Motivation will only get you so far. Habits will prevail.
Does this sound familiar?
You have a goal that you want to achieve and an injury to address. You start strong and are committed to the exercises or Physio treatment plan. Then…… as time passes and the pain get a little better…… life gets a little busier…… and your enthusiasm for the goal diminishes. Your commitment to exercising and achieving that goal seems to faulter and eventually evaporates away. You started so strong, but what went wrong?
One of the most common questions we get asked is “how do I stay motivated?”. The truth is that even the most motivated among us will have times where our commitment and enthusiasm will ebb. Have you ever heard of the saying motivation will get you started but habit keeps you going? I think this is where the secret lies.
When setting a goal, whether it be to fix a pain or an injury or to run a marathon (which may cause you pain!), there are a few things you need to think about first to ignite your motivation and really get you started.
1. Determine your driver!
You must have a reason for doing it. Why is this important to you? It must be important to you. If you commit to something because someone tells you that you should more often than not you won’t get the results that you’re after. The drive needs to come from within, or be intrinsic.
2. Prepare yourself.
Nothing can be more draining and de-motivating than a cluttered mind. Collect these thoughts by talking through your desired outcome, what you’ve done so far, and what your option’s are for moving forward. Discussing these things with your physio or coach will help you ensure the goals are in line with your current lifestyle and thought processes. You’ll be lucky to even start a plan of action if you’re not prepared for it.
3. Let other people inspire you.
Use other people, coaches and physios to help motivate and energize you. There’s nothing worse than having people tell you that it’s a lost cause or that the effort you put in won’t eventuate to anything. Why bother even starting if this is the case right?
4. Make a plan B
Sometimes having multiple plans or methods of attack will help. My brother is a medical scientist and he told me to always take inspiration from our own failures as well as those who have failed before us, we know that those ways might not work! You need new solutions to solve old problems!
5. Turn your motivation into a habit
That’s right, now that you’ve got the best possible intentions and motivation to get going you just need to make your processes a habit. Each morning when I turn the kettle on, I do my exercises. When my motivation is lagging, when it’s too cold outside or when I’ve got a stressful day coming up the habit of turning the kettle on and doing my exercises will keep me going. Each day I successfully complete my habitual exercises I will be one day closer to my goals. When I’m feeling super motivated again I might just do two sets of the exercises (as long as my physio says its ok to do a few more)!
6. Reset the clock if you have an “off” day
Hey, it’s not always going to be easy and there will be days when life gets in the way or it all seems too much. Expect these to occasionally happen however be ready to reset the clock and get back into your good habits the next day. Getting “back on the program” quickly has been shown to be a trait of highly successful people.