want to drop to 17%. Would you be able to give me some advice on how I would be able to achieve that without dropping my calories too much. Thank you!
Yes, I create content only for men at the moment. Follow the guidelines from this article. It works for women as well.
Grettings from California! Just discovered you from youtube and I am loving your content. I am following your morning fasting advice, but I am not sure about something. Can i add sugar or honey to my coffee or tea during fasting? Or will it have a negative effect on my fasting?
I really appreciate your hard work and the motivation that you inspire in us to live a healthier lifestyle.
I’m 22 yo, have been lifting since the last 2 years. I was always the skinny fat type and used to weigh ~53 kgs when I started (I’m 5’6 btw). Went through 2-3 bulk and cut cycles and slow cutting right now. I’ve never been able to get a flat belly or significantly lose fat from my love handles till date. I’m on my third cut right now and have reached ~62 kg bw (can feel strength has reduced a bit since I came down from 67 kgs in around 3 months). I can’t understand till what point I should continue cutting- really wanna get a flat belly at least. Should i slow cut till i get a fat belly or should I get into a lean bulk phase again? In spite of putting in consistent strength training efforts for 2 years and having the right nutrition, the fact that I still haven’t got a flat belly vexes me a bit. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
Whats up? Need your help on something. Im currently at 150 lb and im 5’6. I want to get lean by the end of the year, but i have no idea where to start or how to start. Also, how can i set up my calorie deficit. Thanks man