If you’re feeling fed up, sluggish and unhappy with the reflection you see in the mirror but still lack the motivation you need to do something about it, you’re not alone. This sudden wintry turn in the weather doesn’t help either, as it’s likely to have rained away any shred of motivation to get outside or your body moving.
So what can we do when our self-care is missing from our weekly routines, and how can we rediscover our motivation to get fit? I recommend a pull approach. Let me explain…
If you’re only pushing yourself to break convenient and comfortable habits, your success is likely to be short-lived. However, if you create a vision of your dream self and life, envisage how you will look and feel, plus imagine some of the things you’ll do with your new found confidence, it can be a strong enough vision to pull you towards the endpoint, especially on those tougher days. It’s a subtle change in perspective, but it’s invaluable when it comes to creating new healthy habits.
Create Your Vision Board
This can be via the saved photos on your Instagram account, on a Pinterest board, physical images on your mirror or a journal entry – whatever feels best for you. Just make sure it’s something you can see regularly and it includes wider lifestyle improvements – i.e. the things you’ll have the confidence, ability or freedom to do once you achieve your goal. This could be playing with your kids without getting out of breath, it could be owning a dream outfit or car, or it could be a party scene where you’ll have the confidence to walk in and make conversation with new people.
Having a rough goal in mind to ‘lose weight and tone up’ is great, but it’s much more powerful if you have a dress size, strength or health goal in mind. These are measurable and act as encouragement as you close in on your prize.
Revisit The Vision
The human body really is incredible. The part of our brain that we use for visual perception is also the same area that reads visual imagery. Translated: the more you see and feel your vision, the more you’re telling your brain that it’s a real, tangible thing. Spend time imagining how you will feel when you reach your goal, as well as how you will look to drive you forwards.
Make a Plan
Now you’ve got your goal, you need to plan how to get there. The key is to be realistic; set your expectations too high and you’ll fall short, feeling disheartened and frustrated at the same time. Set them too low and you’ll feel like you’re going nowhere fast.
Identify the areas that you know you could do with making improvements, such as sleep, you-time, food or exercise and see what changes you can make over the coming weeks. It could be that all of those areas need addressing. If this is the case, remember to keep it achievable and break things down.
Perhaps you can start with getting a solid 8 hours sleep, generally making healthier choices and working out once a week. After you notice a positive change from your extra sleep and the small endorphin boosts, you can introduce additional workouts and get creative with healthier meals.
Don’t be scared to try something new. If the gym, CrossFit or swimming appeal to you, hang up any preconceptions and give it a go. There are many ways to get in shape and exercise. Finding something that excites you will see you going back for more and making it part of your weekly routine. If you need some moral support, ask a friend to accompany you.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Whether it be online, to your friends and family or to a personal trainer, holding yourself accountable is another reinforcement to make positive choices. A workout buddy or personal trainer can be great if you’re likely to find excuses not to commit.
Also, as much as you might not want to document how you look or feel right now, sometimes recording a starting point can be great reminders of why you’re making positive, healthier changes on days where you’re struggling to find motivation. Keep them private, but know you have them as a secret weapon to cheer you on through tough days. While you might not like where you are right now, the future you will be pleased to have a comparison to remind you just how far you’ve come. That’s inspiring stuff!
Get in touch if you’re looking for a bespoke workout plan or take a look at my Instagram page for some free home workouts.