I’m already feeling bombarded to get ‘summer ready’ when it’s still dark at 6am, and my legs are white… and let’s face it, haven’t seen a razor for a few weeks. Winter is notorious for excuses about not exercising: “I’m so comfy here”, “it’s so cold”. However, when September comes waltzing on in, here in Brisbane the heat is usually not far behind. Scarily, September is just weeks away so I thought it a good chance to talk about motivation of healthy behaviours before the heat rolls around.

Is health a value to you?

Remember values are not goals that we can tick off a list. Values are desires that are so important to us that we want to include them in our life on a daily basis. However living by our values takes constant commitment. An ultimate goal many humans strive for is the ‘Work-Life’ balance. However, realistically this ‘balance’ is unattainable and we’re left with this unwanted pressure for perfection. Life is a juggling act: increase work load after a holiday or family time intrudes on our ‘exercise time’. However when we completely forget or ignore a value in our life (e.g. exercise) because another part of our life intrudes, then we are often left with a sense of misdirection and lack of motivation.

To start to live by our values, it’s often helpful to look at our intentions for our life: “I want to be an active participant in my life”, rather than sitting back and being the ‘backdrop’.

A Few Tips when Planning to Exercise:

  • Be organised. Set clothes out the night before or take in your car AND DO NOT GO HOME in between as you will not make the 5.45pm RPM class.
  • Be realistic. If you’re not a morning person and you set your alarm for 5am, you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.
  • Set reminders. You set reminders in your calendar for doctor appointments and social events, so this is what you need to do for exercise.
  • Use your friends. Committing to exercise is helped when a friend is involved, as we have someone who can make us accountable for remaining on the couch. If not, group sessions are also a good way to increase motivation, especially as you start to form attachments to people in the group.
  • Notice how your brain will try and trick you out of exercising- “I’ll do it this afternoon”, “I’ll start tomorrow”- don’t listen to it. Just do it!
  • Set short term goals. For example, when walking set a goal to reach the top of the hill and then evaluate where you are… you may just want to keep walking.
  • Have fun for exercise longevity. This is important as for many of us we don’t associate exercise as fun. There’s no point in forcing yourself to run if you don’t enjoy it. The chances are the running won’t last another 3 months. Be creative: join a circus group, water aerobics, aerial yoga, or maybe even a pole dancing class.
  • Practise mindfulness. For example, the next time you’re on a walk, look around, and really look at the colour of the bark of a tree, and the colour of the flowers. Choosing to look at our day through these ‘travellers eyes’ as opposed to a ‘bored, can’t be bothered’ lens could really start to reset our focal point. And even perhaps spur motivation to engage; not just in healthy behaviours, but life in general.

If you have noticed any of the above happening in your life, why not give us a call today?  Our team of highly skilled and well-experienced Psychologists are here to help.  Call us now and take that first step towards obtaining the life you deserve.’

Image Source:  funny.allwomenstalk.com