Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Motivation Comes From Within

Sometimes, I have a tiny bit of problem with motivation.

Don't get me wrong – I manage my own time well enough. I set goals in the real world and are able to see them through to completion, often with great success. I tend dream big and on occasion manage to bring even the most outrageous plans to fruition. I have no problem with sacrificing something if it is a means to an end.

But despite it all, when it comes to certain things (or perhaps more accurately certain times of the day) I have a motivation problem. Case in point, this morning – my son arrived at my bedroom door the allotted time for our prearranged work out date (5:45am for anyone interested) and my (gloriously creative) brain quickly calculated everything needed to convince my son to allow me to sleep for another 45 minutes or so. Turns out my son didn't need a whole bunch of convincing and we both went back to sleep.

When I woke up I was disappointed in myself. When I went to bed last night I wanted to get up to go to the gym, I really did. I was even looking forward to it. So what’s wrong with me? How can I motivate myself in the morning and stop sabotaging my best laid plans?

As you might have guessed I am not a morning person. I know for a fact that I require about 7 hours of sleep to feel rested, but I like to stay up late so often there are just not enough hours in a day to have it all. This is no excuse, though. I have decided that my health and wellbeing are a priority for me and I have to find a way to motivate myself to carry through with this goal.

So it was pretty fortuitous this afternoon when an email arrived from livestrong.com about understanding motivation. Not one to believe in coincidence, I opened it up right away.

I learned there are "six stages of change," which according to University of Rhode Island researchers James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, are: pre-contemplation (mindset before you even think about making a change); contemplation (the stage in which you start to think about making a change); preparation (the stage during which you start to get ready for a change); action (in the midst of changing); maintenance (remaining consistent with new behaviors); and relapse (falling back on former behaviors). You can read more here.

Currently in my grand scheme of things I am somewhere between preparation and maintenance. I set a goal to make myself healthier in 2010 and I have put into action all sorts of lifestyle changes in my near success of achieving that (not quite there yet). I really want to get started with this new phase of working out that I have outlined for myself, which of course will aid in the maintenance of the other changes I have made.

What I need to do:

    1. Remind myself why I WANT to do this.

    2. Outline a specific plan for getting this new workout regimen in place for the next three months.

    3. Solicit support in achieving this goal (in this case go with my son).

    4. Realize that I am also helping him achieve his goals and I need to be supportive.

    5. Start small and celebrate the continued successes.

    6. Do some form of exercise daily - make it a habit.

    7. Go to sleep earlier on the nights before work out mornings.

The next morning the alarm will be going off is this Thursday. I'm hoping now that I've declared my intentions publicly that I will hold myself accountable. The best motivation is self motivation!


Motivology said...

I figured on would comment just to let you know that you have not just posted this and then can ignore it with a snooze button like an alarm. Please report back on Thursday on how it went!

Anelly said...

I call Hyde the voice in my subconsient that stops me from doing what I really want. Everythime I have to do something but I'm too lazy, or I'm not in the mood I know that Hyde is the one that don't want. And then I self motivate and I ignore what Hyde say.
Here is an interesting article about how self- motivation can help us het things done.

Anonymous said...

I would add: monotor your success. In the successful change projects I have accomplished, I often used a chart. It doesn't really matter what you measure as long as it is related to your goal (minutes, a simple check mark for exercise that day, weekly results of a strength test, waistline, calories burned).

Also, monitor your plan weekkly and change it, as needed. L

Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got a game plan pretty neatly laid out there.

So today is Wednesday, and the alarm is going off tomorrow, right? So...for point#7, what time is earlier?

Allie said...

OK - today's workout = success (except I should have accounted for the fact that the gym wouldn't open until 7:00am on Canada Day).

Going to bed earlier enough to get up for 5:45am.... for me that would be around 10:30 technically. Problem is I am usually not ready nor tired at that time. I'll just have to experiment.


The Go Get It Coach said...

Congratz on today's win!!

They say success is accumulation of winning repetitive baby steps.

Keep experimenting...you'll get better each time!

Have fun! ;-)
Jean Kurniati