I think we can all be quite thankful that this winter felt mild compared previous years. However, that doesn’t mean that the winter blues didn’t kick in, that you missed out on seasonal effective disorder (SAD), or that you didn’t lack motivation during the last few months.
Let’s face it, many of us treat winter as an off season because it’s easier to stay home than it is to stick to a regular training regime. So now that we’re through winter, why hasn’t that motivation to eat clean and train mean kicked in straight away?
Don’t worry, I get it – I’m still battling every morning to choose the gym over my nice comfy warm bed. So how do we get that drive back, how do we get motivated and how do we reignite our flame?
Let’s start with our main key drivers in life – our values. These are the core of who we are as a person, and depending on your beliefs, they may be expressed differently such as your morals, your rule book, your guiding light, etc.
We all have our own personal core values and it’s important to know what they are and understand them, as they drive our decisions in all areas of our lives.
Our personal values guide our behaviours, choices and decisions and are a huge part of what situations we end up in.
Different for all of us, they are influenced by our role models, upbringing, cultural beliefs, experience, etc.
Your personal values may be things such as honesty, work ethic, authenticity, and once you identify what drives you, then you have the starting point of what guides your goals, what motivates you, what makes you who you are and hopefully some more insight into yourself as a person.
For example, one of your values might be to treat your body as a temple – which is an indication of why you choose to live a healthy lifestyle.
Once we understand our values, we can then figure out what our motivation is and whether it’s intrinsic or extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivators are internal motivators that make us feel good, things that make us happy, things that we enjoy and provide us with a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.
Then we have extrinsic motivators, which are an external motivator such as recognition from peers, rewards such as money, and external praise.
These things still make us feel good and give us a sense of achievement but come from an external source of motivation.
There’s nothing wrong with either type of motivation. In fact everyone has both to a certain degree, with one possibly being stronger than the other in different situations.
Therefore, it’s vital to tap into your motivation for what you’re doing, particularly exercise. You may be exercising to lose weight, but why are you exercising to lose weight? Is it because you want to feel better about yourself or is it because you want to impress others around you?
By asking yourself these questions, it will shed light on the why behind what you are doing and give you a good indication of how to stay motivated.
Once we have identified our values and what our motivation is, it’s going to be a lot easier to set goals.
Let’s face it, goals can become complicated. There are so many different acronyms out there that it can get a little confusing, so think of it this way – what do you want to achieve? Yup it’s that simple. You need to identify what you want to get out of life.
For example, if you’re going to their gym, doing home workouts, running each week; why? What is the end game – what is the goal? It’s a lot easier to do the work, if you know what you are working towards. This will all be derived from your values, and your motivation.
If one of your values is to get the most out of your body, and your motivation is extrinsic – you’re competitive and like to win – then that’s going to help you decide on your goal (such as competing in an event).
Once you have a goal in mind, you are able to start planning on how to achieve it.
So, strip it back, start from the beginning and make it simple: Values – Motivation – Goals!
This may not be life-changing advice, however hopefully it can start to help you connect some dots, get some insight and help start some sparks that lead to the reignition of your flame.
If you struggle with self-analysis, staying motivated and setting goals then that’s where contacting a wellbeing coach or personal trainer can be helpful.
Sometimes you need someone to help you draw out those awesome moments from within. I recommend that you do your research and find someone who lines up with your personal philosophy around health and wellbeing.
The good news is that our mornings are getting warmer, daylight saving is closer and summer is just around the corner.
Not only does the pressure come on to get ready for summer (which is a motivator within itself), it’s also going to get a lot easier to get up in the morning.
And, if you’re anything like me, my favourite place to exercise is the outdoors – so it’s that time where you can start enjoying your favourite river trails and running tracks. So, remember to identify your values, find your motivation and set some goals – some big audacious goals.
Dream big, work hard and most importantly, reignite that flame so your candle can burn bright!