Motivation… How do we get it? Once we get it, how do we maintain it? The problems with motivation can be simplified to this; it is totally natural for us to cycle through high and low motivation points in our lives. For me personally, I notice that being busier, planning things and having things to look forward to- really gets me up, going and motivated- in all aspects. Whether it’s finding the time to work out, arrange a date night, meet up with friends, take a trip, write, work, etc… when I am busier, I am more motivated. Have you ever had a day off, and found you got nothing done? Don’t get me wrong, we all need a “me” day every so often, but sometimes in periods of low motivation, when things have slowed down, the weather has changed, etc, it can be harder to keep going at the same rate.
So how do we keep going? How do we find the motivation to exercise often, to stretch and expand our minds, to connect with others, to eat better? How do we do it? The number one key that I have found that works is SMALL. Set small, attainable goals that you can easily identify and see results from. For example, it can be overwhelming when we read that “one should exercise at least 30-45 minutes everyday” and here you are rushing from work to home, to a meeting, etc and find that you can’t find the 30-45 minute time-block every day. So let’s work our way there; if you commit to a 15 minute jog every day, whether it’s before work in the morning, on your lunch break, or right after work, 15 minutes is much more attainable and less overwhelming than finding a 30-45 minute slot in your day. Also, when you add up other activities that you do/or can start doing in your workday, you can see that you have the potential to be more active than you currently are. For example, guess what, walking fast is exercising, it’s getting your heart rate up. Taking the stairs at work does wonders- seriously, try it. If you commit to “no elevators” for a week, see the difference in how easy it will start to feel to take the stairs, and you will start to define those quads.
So try it, 15 minutes a day, and being more aware and mindful of other potential ways you can be exercising during your workday. And on other days, when you have more time, you can hit those 30-45 minute goals. Forming small, attainable goals helps with habit-building also. And remember, lasting change takes time. There are no lasting quick-fixes, but wouldn’t you be glad to feel better, function better, and be happier with yourself in the longrun?