Motivated?

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Are you like me? Do you initially throw yourself into activities and projects, only to lose motivation within a couple of weeks?

It has happened to me in the past few weeks. I started on a fitness regime in February and gave myself a goal to achieve, which was fine. The first few weeks went brilliantly and I was enjoying the feeling that exercise gave me. Then it started to get a little more challenging, then my birthday happened then I was busy working or coaching. Doing exercise started to move down my to do list. I found myself using the old excuse, if I had enough time. Then I started to feel guilty and bad about not trying hard enough.

On Sunday morning Foggy woke me up telling me I was a failure and I never complete anything. He told me I was destined to be a fat slob, so why bother exercising. I felt terrible. I thought to myself that Foggy had a point, so I could sit around and feel sorry for myself or I could do something about it.

So whilst I was walking the dog I asked myself why I wanted to exercise. I came up with a short list:

  • To be thinner
  • To be healthier

I told you it was a short list. The problem is with those two reasons is that it takes a while to see results. My original goals were to lose 10% of my bodyweight in 6 months and be able to run 5km in 3 months. Another problem is that running in the gym hurts and is boring. See the problem is I use an app that gradually builds up the length of time you run, and doing that on a treadmill is soul-destroying. However after exercise I feel wonderful.

By the end of the walk I had a plan. It was simple really. Don’t go to the gym. So I didn’t. I went for a run outside instead. I put my headphones on and listened to my app and some music running around Kirk Ella. It hurt, I wont lie, and I was fearful that I might get out paced by a dog walker (I am never going to be breaking any speed records). But I did it, and on the whole it was enjoyable. When I finished I felt fantastic.

So if you are losing your motivation, re-examine why you are doing what you are doing. Is your goal clear? Does it have a timescale? How do you know when you have achieved it? Is it possible to achieve it? Are there some short-term goals you could include to give you a sense of progress. Make sure you get some short term reward. Your brain responds well to rewards so if your memory associates an activity with a reward it will encourage you to repeat that activity. Conversely if your memory associates an activity with unpleasant consequences that are stronger than any reward it may give, then you brain will encourage you to avoid the activity.

Remember you are entitled to change you mind, if you decide that you don’t want to achieve that goal, then don’t feel bad about it, just choose to do something else that you want to do.

You always have a choice.

runners

Author: Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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