10 strategies to increase your mojo!
"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation...even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." - Leonardo Da Vinci.
Isn't that the truth?
Inaction can add to our perhaps already sluggish and tired feeling.
It can perpetuate it vs. recharging or rejuvenating us.
Plus, inaction can mess with our mood and mental health. Just lack of movement on it's own.
Then add: the mental energy that is tied up in procrastination (feeling guilty, which leads to feeling bad, which leads to having trouble moving into action, which leads to feeling guilty and so the cycle continues).
THAT can cause us to feel even more mentally drained.
Important side-note: I am ALL for rest when we need to honour rest. I think sometimes we need to have a nap instead of a workout. Or choose a gentle stretch over something high intensity…
But I’m not talking about those situations.
This is the kind of inaction because we’re struggling with our mojo. It can lead to a downward spiral in our state of mind.
If the motivation to get active and make movement part of your life, try out some (or all! :)) of the following strategies.
1. Set a TIMER for a set time and commit to moving when that goes off.
Now set another timer for just 10 minutes. You can stop if you’re not feeling it at that time, or choose to keep going (and most likely you’ll find that energy and second wind within the first 10 minutes).
2. PLAN out what you’re going to do for movement that week. Think about your options and logistics ahead of time. Do you require childcare? A specific class time? Or can it be a walk, 10 minutes on your kitchen floor, a dance party. Have a plan that works for your specific situation and resources you have.
3. Be willing to be FLEXIBLE within that plan. Perhaps your husband is now coming home late and it means you can’t make it out to class anymore. Can you substitute it for a home workout? A walk?
And the flexibility also refers to your own EXPECTATIONS of yourself.
You might not feel optimal during a certain time in your cycle, or you’re dealing with young kids and you had a sleep-less night…adjust the length, intensity or perhaps even choice of movement.
And if it means, you’re actually choosing to NOT move…perfect! Listen to your body.
4. Write down the BENEFITS of movement as you know it. The goals that go BEYOND aesthetics.
Focus on the mental, physical and emotional benefits. Perhaps you do notice that elevation in mood, release of stress and anxiety, how you feel more clear headed afterwards, the endorphins…etc. Write down as many as you can, and pull that list out when you struggle with motivation.
5. Play some tunes. MUSIC alone can elevate our mood. A good beat and some songs that you have a hard time sitting still too, can really help get your mood ready.
6. Meet up with a friend for a walk, or sign up for a class together. ACCOUNTABILITY to somebody else to have to show up is not to be underestimated.
7. Work WITH your body’s ENERGY levels not against it.
Are you a morning person? Then planning an evening workout might not be for you. And visa versa. Just know that motivation also is affected by willpower, and that will power can run out throughout the day (meaning: towards the end of the day, you might have used up your reserve of willpower because of all the choices and decisions you had to make that required willpower).
8. Be mindful of your inner-chatter or the LABELS you place on yourself.
One of the main ones (that I truly almost get a physical reaction of discomfort to), being: “I’m lazy”.
Labeling yourself with a fixed, passive term like that, will set you up for sticking to that label. Because…there’s nothing you can do about it right? You’re just lazy.
Instead: shed some COMPASSION for the underlying 'why'. Maybe you struggle with energy because of lack of sleep or poor nutrition. Maybe you have a hard time finding motivation. Maybe you're intimidated and overwhelmed and don't know where to start. That is different than "lazy".
Now, you’re dealing with something that you feel more in control of and self-awareness around what's really holding you back can give you tools to move forward.
9. Be mindful of moral licensing. Which basically means you're thinking in "vices vs. virtues", "good vs. bad". Having done something "good" will easier lead to doing something "bad" because your brain likes to balance out your self-image scale. This can work very easily in truly ANY area of your life (relationships, nutrition, work, fitness etc). How to offset this?
Instead of thinking in "good and bad" terms, think about your behaviour in the context of the relevant goal that it affects; and/or question if your behaviour aligns with your values.
10. Lastly: don’t wait for the right mood to show up. Start and the mood will follow. You’ll have to force yourself to show up. Especially in the beginning, or after a little hiatus.
I'd love to hear from you which ones of these you use, have used or if you have other strategies that really help you with motivation when you're lacking it! Leave me a comment or send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org