• Genevieve Temple

Has your motivation gone?

Are you lacking the motivation to exercise at the moment?

Are you feeling wiped out and struggling to do much despite the clearer calendar?

Perhaps you had good intentions of making use of all the free exercise apps that are around at the moment, but haven’t actually used many, if any, of them? This was certainly me!

So, why are we struggling? Why has motivation flown out of the window along with the full diary?

Our lives have been thrown out of kilter and I believe it's the absence of a routine that is largely to blame.

In which case, the answer lies in making a new one, making a PLAN. Refilling the diary with your new life.

Sure, you may not have to be at the gym for a body pump session at 7 am, but you can schedule in your own exercise or a virtual class to do at home instead.

Making a planner, or adding tasks to the calendar, is the first step. Consulting it is the next. Continually refer to your planner. It takes time for a new timetable to be ingrained in our brains so keep looking at it. And then “turn up” and fulfil your “appointments”. Checking off what you’ve achieved will give you a mental high-five too.

If you schedule and do exercise first thing in the morning, it will boost your motivation and set you up for the day. It will help lower your cortisol (stress hormone) and raise you serotonin (happy hormone) levels. Doing your early exercise outside in the garden, if you are fortunate to have one, or other green space, will also help reduce stress and set your circadian rhythms, as well as be a change of scene. You don't need to dedicate a huge chunk of time. Five minutes is better than nothing.

If you’re finding exercise apps hard to stick to, try live, online classes instead which are scheduled for specific times. There are plenty of these around now. You may find them easier to stick to as there’s some accountability to a real live instructor who can see you turn up, even if it's just in messages. There’s also a sense of community by doing it with other virtual exercisers.

A planner doesn’t have to be just for exercise. We’ve had many a muddled day in our house these past few weeks, with little achievement. I've started making a planner for my youngest which includes play time, lunch time, reading time, down time etc. There's a certain sense of achievement for both of us in ticking off the various tasks.

These are strange times, and I don't profess to have the definitive answers on how to deal with them. The days will pass, but whilst we’re stuck in them, part of the trick on how to stay motivated may lie in making a new schedule. Happy planning!

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