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Boost your Motivation this Lock-down & Wintertime

The motivation to train and eat clean in the wintertime or in this lock-down time can be very trying.

There is nothing wrong with a Netflix duvet day or two, but the problem is that motivation is like a muscle. If you do not train the muscle often enough, it weakens. Motivation can be developed and strengthened, but you need to plan especially when your willpower takes control of you.

1. Change your mindset

The first source of our motivation is our thought process, “what you think”. When we change our thought patterns by making conscious decisions to clean up our minds and our thought processes, we transform our actions. A lack of motivation can be the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals. When you not motivated to complete a task (training, work or diet), identify the possible reasons why you are struggling. Then, develop a plan to help motivate yourself to get going.

2. Consider the reasons why

Finding your ‘why’ will carry you through difficult days or through those times when your motivation levels are at their lowest. When determining your ‘why’ ask yourself “what drives me? What is my greatest desire?” Purpose gives us energy, focus and perseverance during our most trying times. Remind yourself why you started, that will motivate you to get to where you want to go and reach your goal, or keep you driving to that goal.

Some examples: 1) if you are a perfectionist, your lack of motivation may because of fear that you will not complete a task perfectly. Until you address this need to be perfect, your motivation might not increase, or you will falter halfway through and give up.

2) your lack of motivation may cause you to procrastinate, and the more you postpone the less motivated you feel, if you sit in front of the TV the whole day and watch Netflix and keep on doing it you will start feeling lethargic and that tired makes you feel more lethargic. So, once you move and start to do something it will reset your motivation positively to get that workout/eating plan etc. done and that will help you feel better and more energized effectively “starting up” your drive “to do”.

Here are some popular reasons for a lack of motivation:

· Prevention of discomfort/pain/soreness. You might feel bored with a workout or the food you are eating, frustrated by avoiding a tough workout due to soreness and discomfort.

· Being overwhelmed. If you are feeling over-stretched and have too much going on in your life you may feel a lack of motivation to get started or continue with a planned programme, exercise or food. Stress causes a lot of anxiety and makes you want to give up easier on yourself. Exercise can alleviate stress and make you feel better.

· Health. Depression, mental illnesses and anxiety may influence your motivational level.

· Shortage of dedication to a goal. Sometimes when you are pressured into a task or being pressured to perform because you feel obligated to, you may not really like to commit to your goal because you are not fully into it.

· Self-doubt. There is a quote from Henry Ford which says, “Whether you THINK you CAN or you THINK you CAN’T YOU ARE RIGHT.” When you convince yourself that you cannot endure the discomfort or sore muscles or frustration of not seeing the kilograms come down – you probably will struggle to keep going.

· Comparing oneself. Comparing to other people can demotivate you and make you feel undeserving, and you give up.

· Fear of what other people think.

· Desire to please everyone.

So carefully consider the underlying thoughts and feelings that are affecting your drive. Then acknowledge it, learn from it and take action.

3. Action

You may be able to trick yourself into feeling motivated by changing your behaviour. Act as if you felt motivated, and your actions may change your emotions.

For example, rather than sit on the couch in your pyjamas all day watching Netflix waiting for motivation to strike, get dressed and get moving. Do not open Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter /Instagram and watch exercise posts and think that count as getting moving. You need to act. You will find that taking action will in turn increase your motivation, which makes it easier to keep going.

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help get you into the right frame of mind and it might boost your confidence. Make a visualization board, putting pictures up of a goal you would like to reach. Putting a pair of jeans in your cupboard so that you see it every time you open the cupboard door. Putting a big picture of your goal on the fridge might help you not to open the fridge when it is not time to eat.

Contacting us and chatting about your struggles and goals or watching motivational and inspirational videos ( online or listening to motivation podcasts ( can also help to get you going when motivation levels are low.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” CS Lewis

4. Make it more fun

Improve your mood by combining a little fun to your workout you are not motivated to do. You feel happier and might even look forward to doing the workout when you consistently combine it with something fun.

Listen to music while you train “Music is an effective psychological stimulant that can change the way we perceive the gym environment and bring about significant improvements in both exercise performance and how we feel,” commented lead researcher Dr Costas Karageorghis.

5. Preparation

One of the biggest reasons why people fail at their plan is because they do not prepare properly, this is applicable in training and diet. If you fail to prepare your food for the week, you will need to apply lot more willpower and self-control trying to avoid easy fatty available foods and fast foods (less so in lock-down). Do yourself a favor and get into a routine of planning and preparing to succeed. Tips: Cook extra food like, chicken, eggs and meat to eat for a protein the next day. Cook on Thursdays to be prepared for the weekends so that when you open the fridge on Saturday or Sunday you have enough food for the day.

6. Progress tracking

What gets measured, gets achieved. Start tracking your progress. By tracking how quickly and by how much you are improving, you will soon realize that the effort you put in rewarded with results. This will inspire you to keep working towards your goals, even on the coldest nights and mornings. When it comes to eating clean, make follow up appointments with us and make sure that you are still on track with your weight goals. Do not compromise, remember your original goal – It was not to just fit into those old small jeans.

Discipline is doing what needs to be done even when you do not want to do it.

7. Just do something

Most people mistakenly believe that motivation must precede action – that before you do something you must first feel motivated to do it. Take action!! Mark Manson said in a blog post on his site - “that the Do Something principle takes advantage of the fact that action is both the cause of motivation as well as the effect. And once you take one small, simple action, there is a momentum that builds inside you, making the rest easier.” His advice is “if you want to do something – anything – then you just start with the simplest component of that task.”

Everyone struggles with motivation issues at one time or another. The way you respond to your lack of motivation is what matters, however, be kind to yourself, experiment with strategies that increase your motivation, and ask for help if you need it. We have FaceTime/Zoom/Skype available for you to talk to us, he can help you track your progress and keep you motivated and in the channel of loss for ideal body composition.

Fitness Magazine, issue July – August 2018


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John Hamlett

Fitness & Nutritionist Specialist

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