Procrastination & Motivation
Putting off starting exercise and finding motivation to continue exercising are two problems that normally go hand in hand. Our mind will throw up a list of excuses why exercise can be skipped or not started. Sometimes these excuses come out as, ‘I haven’t got time,’ or, ‘I’m too tired.’ Sometimes these excuses are born out of fear. Fear of changing, of coming out of our comfort zone.
So how can we deal with the procrastination and motivation issues and make sure these excuses don’t sabotage us from getting fit, strong and healthy?
Make a plan and set some goals: Have an end goal and then break down that goal into smaller, easily achievable baby goals. Decide what needs to happen and when it’s going to happen and put it in your diary as an appointment that is as fixed as any business or personal commitment that you make.
Find solutions to the excuses: Once you have a plan, spend some time imagining all the possible excuses that you can think of as to why you may not stick to the plan. For each excuse, think of a solution, an action that you will put in place to ensure the excuse will not sabotage your training. Write down all the solutions and keep them with your plan!
Get your cheerleaders on board: Find a coach, friend, family member who will be behind you 100%. Tell them your plan! By sharing your plan and goals you will buy into the plan more. Your cheerleader will support you and encourage you along the way and, by doing so, will give you the accountability for your actions. They’ll ask how you’re doing and you won’t want to say that you haven’t done what you said you would!
Have a trigger: Change into your gym kit at work, put your running shoes by the door so you see them, set an alarm for when it’s time to exercise. A trigger will help you not to forget your plan.
Develop the habit: Commit to your plan. Commit to the same days, the same time for your sessions, so that they become part of your normal routine. Success is in the plan and the routine.
Reward yourself: Eventually, the satisfaction of completing your session and seeing your progress will be your reward. But as you start out and build the routine, rewarding yourself for completing your session can be hugely effective. Maybe £1 in a savings tin each completed session, for a reward at the end of the month, or a hot bubble bath all to yourself with no kids barging in – whatever floats your boat that is small and easily achievable and a little bit outside the norm. By this, I don’t mean a huge caramel mocha latte and a doughnut! Beware of food and drink rewards.
Keep a record: Keep it with your Plan. Keep a record, not just of what you have done but of all the positive feelings you have on completing your sessions. These can be re-read on low motivation days to remind you why you want to do the next session, even when the excuses are raising their ugly heads! It’s also really useful weeks/months down the line because you can see exactly how far you have come and the progress you have made.
Just Start: Sometimes there will be those days when you just don’t want to. Like a 2 year old child, you’re tired and fed up and want to throw your toys out of the cot! No amount of practising any of the above has convinced your inner 2 year-old that exercise is a good idea. At this point, you have to be the grown up! Exercise is one of the best medicines for mental tiredness and stress. Put your kit on and do 5 minutes at the very least. Just Get On With It! And as every parent will say to a stroppy tired child when they object – “Because I Told You To!”
“I took it upon myself to turn my life around. I wanted to be healthier, have more vitality, energy and strength. I wanted long-term benefits, not a short-term fix by dropping a dress size for a few months.”
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