We all know what motivation is but what is it that stops us from turning motivation into action?

Motivation

We are flooded on an almost daily basis with reasons for why we need to be more active. We know it’s good for us but sometimes knowing it’s good isn’t enough to spur us into action. So why is that?

1. Emotions. We let how we feel talk us out of anything. So how do we create positive emotions such as optimism and happiness. Awareness of your progress. No matter how small, track your wins. You can use a diary or a white board or an activity tracker on your smart phone or smart watch.

2. Rewards. Do you reward yourself? A reward can and should look different to everyone. You need to consider what you enjoy, what is important to you, what is realistic. For example someone who is motivated by friends might set a reward of a night out with mates after one week of walking for 10 minutes each day during lunch break. Or if you’re excited about a new watch perhaps you can purchase the watch and give it to a friend or family member to give to you once you have demonstrated you have achieved your goal.

3. Routine. Made progress? Re-set your goals. Re-evaluate your progress. Most importantly when you break your routine don’t bring yourself down. Can you do something different that day or can you just start again tomorrow? Sometimes there are activities that mean we have to adjust our routine, it is important to continue to be apart of events with friends and family. Perhaps on that day you can set yourself a different goal.

4. People. People you know or people you don’t. For inspiration; for support; for company; for pressure (when that alarm goes off or that gym class starts!). Surround yourself with people who have achieved or are working towards achieving the same goals as you.

Action

The first step is deciding to start! Progress will be defined by what it is you’re hoping to achieve. If perfection is your ideal body shape, progress does not have to be what you see on the scales. How is your life different this week to last week in relation to your goals?

– Have you started getting away from your desk for a few minutes every hour?
– Have you gotten out of bed 10 minutes earlier?
– Have you gone to 3 gym classes?
– Did you play that round of golf you’ve been missing?

If perfection is being able to go for a walk with friends each week:
– Did you buy that pair of walking shoes?
– Did you think about when you could do this walk?
– Did you speak to your friends about when and where?
– Did you manage a 5 minute walk that was different to your usual routine? New time, new place? As you had planned?
– Did you meet your friends and complete a few minutes with them?

Each week reflect on the week that has passed. If you didn’t change something, why? What do you need to do or who do you need to speak with to make sure this week is different?

For many people the limitation may not be motivation but fear. Fear that starting something active will make their condition worse. For example; an injury, cancer, chronic fatigue, a neurological disorder, a lung condition, a heart condition. If this is you a great starting place would be to speak with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP). Just scheduling an appointment is progress. From there you can work with your AEP and track progress together

Everyone can and should exercise. To find out more about what is safe for you can use an online tool such as the quiz available at Exercise Right (http://www.exerciseright.com.au/quiz/#/) or find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist near you on the Exercise and Sports Science Australia website (https://www.essa.org.au/find-aep/)

For further reading about exercise for health go to:
http://exerciseright.com.au/
http://exerciseismedicine.com.au/
http://blackdoginstitute.org.au/get-involved/exercise-your-mood