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September

How To Get & Stay Motivated To Exercise

Motivation is a little bit like your mood. If you’re chasing motivation it’s a little bit like chasing a good mood. You can’t be guaranteed to be in a good mood and you can’t always be guaranteed to be motivated. For some people they feel motivated when they hit actual rock bottom. 

When all your habits go out the window, and you’ve gained weight, and you feel rotten, and you feel really unfit, and you find climbing up the stairs tough, that’s when a lot of people can go ‘right, Ok,  I better get to work. I better get to do something about this’. And they get motivated for a couple of weeks, feel a little bit better, and go right back down.

Have you ever wondered why you do that? 

If you ever wonder why you feel like you’re circling and circling… that you’re motivated, you do a good spurt and you pull back, it may be because you are relying on motivation and you are using motivation as your tool to get fit, lose weight and improve your quality of life. And I don’t blame you. It’s pushed out there so much. ‘Get motivated’. ‘How to stay motivated’. ‘Once you’re motivated you’re all good’.

 You can keep going. But what I ask  you to possibly reframe in your mind and maybe think about it a bit differently is rather than ask yourself how can I stay motivated, ask yourself instead how can I become consistent? 

How can I become consistent with exercise? And anytime you hear somebody talking about motivation just switch that word out for consistency.

There’s five steps.

 Five steps to becoming consistent in exercise in your life, but you can imply them to absolutely everything in your life. 

The first one is to create a really good morning routine. 

Now you don’t have to go absolutely crazy with the morning routine and start straight off meditating and doing affirmations and all that good stuff. You can simply start by getting up 10 minutes earlier than you need to, with a cup of coffee, sitting for five minutes, and just being a little bit ahead of yourself. It is absolutely mind blowing the power of being ahead of yourself first thing in the morning, rather than get up and scramble around and then by about one o’clock feel like, okay, now I’m in the zone.So the first one is to create a good morning routine.

 The second one is to create a good bedtime routine. 

To be consistent with everything in your life you need to think of yourself as an athlete. You need to be taking care of yourself in small ways to make sure that you are prepping yourself and priming yourself up for the good stuff. So if you want to become consistent with exercise, not only do you need to have a good morning routine, but you’ve got to have a good bedtime routine. 

And that can simply mean getting to bed by 10:30 at night, putting your phone on airplane mode and having a good page turning book, something that you know that’s so simple to read that you can just pick it up, like a Marian Keyes book that sucs you right in…you’re straight in.

The third thing I would do is plan your workouts. 

So how to get and stay consistent in your exercise, plan your workouts to an absolute tee. Make sure that you have your exact times, your exact days and leave it alone. Follow your plan. Set an alarm clock in your phone 10 minutes before you have to workout. And every single time your workout comes into your brain and you start to think, oh my God, I’ve got my workout in four hours, just go, no, I’m not doing that. 

I’m going to think about my workout five minutes before, because my workout’s only 30 minutes long and I’m not turning that workout into a four hour workout because if I do I know what will happen. I’ll start to get really demotivated and not in the mood. So really try to put your workout time into your workout times and leave it alone. And you’ll find your mind wandering, your mind always looking for the negative thing to focus on, go, no, I’m not doing that. I’m focusing on something else

The fourth thing is to not overstretch everything, and we as women have a tendency to do that. 

OK, you’re right, Jessica, I’m going to get into the groove of workouts. I’m going to stay consistent. I’m going to do five. And I really, really think that three workouts per week done consistently over time would give you so much better results than being sporadic and getting five, and then getting zero, and then getting five. So you’re giving yourself all these gold stars one week and then beating yourself with a stick the next week. So if you’re consistent you’ll focus on doing that little bit less, little bit less than what you think you can totally fit in, and you’ll feel so much better. And you’ll start to build up your confidence too around the consistency issue.

And my last one is to journal.

And journaling simply means getting out a pen and paper. And in this instance, every day writing out what your plan of attack is for the day. Three things that you’re going to get done this day. And then in the evening time, or at some point later on in the week, reflecting how it’s going and tweaking if you need to. So think of your goals and your action steps like an airplane, course correcting the whole time it’s in flight, and it gets to its destination.

Think of you not as failing or succeeding or winning or losing. Think of yourself as just consistently course correcting. 

You do a little bit. You get a bit of feedback. That feedback is either, yeah, Jessica, you’re going great guns here. You’re going well. You keep on going. You go to something else. Or it’s like, oh no, that’s not working out so well for me and you do a little bit of course correction. Just think of your health and fitness and your weight loss and fitting good in your clothes, just like that. And that’s why I hate those weighing scales and tracker apps because they’re giving you all this immediate feedback, whereas life isn’t like that. You go, you go, you take action. Over time you see how you’re going. You go a little bit this way. You correct a little bit that way. You take the pressure off.

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Jessica Cooke X

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About the author 

Jessica Cooke

I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to empower women to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

I’ve coached more than 6,140 women over 14 years to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives.

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