We all know that exercise is good for us, and most of us also say that we want to exercise more, but actually bridging that gap between desire and action is very difficult. During January many of us will have set a New Year’s resolution to be more active but a few months down the line we can find our motivation waning.
I have helped many clients overcome a lack of motivation and instil new healthy habits in their lives. Whether trying to eat more healthily, stop smoking or exercise more, motivation is key to early success.
Motivation shouldn’t be confused with willpower. Willpower suggests an on-going struggle and day-to-day difficulties achieving your goal. When harnessed properly, motivation is a powerful tool to turn desire into a tangible habit which becomes an easy, everyday part of your life.
Visualise Positive Outcomes
When we set ourselves long-term or intangible goals it can be hard to remember in the moment what our motivation is. Developing enough self-awareness to realise when your motivation starts to wane and how to reignite it is key. Only ‘present day you’ can work towards achieving ‘later day you’s’ goals. A quick visualisation exercise can put the two in touch and create positive associations.
Overcome Mental Blocks
We all have different reasons why we might not exercise. We may not associate it with anything good, or we might have had a bad experience in the past. Perhaps the gym makes us nervous or low self-esteem holds us back. Whatever the reasons, facing these challenges and making plans to overcome them is key.
Commitment and Accountability
Consider what you need to put in place to feel like you are being held accountable. For some people regular coaching sessions are an effective starting point. For others, setting exercise goals or dates with friends prevents them from skipping. Or why not try one of the online commitment sites where you set yourself up rewards or forfeits if you don’t stick to your goals?
Plan For Challenges
We all know the feeling when you haven’t packed your gym bag or you’re running a little late and sticking to your exercise goals just seems that bit too difficult. Recognise these challenges and make plans to overcome them. Could you pack your gym bag the night before and take it with you? For days when time is running short is there a quicker exercise you can do? Whatever works for you, that’s the right answer.
The real key to lasting motivation is to make exercise such an integral part of you and your day that missing it is not an option. How often do you skips meals or forget to brush your teeth? Hopefully not too often because these things are habits. Once you manage to make exercise a part of your everyday routine, it will become easier and more rewarding.
When my clients want to make practical changes to their life I often discuss coaching with them. They have the desire to change but they aren’t sure what steps to take to make it happen. What plans can they put in place to make change easier? What obstacles might they face and how can they prepare for them? What new strategies are needed for success? For many, this approach is effective in very few sessions.
If you feel that something deeper is holding you back – perhaps fear, emotional blocks or an underlying lack of motivation, then hypnotherapy is hugely effective at breaking these negative patterns and creating new life-long habits and behaviours that become second nature. If hypnotherapy can break a habit as addictive as smoking, it can certainly help you develop the habit of a more active lifestyle. The rewards are plentiful so why not get in touch today?