Motivation Isn't a Feeling, It's a Decision.

July 29, 2021 4 min read

Motivation Isn't a Feeling, It's a Decision. - Aleenta BARRE

We often choose not to move our bodies because that wonderful feeling of motivation hasn’t washed over us. Clearly it’s a sign that we’re not supposed to move and fire up those sleepy muscles, right? We use lack of motivation as an easy excuse to boycott that Sunday sesh. But were you genuinely fatigued, injured, DOMS to the extreme or actually needing your scheduled rest day?

It’s a common misconception that you must FEEL motivated in order to DO a workout. However, motivation is not a mood. In fact, it’s going to be pretty rare that you actually FEEL motivated when it comes to exercise - especially if you are in the late Luteal phase of your cycle, suffer from bad PMS or have crippling periods (and it’s totally ok to just chill out, btw).

We’re going to use a word no one really likes (but definitely needs) – discipline. Yep, it’s time to whip out some tough love! With these easy to implement tips, you might be able to set those good habits in sto… playdough – because life happens!

So, here are our  3 circuit breakers to try when that pesky unpredictable thing called “motivation” isn’t around:

  1.    Plan, plan, PLAN! Schedule that sweat sesh into your calendar. If you’re not a month in advance kinda gal - plan weekly. Things can just ‘happen’ in life, but if you have a rough schedule your chances of sticking with it are greater. Geez, by all means just book classes in advance, too bad girl, you’re locked in now! Repetition is what is going to get this habit to stick, so keep at it.
  1.    Look at your workouts as important appointments with your doctor, therapist, job interview or lover… would you actively miss any of those? If the answer is yes, then we can’t help you… Just Kidding! 🤣 But, seriously, look at your workout commitment like something you just cannot miss. Changing your language around why you are exercising is a great way to change your perspective -next time you want to miss your workout try saying this“I’m not going to exercise/meditate/stretch because my health & wellbeing is not a priority today.” And see how that makes you feel. 
  1.  Just do 2-5 minutes [1]. Yep, you heard us. Get up and set yourself a goal to just do 2 or 5 minutes; sometimes all motivation needs is, well, a little motivation! Often by just getting the body moving, you will find your appetite to move increasing. 5 turns into 10 into 15 into 20 – next thing you know you’ve just done a full-blown 30 minute HIIT plyo max bomb workout (maybe not, but you get the picture). If you’re just starting your fitness journey, you can work into this one even slower and set yourself a small goal of only doing 5-minute classes 2-3 times a week. Do this for a few weeks and then add on more minutes to your scheduled workouts, slowly increasing the time of your workouts and frequency per week.

 

 

 

Ok, so those were our tips for derailing the excuse train, but sometimes a lack of motivation can be a top-level symptom for other factors that may be going on in your life. You may be a mumma and not getting any sleep, you could be going through a tough time in your life or generally someone who is run off their feet day in and day out. This is where even just gentle yoga or a mobility class is just as beneficial as a HIIT or cardio class.


It’s also super-duper important to eat, and eat well! We need to fuel our bodies in order to maximise our workouts, we need good macro and micronutrients. You cannot expect your body to function at its most optimum if you are underfeeding, undernourishing and then combine that with over exercising. Focus on your energy intake matching your energy expenditure and fuelling with good carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.


If you are frequently fatigued (even after you’ve had a solid sleep), exercise fatigue (you bum out way too early, into your workout, ALL the time), constant brain fog, ongoing GI distress and any menstrual dysfunctions that happen over at least 3 cycles (this will be unique for your body - a great way to know of any irregularities is if you track your cycle) we’d recommend investigating why this is happening. There could be some underlying issues associated with your “chronic” lack of motivation, so if you feel that something isn’t sitting right with your body or mind check in with a GP and nutritionist/dietitian to check you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals and assess your mental health.


There you have it! Hopefully this has given you some of the tools to get started on your journey and smashing out some of those goals!

REFERENCE

1. https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/changing-habits/ “actually doing the habit is much more important than how much you do”



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