Motivation - Depravation

5 things to try when you just don’t want to go and do what you should!

Motivation is quite a complex issue to understand. It's not just one simple thing that makes you not feel like doing something. There are lots of different parts that need to come together in order to get you over the line, no matter what the line is.

Briefly they can be broken down into two parts. Intrinsic or extrinsic factors, that is the things that make you the person you are. Beliefs, personality, personal experience and the environment around you which includes the people you live and work with, the place where you live and other support structures you might have in place.

There are some things you can work on in relation to your beliefs and personality but my experience is that by the time you are sitting at the half way point of your life you are who you are and, so long as you understand that you can work with the other things to help keep you motivated far more easily than trying to change your intrinsic personality.

I often find my motivation is in direct correlation to how much I really want the end result. In other words how powerful and tangible is the goal. Good health is a very noble goal but you know, if I am honest, it doesn’t really get me out of bed. However, if I think about how stiff I will be, or how my clothes will be too tight or that I wouldn’t be able to keep up on a walk or run with others, now that is far more likely to get me out of bed. 

So what are the things that help?

The first one is Mastery, or competence in relation to an activity. If we decide to learn something and set our sights on that, such as riding a bike, then we are far more likely to keep going to achieve that. Of course anyone who has ever learned a new skill like that knows that the beginning part is just that. Once you have your foundation there are always lots of other things to keep you learning and improving which will generally keep you doing that activity.

Of course it helps a lot if the activity has a sense of fun as well as a little dash of excitement and this little threesome will certainly get you out of bed in the morning.

The other thing that promotes and supports a healthy lifestyle, and so keeps you motivated, is social interaction and competition. Belonging to a group and participating with others has been associated with improved motivation and healthy lifestyle outcomes. What is interesting though is that it does not have to be an in person face to face group. Researchers have found that belonging to a virtual group, such as those found on Facebook, can be just as effective in keeping you motivated and on track for being healthy.

With that in mind what are the simple everyday things you can do to support yourself in being fit and healthy?

1: Trying out something new

  • New gear, when I get something new to wear or try then I usually can’t wait to get out and use it. Particularly if it makes me look good and athletic (hehehe)
  • New thing, such as maybe speed work instead of a regular run.
  • New route such as when you are on holidays, or just running the opposite way to where you usually go.

2: Shake it Up

  • Try combining your sports so maybe ride to a track and then run or walk a few laps.
  • Run to the beach or pool and do a few laps and then run or walk home.
  • Drive to somewhere else to do your workout like the beach or the velodrome. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to use athletic venues. Whilst I am talking about that what about finding a running or walking track at an athletics field and give that a go.

3: Get social

  • Get a buddy or
  • Join a group. It is really hard to let other people down and they will often talk you out of missing a workout.

4:Get Mental

  • Bargain with yourself say to yourself ok I won’t run if I don’t want to but I’ll walk and then I’ll just run to the corner and then walk. It is amazing how it then seems too hard to stop.
  • Have a training plan that you tick off

5:Make health a habit

The simplest fix to overcoming motivation depravation is to form habits. Good habits that tie a healthy lifestyle into your day.

E.G. If it is your habit to always walk to the station to catch the train then you have to think seriously about the logistics of taking your car so that in the end walking seems easier.

If you always get up after the 6am news and go out for a walk or a run then you are far more likely to keep that up. In fact you will have to find a reason not to do it which is actually harder most times.

Sometimes we lose our momentum when we have been doing the same thing over and over again and it has all become too boring or even too tiring. At those times I give myself a break.

Either have a few days off & find something new to do or just stop for a few days all together. You will soon get itchy feet wanting to go out there and join everybody else.

 Being fit, healthy and well is a lifetime commitment. Achieving goals around this means you have to be patient both with yourself and your body and persevere.

Never Give Up

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