The key to being motivated to exercise is to not place high, unrealistic expectations on ourselves. When they start out exercising, you see many people decide to overdo things instead of 10 push-ups, 100! Instead of walking for 20 minutes, let’s run for an hour!!! And you wonder why you struggle to get out of bed! Remember, consistency is key to solidifying any habit; you don’t need much motivation and willpower to brush your teeth every day because it’s a habit that has been ingrained.
Introduction into Elastic Habits
One of the most common reasons people struggle to stay committed to their exercise routines is adopting an all-or-nothing mentality. You see you not always going to feel at your best to want to exercise, but that doesn’t mean you should put off exercising. For instance, if your plan is to run 1 hour a day, you fell ill on a particular day. Rather than decide not to run at all, you can instead do a mini version of the habit and run for only 5 minutes.
The whole idea of elastic habits is to vary the habit based on life circumstances and how you feel. If you are exhausted on a particular day, limit the duration and intensity of your exercise sessions. The idea of elastic habits is that you are aiming to keep up the consistency of a habit.
Why does motivation not work in the long term?
Motivation is constantly told; if you don’t feel like working out, you must be unmotivated, right? Wrong! Yes, the reason is short-term; it changes each day. Sometimes we feel motivated to do things other times, we don’t; it’s like the seasons change. So if you are relying on motivation to help you form a habit of exercising in the long term, this won’t work. It’s much better to rely on consistency rather than motivation when developing new habits.
So if you are struggling to find the motivation to go for that 1-hour run you promised yourself, that’s ok! Instead, shorten it to 20 minutes and if that’s off-putting for you, decide to run for only 5 minutes. The number one thing to forming any new habit is consistency, not motivation!
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