What to do when your motivation dips

Jul 17, 2019 | Blog

What to do when your motivation dips

 

I’m sure you’ve been there – you feel like you’re doing really well embedding new habits or embarking on a new exercise regime, then all of a sudden it becomes much harder to do it. That might be because something in life throws you off track, or just that your motivation seems to have gone AWOL and you just can’t be bothered.

I’ve recently had a bit of a dip in my exercise mojo. I’m one of those people who genuinely loves to move and over the years it’s become as natural a part of my day as having a shower. But over the past couple of months I’ve found it really difficult to get excited about running, which is usually something I love doing. There’s been no major reason for this that I can pinpoint, which almost makes it harder. At least if you know the reason, you can work out a strategy, but when it’s something intrinsic like motivation, it’s much harder to figure out! This has happened before over the years so I know it’s not a permanent situation, but I’m never quite sure how long it’s going to last.   Here are the strategies that I’ve found helpful.

  • Check in with yourself – sometimes a dip in mojo our body’s way of telling us to slow down and take it easy. If you’ve been training hard or been extra busy, then it might be a question of needing to listen and ease off the gas for a few days.       Similarly if you’re making changes to your diet, you may be trying to change too much too quickly.       Take a quick personal audit and see whether that’s the case or whether it’s just your motivation.       If there is an issue, think about making adjustments more slowly – take a walk instead of a run, reduce your caffeine by a couple of cups rather than cutting it out entirely.       Small changes are still positive progress. If you need to, rest!
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  • Try something new – sometimes a lack motivation can be as the result of boredom and mixing it up is all you need to get you back on track.   To go back to my running analogy, I will try a new route or add in some intervals or hill reps to challenge myself in a different way. It applies equally to dietary changes – if you’re trying to eat more fruit and veg try something you’ve never had before, or if you’re cutting back on caffeine why not experiment with some different herbal teas?
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  • Connect with your why – remind yourself of why you started in the first place, it often gets forgotten in the pressure of everyday life. I run because it grounds me, gives me headspace and feeling fit and strong gives me confidence in other areas of my life. Perhaps you are hoping to improve your energy levels or ensure you’re setting a great example to your family with a healthy lifestyle.
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  • Set a goal – it can be really helpful to set a more tangible goal to ensure that you can measure your progress. It can be short or long term, or even a combination of the two – the short term goals helping you make progress towards the long term goals. I have a time in mind for a half marathon later in the year which is my long term focus. But I know that 3 runs a week is the minimum necessary to get me there. Setting a goal around trying a new recipe every week could be a short term goal, whilst measuring your energy on a scale of 1-10 and aiming to improve that by 2 points in 3 months’ time could be a longer term focus.
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  • Just do something! Sometimes getting started is the hardest bit, so make a deal with yourself that you’ll do something to progress your goal, even if it’s not the full monty. I might decide I am going to run for 5 minutes and that’s it, but chances are I’ll end up going for longer once I’m out. You might decide that eating three portions of fruit and veg is progress for now, anything you do on top is a bonus.
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  • Enlist support – Having someone on your side encouraging you when the going gets tough can be valuable. I like running alone, but sharing my progress on Strava keeps me on track! Asking family or friends to support you in making healthy changes can be helpful, or joining a community of like-minded people on social media
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  • Suck it up – sometimes, you just have to do it anyone, grit your teeth, get your head down and get on with it! Just remember: you never regret doing something positive for your health after the event!

Right, where did I put those trainers?

 

Liz Driver, Chiltern Nutrition
Tel: 07853 664381  

chilternnutrition@outlook.com

 

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