One of the most common things I hear when clients have been on holidays or taken a break from training for various reasons is: “Help! I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon!”.
Or, as one of my clients so eloquently put it recently: “I fell off the exercise wagon…and then the exercise wagon ran over me, killing the last bit of motivation and enthusiasm.”
And I get it, I really do. You’re finally in a great exercise routine, feeling good, feeling proud of yourself, your pants are even starting to feel a bit looser and you think, “yes this is working, I’m finally making progress!”.
And then life happens. You go on holidays; your kids get sick; you get sick; you get injured; friends come to stay; work gets crazy… and all of a sudden you’ve missed a week of training… then two… then three… and next thing you know a month has gone past and you haven’t even raised a sweat (except to run for your bus, and even that’s getting harder again).
And then this no exercise thing starts to become your new normal, and if you’re honest, you kind of enjoy it. After all, exercise is tough – it requires you to get out of your comfort zone. And as humans we actively avoid being uncomfortable.
What happens next is you start to forget how GREAT you felt after you exercised. How strong and fit it made you feel, how much more energy you had during the day, which meant you made better food choices and slept better; and how it made you into a more patient mum and a better partner.
And you start to tell yourself little white lies: I’ll just take a little break and start back when work gets less crazy (it won’t); it’ll be easier when the kids are older so I’ll go back then (you’ll be even busier then); I’ll just wait till I get back from holidays, there’s no point starting before then (there is); I’ll just wait till this injury gets better before I do anything (there will always be something). And on it goes.
There will NEVER be a perfect time. Life will always throw curveballs at you, and your ability to keep going – or to get straight back on the wagon when you falter – will determine your results. And, to be brutally honest, it will determine your quality of life as you age too.
I wish there was a “hack” I could give you to get your motivation back. But the fact is, motivation is fleeting and a bit like a deadbeat boyfriend – never there for you when you need it most.
We all think motivation is what will give us that kickstart, and that will lead to action which will lead to results. But actually it’s the opposite. Action starts you off, that leads to results and that, in turn, fuels your motivation.
So if you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon – and it’s run you over and left you for dead – the only way back is to JUST GET BACK ON.
Don’t overthink it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t make deals with yourself that you’ll get back to it when… [fill in the blank]. Stop self-sabotaging.
Just start with something and slowly build on that. Get a coach or an accountability buddy if that will help to give you the initial kick up the butt you need. But at the end of the day they can’t do it for you either. You have to actually do the work.
I’m here to support you – if you need help getting back on track and working out what will move the needle to get you closer to your goals, then book a call here and we can chat.
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