We’ve all been there, that moment when you know you should get the trainers on and get outside or to the gym (or make your session at one of Kirby’s Personal Training and Fitness Port Talbot’s Bootcamps) but you just can’t find the motivation/energy or that temptation to have the bigger slice of cake or the entire chocolate bar when you don’t really want it screams at you so you give in. Yes we have all been there, even me.
It is really tough on those days to find the motivation to get out of the house or stay away from the cakes/chocolate and you start to feel guilty and low because suddenly your willpower disappears. This amazing willpower that got you started, that kept you going through the first month has simply vanished. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret, willpower doesn’t actually exist. It’s a justification we’ve appeared to have utilise to tell us when we can and can’t do something. It’s a go to mechanise that allows us to not feel bad when someone is doing something we feel we should possibly be doing. What you really have are moods; good and bad days. We all do. The trick is to recognise the lower days and see them for what they are, then figure out how you are going to tackle them. Ok, today you might not be in the frame of mind to go for a PB in that cross country run you’ve been promising you’ll do all week, but I bet if you put your walking boots on and went for a 30 minute walk somewhere scenic, you’ll come home feeling a whole heap better than if you just said ‘stuff it, I have no willpower I’m giving up’. Am I right?
Willpower is not a mystical ability some have more of than other others, nor is it a necessary ingredient to get to where you want to be with your health/fitness/weight goals, or any goal in life for that matter. It’s a convenience that we’ve stuck to as we’ve got older. We’ve been given this idea that willpower is the holy grail for achieving what we want to achieve and alas it’s taken precedence over what is really needed. It is exceptionally hard work – motivating yourself to get to your goals – but if you really want it (and I mean REALLY want it) is willpower really going to get you through? What you have is a choice, to do or do not (there is no try – as Yoda would say). Grit and determination, the right tools, support and a plan are what will get you to your goal. Forming a plan and having simple back up contingencies for those days when that little voice says, ‘have another slice of that lovely cream cake’ or ‘let’s stay in bed for another two hours’. Yes, there will be days when your body will say ‘not today you need to rest’ but you will know how different that is to a low mood that makes you want to hibernate and eat the entire contents of the fridge. I know, I’ve been there. Once you start to recognise the patterns, the mood swings, etc you will be in a far better position to motivate yourself. Keeping a mood diary as well as a food diary is a great help in recognising patterns for those peaks and troughs.
Motivation itself comes in peaks and troughs, sometimes when the motivation wanes we do have to give ourselves a proverbial kick up the rear to get going again. We have to make the choice to give ourselves that kick and sometimes, yes, we do need the break in the routine (it helps us evaluate things) but just because you’ve had one bad day doesn’t mean the rest of the week has to be bad. Have a look at where you can schedule in activities to help you reach your goal – plan, plan, plan and plan some more. And cut yourself some slack. You are only human!
As always, be kind to yourself.