It is easy to get motivated. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. You read an article about how to lose or gain weight or watch a before-after video and think this is it, from tomorrow you are going for a run/ hitting the gym/ starting your diet.
You read about what you need to do to reach your goal and then you read some more. You are psyched that this time it will be different and you will become super fit and toned in no time.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t last. You will feel motivated to take charge one day and by evening it would seem like a waste of time and energy.
You might, in some cases, drag yourself to the gym for a week or two, maybe get a personal trainer also. Slowly as the month passes, other priorities take over.
Finding time to prepare your meals or to go to the gym seems too much of an effort. In a few days you are back to your old ways. Motivation is a fickle companion. You cannot rely on motivation to reach your goals.
In my opinion, it is too results oriented. Even though it is good to have an end goal in mind, you need something to push you through weeks in the gym and days of logging your diet.
You have to find a way to enjoy the journey of reaching your fitness goal. For example, this might seem weird, but you have to enjoy the muscle soreness after a hard workout. Crave it even. Tracking your nutrition goals at the end of the day should be as exciting as score tallying at the end of a game. (Yes, thats what it feels like to me! 😀 )
Without enjoying the journey, it would be difficult to stay the path.
So, what to do next time motivation strikes?
You need a plan and a reminder to slowly set things on autopilot. Also, don’t try to change everything at once. Chose one thing at a time and adopt it as your new lifestyle.
Take the example of going to the gym. After reading through our article on How much exercise you really need, you decide that you will go to the gym for 3 days a week. Now you cannot leave it up to your schedule, or your motivation or even your mood to decide when these 3 days are going to be.
You need to plan it.
Decide the 3 days (for me it is Monday, Wednesday and Friday).
As a reminder, review your next day’s schedule the night before. Find 25-30 minutes in your day to hit the gym. If you know you will be late in office or have to be somewhere in the evening, then go in the morning.
The great thing about doing it this way is that on the other 4 days of the week you don’t have that nagging thought of ‘should i go to the gym today’, ‘how do I find time today’, ‘why did i ever promise myself this’, etc. 🙂
Before I had the ‘Monday, Wednesday and Friday’ system in place, I would think everyday about going to the gym. If I would go or not would depend on how I was feeling at the time, how late/ early I was in thinking about fitting gym in my schedule, etc. In some weeks I would go to the gym 4 times but in some weeks manage to go for only 2 days. Now by doing it this way, my workouts are almost on auto-pilot.
Harness the power of your motivated brain to form a plan and the rest of the days just pay heed to your reminder. Read more about how to easily form new healthy habits.