So February came and went. All that motivation to set new goals for yourself, start a new project you have wanted to do. One month out and you find yourself completely unmotivated to work on your project. The restrictions around the world have just taken that wind out of your sail and you just don’t know how to pick yourself up.
If you are feeling anything like me right now, you are feeling unmotivated and even the thoughts of getting up and doing any kind of exercise feels like a huge step. I get it. During these past months we have almost been “told” to stay stuck. “Stay small”, “stay in small groups”, “stay away”, stay close to home”, stay… “Stuck”. It’s no wonder the motivation is rather low.
Motivation is actually the drive that helps us achieve a goal or a project or make a change in our life that is not imposed on us. So that motivation is super important because no one is forcing you to achieve those goals or get that project done. It is up to you and only you. That is why motivation is important, because it will be what helps you solve the barriers you will encounter, it will be what helps you set a new habit or break a bad habit. It will help you when you face discouragement or a challenge in your goal.
Ok, so what do we do? Well, let’s think a little out of the box. What is it you love to do, but you have found difficult during this season? Think about it. Is it missing friends? Going out? Enjoying the outdoors? Going out to a movie or an event? Think about it. Now, let’s see if you can connect moving or exercise to one of those things that you love and miss. It might take some creativity, but it is possible. How about calling up a friend and walking with them? Or doing pilates together on Zoom. Or if it is exercising in a beautiful place of nature, well, hop in the car and get there and then take a walk or a run. You could also make your mouvement an event. Why not? We find it easier to move when it is connected to something you love. Most often exercising when we are not motivated is not going to get us going. These steps take planning. So maybe take out your calendar, call up a friend, or whatever you are choosing to do to move and plan it. That is a great first step. Trust me, you will not regret it.
- First things first, get back to the basics! Ask yourself those questions: How much do you want this goal? What gain or reward will I get from it? What are my expectations? What are others expectations?
- Have an accountability buddy! This is so important for me when I have set for myself a new habit I want to form, or am trying to lose a few pounds, or upping my exercise regime. Having a friend I can be vulnerable and honest with is key. She helps keep me real, accountable and sometimes when I find too many excuses as to “why I haven’t..” she shakes me up again and get me going.
- Re-set your goals into smaller and more realistic chunks of success. Maybe you were too ambitious with your goal? Maybe the progress you are seeing is slower than you expected. If you are not seeing small progress and steps forward, then your motivation will fail and turn into discouragement. You don’t need this! Setting goals and changes is already hard enough! Review those goals and make them more attainable.
- Have the WTF attitude!! (Willing to Fail! 😉 We all have those days when that lack of motivation gets the best of us and you just want to give in, stop, quit, give up. It’s OK!! What is not ok is to let that one day be the end of your goal or new habit you are working on. Reset yourself, re-set your mind, reset your motivation and get moving forward the next day.
- Last by not least, reward your steps forward and progress often! If you went out on a walk when you didn’t feel like it, how can you reward yourself? If you cleaned out that office you said you would in the month of February, what can you do to reward yourself? Something I often do on a Saturday, when I have a long list of to-dos (one of which is a longer workout), is to allow myself one episode of whatever series I am watching, and this in the afternoon! Rewards don’t have to be after weeks of torturous goal setting, they can be a coffee with a friend, reading a few chapters of a book, a glass of wine.
Try these out and I can tell you, your motivation will come back and get you moving again.