Has anyone seen my motivation?

Feeling demotivated

When you imagine a person who’s unfit and feeling awful about their health, an image of an overweight, disheveled and downcast human being springs to mind. From the outside I appear to be in shape, I keep myself relatively presentable and I look happy. However this is not how I feel. I spent countless hours training in preparation for the London Marathon in 2018 and even felt fit enough to run three 10k’s consecutively, however after this I developed a hip injury. This has grounded me ever since so for the last 7 months I have done nothing apart from walk the dog.

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Since running the London marathon I have been plagued by a hip injury

It’s amazing how much this affects your mental and physical health as your motivation to do anything drops off almost immediately. After work I find myself sitting on the sofa all evening and watching television until it’s time to go up to bed. Previously this time would have been spent going out for a short run, feeling refreshed after a shower in preparation for getting stuck in to some life admin or household chores. This just hasn’t happened and as well as sitting on the couch, I’ve been consuming a lot more sugar related products. I’m currently keeping the entire chocolate industry in a job with the amount I’m going through.

All this is having a snowball effect and pulling myself out of the avalanche is proving harder than I’d imagined. I’ll wake up in the morning with the motivation of Mr Motivator himself, but by the time my feet hit the floor I’m back in the mindset of I can’t be bothered.

Seeing the light

Regardless of the difficulty I’ve made the decision to start writing a blog. Writing is something I enjoy and is what I do for work so it seemed the easiest and most natural way to clear my mind. Putting my thoughts down on paper really helps and clarifies what’s going on in my head so I can see through the fog. I haven’t got a set theme for my blog, I’m just going to write about whatever is happening in my life at that time, hence the name Life As I Know It (LAIKI).

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Find out the root cause of why you don’t want to exercise

This leads me on to my first piece of advice for anyone suffering from a lack of motivation and wanting to do something different – find out what it is that’s making you feel like this. You don’t have to start exercising straight away as the circle will just start again when you realise you haven’t tackled the root cause of your motivation. It could be caused by a lack of energy from your diet. Instead of changing everything you eat try adding in a multivitamin each day or if you want to be more specific about what vitamins you are lacking in there are tools online to help you find out what it could be, e.g. Holland & Barrett ask you an array of questions where you can then subscribe to receive a monthly package of vitamins to specifically suit your needs.

Do you remember the Friends episode when Chandler freaks out about getting married to Monica? Ross takes him through the process one step at a time as this is really grounding and stops anxiety. Try taking this approach to your fitness to prevent it from becoming too daunting. All you’re doing is increasing your heart rate slightly which will in turn make you feel better and increase your fitness.

Making achievable goals

Once you’ve tackled the root cause, you can start to look at building up your fitness one step at a time. This is how I’ve set my journey out:

Root cause – hip injury
Solution – Book in a physiotherapy appointment to rectify the issue
Fitness goal – start doing one piece of fitness each week, for me this will be an hour of swimming

Changing Times

Happy New Year and welcome to my blog – Life As I Know It (LAIKI)!

Heading into a New Year normally starts with the motivation to make a substantial change to your life, hence the need for a New Year Resolution. Usually this desire to change fades and you go back to your normal life with the cycle of thought repeating itself the year after, and the one after that etc. However this year I have had change forced upon me due to a job move my other half is making to the opposite end of the country.

Gaining my perspective

This means I’ve had to hand my notice in without another job to go to. Scary, but also thrilling as the world is now my oyster. What should I do next, where shall I go, should I make a big career change even though I’m almost mid-thirty? When I start to panic about which direction to go in I try and ground myself by repeating the phrase ‘you only live once’. YOLO is such an overused term these days that you can forget to actually listen and understand the truth of it. You really only get one chance on this planet, it isn’t a rehearsal so what’s stopping you?

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It’s good to volunteer in an industry before committing to it full-time

Pressure from the media and friends and family means many people stay in jobs they don’t like and never truly explore what they feel like doing. Yes we have bills to pay and food to buy in order to live but there are steps you can take to make yourself feel happier in what you do. While I’m out of work I’m planning on doing some volunteer work in an industry I want to explore further. As I won’t be earning anyway, it’s a great time for me to test the boundaries of whether it could become a sustainable way of life for me. I’m also looking at courses to enroll on, both distance learning and part time so I can fit it around my full time job. I’m not 100% sure of what direction I want to go in but these little advancements make my decision easier.

Vision and goal setting

There are many exercises to help you understand what values are important in your life and how you can improve your happiness. One of these is outlined below:

Start with three circles and label one of them personal, the other career and the third health. Write down what is important to you inside each circle and on the outside of each put down what you’re not happy with. My health example is:

Inner circle:
Horse riding, yoga, pilates, drinking water, running

Outside circle:
Hip injury, neck pain, back pain

This gives me an idea of the things I need to concentrate more time on, so the things that make me happy are keeping fit by taking part in my favourite hobbies. The bad stuff is the pain associated with this so my priority is to book an appointment with a physiotherapist to start the process of reducing the pain. By doing this I’ll give myself more time to concentrate on the positives in this area of my life.

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I enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle but I need to resolve the hip pain that is holding me back

Ten-year plan

If you’re feeling really motivated to set out a longer term plan write out where you see yourself in 10 years’ time. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:

Where do you see yourself living?
With who?
What type of work do you do?
Who does your family unit consist of?
Which hobbies and sports are you enjoying?
Have you purpose?
How do you feel?

It may be hard to start with but try to think without giving yourself any boundaries. Right now 10 years feels like a lifetime away but if you set the goals out now you have something to aim for and keep track of where you are on your path to greatness. Check in with what you’ve written each year, you’ll be surprised how much progress you make in a year. Give yourself praise for this and remember how far you’ve come.