When starting out on a health journey it is usually very exciting. You’re really motivated to see change, try something new and develop a different way of living. Unfortunately, this motivation doesn’t last forever. Eventually we need something greater than short-term results to keep us motivated.
In the last couple of weeks, I have been really struggling to find motivation. I haven’t been feeling inspired in the kitchen, I have been repeating the same gym workouts, going to bed late, sleeping in and I have been really struggling to stay focussed on my studies.
Cadbury, Arnott’s, Netflix and Stan are coming out with something new all the time. They are keeping things fresh. If we don’t do the same with our health and fitness, then of course we are going to go back to the place where things are always fun. The hard thing is finding the drive to get back out there and try new things again. We have to be curious, open and conscientious.
I can always tell I am getting into a lull with my health and fitness when I am always eating the same food. I make what is familiar and I make a lot to avoid meal prepping again for a few days. Cooking the basics is not a bad thing, it is just not very inspiring. In terms of fitness, I stop stepping out of my comfort zone. I repeat the same exercises and don’t challenge myself with extra weight or reps.
The beautiful thing about the way I eat and train is that there are no restrictions. I am not on some crazy diet and exercise regimen that I need to follow every day. I choose what I want to eat and do daily depending on the way that I feel. This is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because it provides me with balance in my life and a curse because I have nothing holding me accountable for my actions.
The habits to cook at home and move my body daily have already been developed, the hard bit is keeping it interesting. I go through phases of being extremely motivated at the gym and really creative in the kitchen, but I also go through waves of zero motivation particularly around exams. At the moment I am relying on habits to keep me healthy. It is time to shake things up.
I am writing this post partially to inspire you but also to keep me going through the motions to get to the end of semester with style.
First off I am going to say that the most important thing we can do in these less motivating times is to continue to listen to our bodies. Winter is here now. Exams are coming. I am tired and I am stressed. If my body needs to rest I am not going to deny it that. If it needs a bit of chocolate I am not going to deny it that either. It is about finding a happy median to ensure we don’t over indulge.
Yesterday (when I finally admitted to myself that I need to make a change) I started googling. I looked up recipes, workouts and went through the recipe archives on my laptop. I wrote down a list of what I needed to get from the supermarket and the type of gym session I was going to get in before that. I decided that it had been a while since I had done a booty workout (I am paying for that now) so I wrote down some exercises. I got to the gym and smashed it out. I genuinely enjoyed my workout for the first time in ages. I then headed straight to the health food store to pick up the extra ingredients I needed.
When I got home I was feeling good and after a much needed shower I started cooking. Three hours literally flew. I made cookies, museli bars, dahl, roasted some veggies, cooked up some lamb chops and somehow managed to make a dent in a pharmacology assignment. The aroma of fresh cookies really gave me the drive I needed to get excited about cooking again. I have already started planning what I am making for the long weekend.
My point is this. You don’t have to do anything drastic to get motivation back. Sometimes it is something as small as trying a new exercise or buying a new ingredient that will spark inspiration again. You will never run out of exercises to do or recipes to try. You will, however, if you stop looking for them. Recipes and exercises aren’t promoted to us in the same way as chocolate and new TV shows. We have to actively go out and seek them.
Here are five steps you can do today to get re-motivated:
1. Be honest with yourself
The key is to realise that you have hit a wall and need to make a change. If you look at your behaviours and don’t notice a problem, you are either in denial or genuinely killing your health and fitness goals (love your work).
2. Commit to making a change
This is probably the hardest part. It is one thing to acknowledge an issue, it is another to actually do something about it. You have to sign a contract with yourself to change your behaviour.
3. Tell someone you are making a change
Another challenging step…. but necessary. Now I am not suggesting that you post it on social media like I am doing. What I would say is to tell your best friend, sister, brother, partner, somebody! If someone knows then they can encourage you and support you!
4. Find something inspiring for you
For me my inspiration is always food. I go onto my favourite foodie websites and whip out my old cookbooks to find something that I am genuinely excited to make and eat!
5. Go out and do it!
It takes one step. Get to the shops, drive to the gym, get the dust off the cookbooks and make something happen.
I hope me sharing my thoughts and tips gives you the drive you need to get started. Everything starts with the smallest step. Take it slow. Do one thing today that you didn’t do yesterday. Change and motivation are just around the corner!