I Know What It’s Like To Be Stuck.
The reason I’m writing about this today – MOTIVATION is a huge thing for everyone right now. We’re seriously lacking motivation for anything, never mind exercise. It’s not a surprise.
Sure, we’re doing walks, “getting out” when we can. But if we calculated the amount of movement we actually do on a daily basis, it’s sure to be massively down for most people.
(Let’s not even start with nutrition – that’s a different topic altogether!)
So we’re staring at screens, moving 80% less, eating more food, more processed junk ….. and we’re lacking motivation. Can you see the connection here?
Even worse, we’re being faced (soon) with the prospect of moving more again, no excuses not to get fit! Every gym and bootcamp on earth will be open. But it’ll be incredibly difficult after a period of sluggishness, right?
Like when someone says about jumping into cold water: “It’s OK once you’re in!”. Doesn’t make that first leap any less painful does it? 🙂
REPETITION BREEDS MOTIVATION
Firstly, it’s to be expected, it’s normal that you’re lacking motivation.
Motivation/Momentum/Dedication comes from repetition, first and foremost. No-one becomes fit after one workout. Fitness doesn’t become a lifestyle after one workout. It requires months of repetition. Healthy cooking doesn’t mean one meal. We need to practice.
Flip back to our current state: behind closed doors, bingeing on Netflix (not much left to watch!?), snacking, drinking more than normal, thinking about exercise (but taking comfort in that everything is closed). No wonder motivation is down!
Let me be honest ….. I have been there. Happened years ago but it’s fresh in mind, like it was yesterday.
I wanted to change my life, I was frustrated, fed up of who I was, who or what I had become. I had formed some terrible habits that were doing me no good.
I wanted to the REAL person inside me. I wanted to be better. I wanted to reach my potential and get back the person I used to be.
However – and this is going to sound strange – I literally felt STUCK. In my head, I felt like a huge piece of iron that was rusted to the ground and no matter how hard I tried to move it, I couldn’t.
Every time I pushed (a little), there was resistance, it was hard – and I stopped.
I was devoid of true motivation to really fix what was going on in my life. And so I remained there. Rooted to the ground. I tried to hide what was going on. Telling myself (repeatedly) the story that I was OK, things wouldn’t always be like this.
(I learned then – if you tell yourself a story enough times, you begin to believe it. It’s a very strange thing! Watch out for that!!)
But things didn’t go away and at best I remained where I was. But closer to the truth: I was becoming more and more frustrated and angrier at myself, feeling more and more guilty that I wasn’t able to fix things.
But that was a long time ago, thankfully! How did I fix things?
Firstly, I starting small – every single day. No drastic overhaul. No short term, pedal-to-the-metal thinking. I was thinking the long game, doing things properly.
I made sure I MOVED almost every day. Just got used to factoring exercise that enjoyed into my lifestyle. Rinse and repeat.
I learned about better THINKING, having a better mindset (remember I said about the little stories we tell ourselves?). I realised life would be better with healthier body AND mind. Rinse and repeat.
Once I was feeling better — both physically and mentally — I was able to make better decisions with my habits (including not needing to be a party animal to fill the void in my life). Rinse and repeatt.
And with this repetition, I managed to haul myself up by the boot laces and create the life I actually wanted. (This process is still on-going, I think it always will).
Motivation needs to be worked at. You can’t turn in on and off at will. A motivation ‘tap’ doesn’t exist.
Sometimes you’ll be climbing the walls with enthusiasm. Other times, motivation is ZERO. You’ll have to just go through the motions.
But always remember: start small, get moving, repeat.
You’ll never lose.