Oct 17, 2014

Beat the Blahs

How to avoid losing your motivation to exercise in four simple steps

Your Guide to Getting Better: Motivation

Ah, fall. The weather’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and you’re getting...less inspired, maybe? All you know is that come 5pm, your usual post-work run no longer seems like the way to go. A nap, a TV marathon, and entire pizza to yourself -- now those seem like viable options. Just today, you tell yourself. Just this once. But today turns into tomorrow which turns into the next day; suddenly you have yourself a new routine.

Once you’ve entered the rabbit hole, it seems impossible to get out. Granted, it’s not easy. It is, however, very much doable. Here’s how to get started.

This is the first entry in our Beat the Blahs: Your Guide to Getting Better series.

Check out the other post: Get Energized.


So You Want to Get Motivated...

Before you get your feet off the ground, you need to mentally prepare yourself. Here’s how.

Step 1: Find your goal.

How are you going to get to where you need to be if you don’t even know where you want to go? Do you want to run a half-marathon? Shave two minutes off your 10k time? Bike 1,000 miles this month?

Having a goal in mind is Priority #1. Now let’s refine it.

Step 2: Set small, specific goals that seem attainable.

Break up your goal into sets of measurable tasks. Having “mini-goals” means you reach a point of accomplishment more quickly, making you feel excited and ready to move forward. Not only do these smaller goals seem less overwhelming, they also provide direction by forming a roadmap that leads you to your ultimate goal.

Step 3: Get out of your head.

So you have a goal in mind. Awesome! Now it’s time to give it a life of its own. Type it up and print it out on a huge piece of paper. Tell your friends, your kids, your mom. Seeing your goal physically before you makes it seem more real; telling others about it makes it harder to back out.

Step 4: Create a routine conducive to achievement.

Are you living your life in a way that facilitates what you’re trying to accomplish? Or are you putting needless obstacles in your way? A self-sabotaging lifestyle is a surefire way to prevent you from achieving what you’ve set out to do.

So how do you start living in a way that’s conducive to accomplishing your goals? The cornerstones of such a lifestyle involve adequate rest, proper nutrition, and a clear mind.

The more balanced you feel in the rest of your life, the more able you will be to work on your goals.

Chances are, living 100% healthy isn't always possible given your daily obligations. So we’re going to go back to Step 2. Are you going to eat healthy all the time? Nope, probably not. But make a smaller effort to improve your nutrition in one aspect, maybe by committing to eating a healthy breakfast each morning.

Is your stress level at an all-time high because of your job? Do something that takes around 15 minutes that makes you feel more at peace (take a walk, read a chapter of a book, draw, meditate, etc.). Different things help different people: find what works for you.

The more balanced you feel in the rest of your life, the more able you will be to work on your goals.

You can do this.