Maintaining the motivation to keep exercising can be hard, but sometimes the hardest part is actually getting started in the first place.
Sometimes we make plans to exercise, and then discover a thousand other everyday things that take priority. The gym memberships we take out in January are a great example of our intention to exercise, but by the time we get to the end of February we realise that they’re rarely used.
So why does exercise sometimes seem like a really good idea until the time comes to do it? And if a lack of motivation is what holds you back, then we need to look at what it is.
I like a positive definition of the word and, for me, motivation is the desire, willingness and even enthusiasm I have for doing something.
So, given that definition, where does the desire, willingness and enthusiasm come from? It is, of course, subjective. In the case of professional sports people, they want to be the best in their field, and to win. For us mere mortals, our motivation to exercise could be to try to be healthier and to live longer. Also, for a lot of people, the motivation can be to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight over the long term.
The problem with a lack of motivation to exercise is that we may live in hope that one day we’ll wake up and it will have miraculously appeared, or that someone will give it to us – but neither is wholly realistic. We must take responsibility for understanding that our motivation needs to be actively thought about and created from within ourselves.
My motivation to exercise on any given day can change, but there are key elements that always remain the same:
- Exercise is a crucial component of my weight management.
- I have always felt the positive effects of the ‘happy’ endorphins generated by exertion.
- The less I move, the more tired I feel, so exercise gives me more energy.
- And finally, feeling fit and strong helps in the negotiation of all aspects of my everyday life.
In Part 2 of this article I will look at tips and ideas for how to get motivated.