Leading a fit and active lifestyle isn’t always as simple as it seems. It’s so worth it, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t always an easy process or journey. Sometimes we have great days and sometimes those not-so-great days fall upon us and everything seems to go belly up.
Being fit and active all the time and having the motivation to do so can be challenging – why? Because it requires so much energy! To be constantly active all the time means that we are continuously giving out energy, not only physically but mentally too. It requires more dedication and determination than motivation – when it comes to fitness, discipline comes before anything else. To have that discipline means that no excuse will ever be strong enough to stop you from achieving what it is you need to.
However, no matter where you are in your fitness journey or how active you are, inevitably you will face those times when you just can’t be bothered. It doesn’t matter how much determination or motivation you have, you just feel stuck. There is so much pressure to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, to be on the latest fitness trend or to run that half marathon just because everyone else is doing so. It’s tough. Some people thrive on that pressure, whether it’s self-driven or not, where as others – maybe not so much. For me personally, I am 100% the latter. If I feel any pressure then I lose all enthusiasm for what I am doing when it comes to physical activity – probably why I was never fantastic at team sports.
Pressure ultimately leads to some sort of expectation whether it comes from yourself or someone else. For example: You could put the pressure on yourself to start a fitness journey to lose weight – losing weight being the expectation. Or, you might be entering the next race to complete it in a certain time – the time being the expectation. For those of us who crumble under pressure though, those expectations might just be one of the main reasons our motivation and discipline fly out the window. If we don’t achieve those expectations (hit those hurdles) then feelings of shame, guilt, and failure might very well be right round the corner – NOT good right? So being on a fitness journey might not always be as easy as it seems no matter what magazines and celebrities tell you. It’s a constant emotional battle.
Having said that – being fit and active is one of the BEST things for your body to ultimately be healthy – it’s good for your heart, your hormones, your digestive system, your mood. Being fit the RIGHT way is amazing and does wonders to your body! So why do we end up feeling stuck then? Why is it that all good intentions lead to us not achieving? Simple:
“You’re just not in the mood!”
So next time you’re feeling that lack of motivation or those moments of ‘I can’t be bothered’, follow these steps and let’s see if we can get your mojo back! Let’s get you back in the mood, your body moving and your enthusiasm to be fit and active, back up and running (excuse the pun!).
So firstly, feeling like you can’t be bothered and like you don’t really fancy doing anything, probably means that you should do it! Our bodies are our biggest indicator of when something is wrong and if your body is stagnant and lethargic that more often than not, your mind is too.
Have you ever felt super tired but then you worked out and all of a sudden you felt fantastic? Of course you have! That’s because our bodies are like a snow globe, if they’re still for too long they become dull and tired – but move them around and before you know it you’re full of life and energy again. So yes, being active does require a lot of mental and physical energy but it also gives a tonne more energy back to you in return.
So when you’re not in the mood to work out – just go for a walk. Have a break from your fitness routine and your schedule and just get out the house and walk it off. Walking is medicine for the brain and the body and you will thank yourself for it later.
When you have some spare time, get out of the house or your office and enjoy the fresh air – clear your head of all the ‘fuzziness’ and lift your mood and spirits.
Next, ask yourself these questions:
Be honest and truthful with yourself when you answer these questions. Even though it’s quite hard sometimes, being honest and truthful with yourself can give you that clarity to push forward and work through those barriers. Finally ask yourself why you are on this journey to be fit and active – give your ‘why’ meaning and validation. Let this encourage you to continue and give you a boost.
Now you have been honest with yourself, it’s time to spice things up a little bit. Most of the time, motivation and dedication fall flat because we just aren’t enjoying ourselves. As human beings, we constantly seek pleasure in anything and everything that we do – so obviously, fitness is no exception! We need to enjoy working out and that way it will be sustainable.
We all have a million and one different opinions of what we enjoy and what we don’t. When it comes to working out we need to experiment with what we love and what doesn’t really work for us. For example: I have always wanted to get into long distance running and have tried so hard, but I really don’t enjoy it! I never am motivated to go and feel stressed the whole time. However, I can spend hours going to dance class after dance class and never get tired or bored – I love every second when it comes to dancing.
So write down what works for you – what you enjoy.
If you don’t know what you enjoy then write down what you DON’T like. Even writing down what you know doesn’t work for you will give you a starting point to work from. Ok, so you don’t like lifting weights for example, but you want to tone up – so maybe you could try yoga or pilates?
Analyse what turns you on and what turns you off – think pleasure seeking.
Look at your current routine and ask yourself:
‘Why is it not working for me?’
Naturally we don’t do well with boredom, it’s not a healthy space to be in and it might be one of the reasons that you’re lacking in motivation. The words ‘I’m not in the mood’ or ‘I can’t be bothered’ have boredom written all over them. So change it up – do something totally different, try a new class or exercise in a new environment, even go outside your comfort zone. Just make it exciting.
Write down a list of all the ‘active’ things you have wanted to try and give them a go – you might find something new that you totally love or something that will make working out all the more enjoyable for you.
Finally, you have to have fun! Working out and having an active lifestyle is much more sustainable when you are enjoying yourself and having fun. Like I said, pleasure seeking is in our nature so make sure that exercising is pleasurable to you. Ask yourself:
There are so many ways that we can make exercising more fun for ourselves. For me, wearing a colourful outfit and going to a gym class is much more fun than going for a run outside.
You want exercising to be pleasurable.
When you enjoy working out it’s more sustainable.
What is fun for one person may not be fun for you.
Having the motivation and discipline to stay fit, active and healthy is hard but keep persevering – it is so worth all the results and benefits you will get out of it.
“Find a way to be in the mood to live the best life ever! ”