Low Motivation & How to Overcome It

So, what even is motivation?

Motivation is the drive to complete a task for a desired outcome. In this case, the task is regular exercise and the outcome is good health.

But how the heck do we get more of it?

Motivation Misconceptions

The first thing to understand is that motivation is well and truly finite. It’s a feeling that people get for only a short period of time, and the bad news is that it runs out quite quickly. The biggest misconception about motivation is that we need to have motivation to succeed in any goal or area in our life.

That’s a myth… It’s not motivation, it’s about forming habits. Motivation is vital for getting started, but it’s habits that allow us to keep going. Everything we do in life is nothing other than a mass of habits.

This is GREAT news, because any habit in life can be changed. With a little motivation to get started and the persistence to from a habit – exercise can become a part of your day-to-day routine.

Step One – Find your reason

The key is to get motivated long enough for you to turn it into a habit. The first step is to find your reason.  Why do you want to exercise? Find a reason that resonates with you, and make sure that it’s personal and powerful. I had a client who told me: “I want to be healthier so that I can live long enough to see my grandchildren grow”, now that’s a good reason!  Find a reason like this for yourself, remind yourself of it daily and this will help maintain some sense of motivation.

Step two – Check your thoughts

The best habit you can make for yourself is being mindful. Being mindful means you are aware of your own thoughts and how you talk to yourself. If you notice that you’re talking yourself out of exercise and into those sweet desserts, then it’s time to make a change!

Start noticing every thought that comes to play when you attempt exercise. If they are negative, change these so that you’re focusing on something positive.

Step three – Start of slow, make it a habit and reward yourself

You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. Remember to start slow. Going hard too quickly usually means we are more prone to giving up in the short term.

Finally, set yourself some targets. Whether it’s a weekly or monthly goal, make sure you reward yourself once it is achieved. A good example is treating yourself with a movie after a big run. Constantly rewarding your good habits means that those habits are likely to become permanent.

If you’re not sure how to get started, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can prescribe an individualised exercise program that will suit your body and help you to stay on track.