You can’t seem to get started
Often the “thing” you want to do (think New Year’s resolution), is the “thing” you can’t seem to either get started or maintain.
Why is it so difficult?
There may be a few reasons why it’s difficult.
1. Too BIG. That “thing” is just too big of an aspiration (think, I want to lose weight or I want to start exercising).
2. Too VAGUE. It’s either too open or vague. Thus, the motivation will fade after the first excitement
3. DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START. You may not know where to start, then you just either spin your wheels or stall.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you?
OK, it’s not January 1st. It’s TODAY! What better day to get started than TODAY.
Let’s take this bit by bit.
1. Getting started the Newton way. Newton’s first law states that an object at rest stays at rest. So if you don’t get started, you won’t start.
Imagine a day when you did very little, did you feel energized, or did you feel like you just wanted to keep sitting.
Enter Newton’s First Law – you weren’t in motion, and your body stayed exactly in that place.
Imagine a day when you were very busy. You had a lot planned and packed into that day, yet you continued one activity after another. How did you feel at the end of the day? I’ll bet a bit more energized.
Sometimes we just need to do what we don’t want to and that may be getting off the couch and taking a little walk. Often you will find that a little movement will kickstart you into doing more. And once you do more, you may find that you continue on a roll.
Give it a try and let me know the results.
I can’t do it, it’s just too much
Sometimes you may just feel like it’s just too much. It may be that you are suffering from depression. I would never minimize the impact that depression can have on motivation. Sometimes, depression can be like a wave with its ups and downs. Take note if you do have those ups and downs. If so try to ride the up wave as best you can and maybe that can help make things a bit better. If you can’t seem to shake it please seek professional assistance and talk to someone. There are resources available that are beyond the scope of this blog. A Google search can provide lots of options.
If you are just feeling overwhelmed or stuck and can’t figure out which way to go, you can try to break it down into small steps. Much like Alice in Alice in Wonderland when she asks, “which way should I go? It depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” replies Cheshire Cat. If you don’t know where you want to go, it hard to start. Break it down and start small. You can also see the information I have on my coaching and classes (click right) tab that includes Tiny Habits.
I don’t know where to start
I want to exercise more, but don’t know how to start. Have you ever felt this?
Let’s say your goal is to start an exercise program. You don’t even have a clue what to do. Everyone says do cardio, resistance training, HITT, etc. What does it all mean?
5 Quick Tip is to get you started with your own exercise program. You want to do these 5 components as part of your workout. You can split them up into days (Monday-Wed-Friday is weight training; Tues – Thurs is movement/cardio), or do a little bit with each workout. Here are some thoughts.
1. Push: Anything you can do with your arms where you are pushing your body away. (floor, counter or wall push ups are always a good start). You can start easy on the wall and then progress to where you are comfortable on the floor. If you had weights, you could lay on the floor or a bench and do press ups with the weights in your hands pressing to the ceiling.
2. Pull: Imagine an exercise where you are pulling your arms toward you. That could be a rowing motion with a resistance band, a bicep curl, or a pull up from a bar, or a bent over row.
3. Legs – anything that involves your legs, such as walking, running, squats, single leg balance. Get up and get using your legs. Strong legs and good balance will prevent falls.
4 Core – think sit-ups, squeezing your abs and then relaxing them (you can do this in the grocery store on sitting on a zoom call).
5. Endurance/Cardio – what can you do to pick up the pace with whatever you are doing? It’s OK to start as small as getting out of the chair and standing to walk 5 minutes, and then add another minute each day. Successful people don’t run a marathon the first day, they work up to it. Begin where you are and keep building.
I can’t possibly do all of that
Can’t do it all at once? Take it in small pieces or bites. You can do 1 push-up at the kitchen counter, or 1 squat while you brush your teeth, can’t you? Just get moving step by step. Those snacks will add up. If you don’t believe me, click right and see my Better Balance and Strength in Less than Five Minutes a Day, it’s a FREE download.
Mind your Mindset
There are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. When you have a fixed mindset, you tend to believe you don’t have control over things or that things are the way they are (the brain monkey repeats I’m too old, I’m too tired, etc). You believe you can’t because your fixed mindset tells you that. Remember the phrase, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks – YES, YOU CAN!
You can change your fixed mindset to a growth mindset. People with growth mindsets believe they CAN. There are new skills to learn, crafts to craft, exercises that you didn’t think possible. Imagine the possibilities instead of letting those monkeys take over. You can control your destiny.
Don’t settle for the status quo
Being content with what you have in life can be a good thing and make you happy. This is one of the first phases of retirement. Phew, you get to put up your feet and you don’t have to go to work. Isn’t that fun? Is it still fun a week, month, year, a decade later? Contentment or complacency can also lead to a lack of motivation and back into Newton’s First Law. That can be the start of a slippery slope, so beware.
It’s great to be content and feel settled in life, but remember the thrill of starting a new job, starting a new year in school, and learning and doing new things. If you are in your 60s, statistically you have another 30+ years of living. Do you want to spend those years not motivated to try new things?
Hmm, something to think about. Share what you have done to increase your motivation. Does something work?