Updated: Jan 5, 2020
You begin to get the urge to get into shape, lose some kilos and fit into your favourite pair of jeans. You say to yourself that you are going to exercise at least 6 days a week, stop eating take away, no more drinking sugary drinks, consume less alcohol and include more veggies into your meals.
In the first and second week, you are on track. You've exercised 6 times a week, been eating all the healthy foods you bought and have had no sugary drinks or alcohol. You had been feeling motivated those two weeks and even though there were some days you wanted to give up, you didn't, you stuck to your plan.
Then the third week arrives and sticking to your plan seems to be a little more difficult. Your body hurts from all the workouts you have been doing, chocolate seems to be more on your mind these days, you are getting annoyed that you have to turn down the wine offered to you at a dinner party and trying to choose the healthiest meal on the food option is proving to be hard.
By the fourth week, you find yourself being too tired to workout and skipping one gym session becomes two, then three and then before you know it, you've gone a whole week without working out. You start saying yes to the wine and having takeaway seems a lot easier then cooking.
Does this sound like you? Trust me you are not the only one who goes through this!
Motivation is a feeling you get in the beginning of anything you get excited about, unfortunately the feeling does begin to subside once you begin to form a routine or habit. So instead of just giving up, find out why you started in the first place.
Here are some tips that I found very useful in the times when motivation is no longer driving me to achieve:
Ask yourself what your SMART goals are?
Specific - (well defined – be clear on your goal)
Measurable - (How will you track your progress)
Achievable - (attainable)
Relevant - (realistic)
Time - (start date and target date)
Writing down the reasons why you decided to start this journey and by asking yourself what is it that you want from it at the end, will ultimately help keep you on track and will help you form a habit for when you feel motivation is no longer there.
Another way to keep on track is to look at your calendar and plan nutrition and exercise around your plans for work, kids and social events. If you are someone who is to busy to cook, either meal prep on the weekends or invest in getting a healthy food delivery service, this will take the stress off you from planning meals and grocery shopping. And if you realistically cannot train 6 times a week, then plan the days you can into your diary and just make sure that you always train on those days and if you happen to have a free day become available on your calendar then seize the opportunity to exercise. I find that if I'm losing motivation, to go and do one of my favourite exercises, something that I really enjoyed and that tends to help me get back into the swing of things.
Don't make things complicated or any harder than it needs to be. The only person putting stress on you, is you. So don't give up if you have one bad day, reset and start again. I recently read an article about a famous fitness trainer and in it she said that you should reset your life every 3 hours, example: if you eat a Tim Tam at 10am, reset and try again at lunch time and that this can be applied to everything in your life.
By following these simple tools, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals!