“What is my motivation?”. Quite often, this is a question we often ask ourselves when embarking on a new exercise regime. Really what we should be asking is “What are my potential barriers?”. Motivation is temporary but our habits build the foundation that yields results.

Yesterday morning I was motivated to write this blog. But then I noticed my laptop battery was flat. “That’s okay I’ll do it later…let’s see what’s happening on Facebook”. Later then became tomorrow and here we are today… I should have charged it the night before!

As a trainer myself, I sometimes have to remind myself that not everyone is intrinsically motivated. Not everyone will have put the habitual steps in place to make exercise a part of their daily routine.

As a former couch potato…

As a former couch potato, my motivation was very extrinsic. I wanted to see instant results. Or I felt I need to be accountable to someone to stay motivated. I used to secretly high five tiny barriers that would derail my planned exercise session. These excuses ranged from my gym buddy cancelling late or having to work through my planned lunch break session. It wasn’t until I realised how important getting fit was to me that I decided to change my mindset and then my habits.

Now, when I wake in the morning – I’m already thinking “I shall be fitting my training session in at X time”. And if life gets in the way, then it would still happen that day.

Read on for 2 simple Exercise Habits/Mindset Hacks that worked for me. And they can work for you too! They can help you set the foundation to achieve healthy habits and goals.

Motivation Habit 1

Have an early morning gym session planned? Lay your gym clothes out with your trainers, water and a piece of fruit by the bed.

Sound obvious?

Maybe, but in the past I’ve skipped my morning session because of this! I have wasted 15 minutes trying to hunt around in the drawers for a pair of shorts. After which, I fight through the cupboard under the stairs for that one elusive trainer. After 30 minutes passed by, I’d skip the gym, blaming the lack of time left.

Motivation Habit 2

Evening gym session planned? Set yourself just 1 target for the gym that evening. For example, “I’m going to just run on the treadmill for 10 mins” or “I’m going to just do a few press ups”.

Sound too simple?

Maybe. But on the days that you don’t feel particularly motivated to exercise because the thought of lacing up those trainers and then running for 15 minutes, followed by the leg press/chest press/lat pull down/ sit ups and 5 minutes of awkward looking stretches, this habit is a brilliant one to pick up. Especially when your mind’s daily ration of free will has already been used up by your job/family and that traffic jam on the M25. By setting that one simple target in the gym, you will trigger another action. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself working your way through the rest of your normal session!

With exercise and setting goals, we can tend to be overwhelmed by all of the big obstacles we think we have to climb. But quite often it’s the little things that trigger the action required to make progress. Try these two new habits this week and see what a difference it makes to your motivation, fitness and overall wellbeing!

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