7 TIPS FOR FINDING THE MOTIVATION TO WORK OUT
Having a taste for exercise comes naturally after the holidays or when you're on vacation. It's more difficult to integrate training into your daily life and especially to have the energy to get started when you have the time. A well-known trick is to set a goal or register for an athletic event. But in the current situation where all events, races, and triathlons are canceled, even the most motivated athletes are forced to re-evaluate what drives them to put on their running shoes. Psychologist Toni Rebic gave us 7 tips that we'd like to share with you here. First of all, she says we have to review our way of thinking, and maybe even change the word "motivation."
EXCHANGE MOTIVATION FOR INSPIRATION
Motivation is fleeting. When we motivate ourselves, it's because we visualize a task for which we feel we don't have enough energy. We dangle a mental carrot at the end of a stick to move ourselves forward like a donkey. Motivation doesn't hold firm on its own. Inspiration is the reason we do things, why we decide to train for an event. In the current situation of confinement, several athletes are caught off guard, even depressed by the cancellation of sporting events. Maybe their motivation was focused was on preparing for a particular date. If that date is canceled, they don't meet their goal. But inspiration has no expiration date. If the date of an event changes, the "why" of the inspiration remains. Motivation sees only the goal.
When we're inspired, we don't just see the goal—we see the whole process, we see all the places, the people we meet between now and the goal. There's a long way to go before reaching the goal. The whole road leading up to it—that's inspiration. You have to love what you do and love the people you're with while you do it.
TIP 1 - GIVE YOUR MINIMUM
"I don't have the energy to do my hour of exercise today...I won't work out." Buzzz, wrong answer! Ask yourself, "What's my minimum?" If you go for your minimum every day, you'll at least maintain your level. Often this minimum will make you want to keep going "as long as you're in your workout clothes." The next day, stick to the minimum, don't push it. Wait for inspiration to drive you. You can't keep yourself from doing something just because you don't have the energy to do the full version. 10 minutes of jogging instead of the 30 you'd planned is always better than zero!
TIP 2 - 7 MINUTES TO THINK ABOUT IT
Toni Rebic recommends a 7-minute build-up to your exercise. For example, to get in the right frame of mind for an activity, she suggests meditating on it for 7 minutes, visualizing yourself doing it and thinking about the benefit it will bring. When you don't feel like going out for a run or going to the gym, this kind of visualization can help you focus on the benefits of the activity rather than the “I don't feel like it.” These 7 minutes will help boost your energy for the task at hand.
TIP 3 - LOSING GROUND
It's okay to experience disappointments. If something demotivates us, makes us take a step back in our progress—be it an injury, a cancellation, or lack of time—we have to take the blow, but then meter our emotions. A day will come where you'll no longer be sad because of the event itself, but rather because you've chosen to dwell on the sadness rather than bouncing back and moving forward.
TIP 4 - THINK GOOD, BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
The way people talk to themselves is often toxic, both to the body and to the mind, and creates self-misalignment. Getting discouraged, complaining, and dwelling all contribute to misalignment. But when we support each other, when we encourage each other, when we love each other, we inhabit our true nature and that's where our strength lies. Coaches often see the potential of their athletes, even while the athlete is thinking “I can't” or “I'm not there yet."
TIP 5 - THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
Don't wait until life is going well to do well. It works inversely. This is called the law of attraction. What you want wants you, too! To popularize this phenomenon that many consider with skepticism, the psychologist presents it like this: "When you're not feeling well, you don't feel like going out and socializing. If you don't go out, you won't meet anyone. You make fewer friends, fewer contacts." And as a result, there are fewer opportunities available to you! Okay, we admit that in times of confinement, "going out" may not be the most practical example, but you understand the principle!
TIP 6 - POSITIVE THOUGHTS DON'T WORK
To regain the taste for exercise, you just need to feel good to have succeeded. Not “think” positive, but rather “feel” positive. We have to think about what we like in our physical activity: “I like to sweat, I like to work out with my buddies, I like competition, etc." Toni Rebic candidly summarizes "If positive thinking alone worked, I wouldn't have a job. You have to seek out evaluation: who I am myself, in order to give to others.”
HINT 7 - ALIGN YOURSELF
Finally, take 7 minutes to meditate on the theme of "What Defines Me?" Think about what hasn't changed within you, what's always been a part of you since you were 10, 20, 30, 40 years old. Those answers are your true self. When you get depressed, when you start thinking about what others will say, when you keep yourself from being "that" person, that's when you get out of alignment. There's "What we want" and "What we think about what we want." There's "I want to do an Ironman" and "It's hard to get up at 5 am." When you give space to contradictions like this, when you react badly to a circumstance, it's because who you are and how you perceive a situation isn’t well aligned. We have to be able to close this gap between our true self and our reactions.
Moving is health. It makes a great advertising slogan, but it's also true for mental health. It's proven that the more active you are, the healthier your body and mind. So now that we've thought a lot about how to think about it, just go do it! And another good thing - you'll forget quickly that you weren't feeling motivated.
Writing: Jocelyn Goyer, Jerome Pilette, Toni Rebic
Toni Rebic, MA, psychologist and trainer,
describes herself more specifically as an empowerment psychologist. Working
since 2005, she has treated nearly 8,000 people between her office and her True
Self program. Website: