– By Angela Smith.
Hands up who has ever lost their motivation to exercise?
No matter what stage of parenting you’re at, life as a Mum can get pretty chaotic. With so many demands on our time, it’s easy enough to skip a day or two and then before you know it it’s been a week, then a month and no matter what you do you just can’t seem to find the motivation or enthusiasm to get moving again. Sound familiar?
Well, you’ll be relieved to know that you are not alone. We’ve all had times where we just can’t seem to find that same level of enthusiasm we once had and despite our best intentions to start up again, it’s just not happening.
The good news is that exercising doesn’t have to be an effort. With a few simple steps I’m going to show you how to create that internal motivation that will inspire you to get back into exercising and actually enjoy it.
Step #1 Reconnect with your WHY
Our “WHY” or our purpose is what creates the internal motivation that drives us to take action.
The more reasons you have and the clearer you are on why exercise is important for you, the more compelled you’ll be to follow through. So aside from the obvious health benefits, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get clear on your reasons why exercising is a must for you:
How do you feel when you’ve exercised?
Is there a goal you want to achieve?
How will you look and feel when you’ve achieved this goal?
How will it benefit those around you when you are looking and feeling this way?
Do you want to have more energy for your family?
What are the consequences of not exercising?
How will those consequences affect the rest of the family and those around you?
How will you feel if you don’t achieve your goal?
Really go all out here – brainstorm as many reasons as you can, get specific and write them all down!
Step #2 Set a Goal
Setting goals is a really effective way to increase motivation as it allows us to have an outcome to work towards and leads to a sense of achievement when we are successful in achieving what we set out to do. Whether it’s a goal to lose weight, improve our energy levels or look our best for a special occasion, goal setting is a useful way to keep us on track and measure our progress.
Measuring our progress is important because progress is what creates happiness and excitement. There is nothing very exciting about maintenance, but there is definitely excitement in making progress!
There are a few things to keep in mind when setting goals.
1)Start with the end in mind.
Decide on the ultimate goal and then break it down into smaller steps. For example if your ultimate goal is to lose 10kg, break it down into smaller mini – goals of losing 1kg per week so that rather than having a big overwhelming goal of losing 10kg, you make it easy for yourself to experience success more often.
2)Use the S.M.A.R.T method for setting goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).
3) Write down your goals somewhere where you will see them every day such as on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, dressing table or refrigerator. Do not simply write them in a journal or a diary! There’s a very good reason for this. If you only write your goals in a diary or a journal, you have to actually consciously think about it to go and take out your journal to look at your goals. By having your goals displayed where you’ll see them throughout the day, even if you are not reading them, you are helping to program them into your unconscious mind
Step 3# Reframe the meaning you have given exercise.
If exercise means hard work, pain or effort to you then you are hardly going to feel inspired or excited about doing it. Instead, try reframing the meaning of exercise by focusing on the feeling that exercise and being in shape gives you. For example, if being in shape makes you feel sexy, strong and desirable you could reframe by saying exercising means I feel sexy, strong and desirable. You are going to feel far more excited and enthusiastic about doing something that makes you feel sexy, strong and desirable than something that is hard work, painful or an effort.
Last but not least, don’t have the debate in your head – just do it!
What we focus on is what we feel, so if you’re feeling unmotivated and you are looking for reasons or excuses why you don’t feel like training today you can be sure you’ll find them! You’ll always find reasons and excuses if you look for them. So just decide and commit, sometimes it’s as simple as that!
If you still insist on having the debate in your head, ask yourself how you are going to feel if you don’t do it? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who felt worse after a workout.
Remember, whilst there are many reasons to exercise and make our health and fitness a priority this is about saying yes to YOU. As Mums we are constantly meeting the demands of others but to be able to support our kids and family as much as we want to, we first need to be supporting ourselves. So get clear on your WHY, set yourself a goal and remember that every day is either a step closer or a step further away from that goal.
*Angela Smith is a Life & Mindset Coach, Master Practioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Master Practioner of Time Line Therapy, Motivational Speaker & Qualified Personal Trainer. See more of her work HERE