ARE YOU MOTIVATED ENOUGH TO STEP INTO ACTION?
It is 6:30 a.m. The alarm clock goes off. You had planned to run for 30 minutes this morning. The problem is you haven’t slept well during the night and the weather says it is rather cold outside. What happens next depends on you…
Planning is the easy part. We always have good intentions when we plan for future activities. But when it comes time to take action, sometimes things get tough and that initial motivation becomes hard to find.
WHAT IS MOTIVATION?
In the Larousse dictionary, motivation is described as: A physiological and psychological process responsible for the initiation, continuation and termination of a behaviour. Motivation is therefore a group of factors that push us to act in one way rather than another.
Let’s return to our example. You have planned to run because you know that it will have a beneficial effect on your physical and psychological health. However, when it comes time to take action, this benefit comes into competition with the immediate benefit of the comfort and warmth of your bed. Therefore, if the motivation (better health) is the initiator of an action (setting your alarm) for an objective (going running for 30 minutes), what is missing from the equation for you to take action? Simply the desire to take action.
Motivation is that which gives a direction to your training (preventing diabetes, reducing your stress, looking better, improving your heart health, etc.). The desire is that which pushes you to act, regardless of the obstacles.
TIPS TO TAKE ACTION AND PERSEVERE
Establish an objective
It is always more motivating to work towards attaining a goal (e.g.: walk 20 minutes a day, play badminton on Friday, ride a stationary bike three times a week). When setting your objectives, be careful not to set the bar too high. This can have the effect of quickly discouraging you.
Set aside the time
Put the odds in your favour. Each week, decide what times you will train. Set aside a block of time in your agenda and respect your commitment.
Routine is your ally. Like how we take out the trash on Mondays and like how we get up every day to go to work, physical activity will become a must in your schedule and will anchor itself in your habits. With time, even your friends and your family will get used to your new schedule and learn to respect it.
We can’t stop the unexpected. Always have a plan B at hand. For example, if you have to work longer hours, consider going out to walk on your lunch hour or if you are more tired than usual, reduce the intensity rather than miss a day.
Remember that exercise isn’t a trip to the doctor. It must, first and foremost, be a source of enjoyment. Choose activities that you like and that make you feel good. Above all, don’t forget that dancing in your living room, playing tag and renovating your bathroom all count as exercise.
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FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE ATTITUDE ORANGE PLANNER, immediately set aside one, two or three time slots for sports this week and stick to your commitment. In order to better understand the things that motivate or demotivate you, list in the “daily objectives and comments” section the thoughts that run through your mind at the moment you take action, and once you’ve finished training.