How to find your exercise mojo - and keep it
Personal Trainer Nats Levi from Les Mills explains the four P’s of motivation.
So the year is flying by and you’ve just realised you haven’t been to the gym in weeks – and it’s clear your latest fitness resolutions went out the window months back! It happens. Here’s how to fix it.
If you’re feeling like you’ve lost your mojo, the first thing you need to do is recognize that it’s totally normal. This is reality, motivation often goes astray. When your mojo is missing you have a few choices. You can choose to carry on as is and wallow in what could have been or, you can take a moment, decide to kick your own butt into gear and follow these four P’s of motivation.
Get your schedule sorted and start treating your workout as an event that’s just as important as any other appointment. Diarise and colour code that time in your schedule, so that you have time that is set for your fitness. Consider this a date with your own physical fitness and mental wellbeing. You know that if you don’t schedule this in everything else will take priority; kids, partners, pets, the washing…
Consider what days you want to work out. How many days a week? What time is best for your body? Where will you exercise? Will you meet friends and take a class, or make time to see a personal trainer? The key is to find a “thing” you love to do for exercise. You also need to diarise your workouts in a way that works for you. This could be “new skool” using the calendar app on your phone, or “old school” using a written diary or paper schedule stuck to the fridge with beautiful heart-shaped magnets.
You need to prioritise your set workout times as non-negotiable. These workout times should become known as “tiger time”, something you guard as fiercely as a tiger mom protecting her newborn cubs. You should decide on a minimum number of sessions that you need to allocate as “tiger time”. You do these sessions no matter what, and any extras are exactly that, extras. Yay, for the time to do the extras!
Every great team and athlete has a crew and support tribe around them. You need yours. People such as friends, family and colleagues who are as invested in your success and helping you reach your goal are golden. Take the time to let those closest to you know what you need to do each week and why. Tell them about your goals and the commitment you are making. Ask them to help hold you accountable. You never know, if that colleague who socializes every lunchtime understands your mission they might not try and coerce you into a lunch date that clashes with your favourite class – which is a good thing, as it helps ensure nothing gets in the way of your prioritized workout time.
So what is the real kicker behind setting SMART goals? The answer is your WHY. Your purpose. Ask yourself why you want to lose the 5kg? What is the real reason, desire and purpose? Why is this important to you?
Is it to feel sexier? More like yourself? To be healthier for your kids? Will the completion of a half marathon finally prove that YOU can finish a challenge you set out to do? Does getting on stage in a bikini scare you so badly that once you strut in your heels in front of strangers, you will find freedom from your own insecurities? When you unlock your real purpose your motivation will be unreal. Your purpose is the reason you can cut excuses and keep consistent. It will see you stick to the plan – even when you think the plan is ridiculous and you really just want to eat cake! No matter what your goal is, identify your true purpose (be honest and ruthless with yourself). Find the why. Write it, draw it, plan it. Identify this and you can achieve anything.