If I had £1 for every client that’s asked me how they can stay motivated to stay on their health and fitness journey, I’d be living in a large mansion and be driving my dream car by now!
I get it. I do.
Sustaining motivation to exercise can be challenging, particularly if you’re lacking routine or an exercise programme you enjoy. It can leave you feeling uninspired. A “can’t be bothered today” or a “i’ll do it later” attitude to this has a catch 22 effect.
Physical inactivity has a negative burden on our mental wellbeing, which compounds the effects of feeling uninspired to get on with your fitness programme. But if you just got up and got on with it, you’d release those good endorphins and feel better. But, you have to get on with it first, but you’re feeling uninspired and unmotivated so don’t get on with it, and so the cycle continues!
For me, exercise is a focus and distracts my mind from the stress of everyday life. Importantly, it’s valued time I take out of my daily schedule to look after myself.
If you can’t put your own health and wellbeing in the top 3 of your priorities list, then you’ll struggle to stay consistent in improving your health and fitness. So, where are you in your priorities list? It’s a big question. Here’s my top five tips on making your motivation sustainable in the long term.
1: Money’s too tight to mention
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to improve your health and fitness. With a wealth of free workouts available across all social media platforms, exercising doesn’t have to cost a penny. From beginners to athletes, there’s something for you our there! You don’t even need to buy equipment! Find a space for a yoga-style mat at home and your body really is your at-home gym!
2: You’ve got a friend in me!
Get an accountability buddy. Someone in your circle of friends or family who will get out for that power-walk, jog or run with you. Someone who will happily join you on a 30-day plank, squat or skipping challenge, for example! Keep track of each other’s progress and develop new skills in the process. Lift each other up and empower each other to crack on, continue, and smash those goals!
3: It’s non-negotiable!
Make the time that you have set aside for your exercise, or meal prepping non-negotiable. Make that time as important as a GP appointment or work meeting. And maybe try and get that done as early as possible in your day so that nothing can crop up and get in your way. Many people find this a toughly when it comes to actioning their plan, but, if you can do this, you’re halfway there!
4: Compassion is key
Self-compassion, that is. Remember to incorporate recovery and self-care as part of your routine. Listen to your body. Be kind to yourself. Mobility, stretching and mindfulness all complement other forms of exercise, promoting positive self-awareness, mental clarity and improving your overall wellbeing.
5: As simple as ABC
I hate to burst the inspiration bubble- but- POP! Motivation is momentary. It’s the thing that you feel that makes you start your journey. STEP A.
Inspiration is what you get from watching others along the way. STEP B.
But STEP C? The end goal? What gets you there isn’t sexy, it isn’t pretty, and it is pretty mundane. It is self-discipline. Show up every day, and do that for as long as it takes until you reach your goal. Dip deep and get it done. That’s STEP C.
Sustaining a healthy lifestyle is simple. I said simple, not easy. But, remember this. Small steps each day, taken consistently over time, lead to big, positive changes. Living a healthy life really is sustainable, and I guess at the end of the day, that’s your motivation.