How to (help) stay motivated

Staying motivated can be one of the hardest challenges to maintaining an exercise program or a diet.

Many people find they start with the highest intentions but other things seem to just get in the way, despite your best intentions.

The underlying theme of this is the Trans theoretical Model, which is an illustration of how behaviour change happens with individuals. Most tend to sit in the “Active change- relapse” part of the cycle, which is why you never ‘lose that weight’ or start eating healthily. Your habits are too adapted to the contrary.

The way to break this cycle and stay on the ‘maintenance’ cycle with your decision, is to start building habits. Treat this as if you’re training an animal (the principle is the same) the work must be divided equally between work and reward- there must be a suitable reward (whatever you deem suitable) otherwise you will not continue the habit have a look at this Link for an example.

As it says the 3 R’s are: Reminder, Routine and Reward.

Setting reminders is important, I have done this before in the form of a quote from my future self,

which said “I wish I had done more” and then underneath it said “Will this be you?”. I stuck this above my bed so that whenever I went to sleep and when I woke up, I saw it. Before long that fear of letting your future self down permeates into your psyche. Find a way to remind yourself to take action- so that you can build the routine.

Routine and reward go hand in hand, find a way to reward yourself and make it definite before you start, there can be no exceptions if the plan is flimsy then the action will be flimsy. For example I currently divide my week up between study, training time and my reward is to have an evening or two playing some games with my friends. Don’t overload the reward as it then becomes arbitrary.

One of my favourite quotes is from Sir Edmund Hilary- “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”.

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