A text arrived. It said: “Hey PF, if you’re keen, we’re doing the 80 mins as per program tomorrow. 5:14am at my place then heading…”
My eyes glazed over.
By the end of the message I’d lost interest. It was hot, I was tired and the last thing I felt like doing was grinding out 8o minutes in the heat.
Come to think of it I couldn’t bear to even think about running.
The day wore on. I wrestled with excuses.
Then it came to me: tackle this lack of motivation head on.
The question I asked, then, was this: How can I motivate myself to run when it’s the last thing I feel like doing?
Here are the answers I came up with.
- Don’t fight it. Roll with the flow and have a day or two or three off. Have faith that the inspiration will return.
- Do something short and easy. Do it for the joy of being back on the bike, back on the track or back in the gym.
- Adjust your workload. Trying to cram too much into the day can sap the joy out of life. Slow down.
- Don’t think about the big goal. Think about doing the first kilometre, the first rep, or even just getting out of bed.
- Read success stories, how to articles or watch inspirational videos.
- Make an exercise date with like-minded people. I run with a group in Victoria Park and do strongman training with some comrades in Cannington.
- Own your lack of motivation. Talk about it and write about it. Own the syrup you’re trying to swim through.
- Don’t beat up on yourself if you skip a workout. Shit happens. There’s no point in getting down on yourself, that just makes it harder to get back on your feet again.
- Keep your goal in the public eye – like I’m doing with these blog posts.
- Look failure squarely in the eye. When I did my big ride my sports psych got me to address the worst case scenario. It was a liberating experience.
- Remind yourself about the good stuff you’ve done and the goals you’ve achieved.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Take it easy on the booze. I haven’t had a drink since September 14, 2013 and I still feel flat. Imagine how much worse I’d feel if I’d ploughed through a bottle of red.
- Think small. Do a tiny workout even if it’s just a few pushups or a walk around the block. Something small is better than nothing at all.
- Mix it up. Go for a ride instead of a run. Go for a swim or paintballing.
How do you get your mojo back if you’re in an exercise slump?