Top tips for stay­ing mo­ti­vated & healthy dur­ing win­ter

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Kat Mil­lar

Win­ter…cozy times by the heater. Dress­ing gowns and slip­pers - snug­gling into blan­kets while you watch movies. There are a lot of won­der­ful things about win­ter, but for many peo­ple when it comes to ex­er­cise, there are di­min­ish­ing lev­els of mo­ti­va­tion. Like the chal­lenge of work­ing out in the heat of sum­mer, work­ing out in the depths of win­ter has its own set of prob­lems to over­come. Win­ter can also bring a need to dig deep in­side to cre­ate mo­ti­va­tion to stick to a healthy fit­ness rou­tine.


Mo­ti­va­tion comes from the root word ‘mo­tive’. Hav­ing a mo­tive is hav­ing a rea­son to take ac­tion. It’s im­por­tant to know the rea­son why be­hind any im­por­tant ac­tion since this will fuel mo­ti­va­tion. No amaz­ing ex­er­cise pro­gram will help if the rea­son is not strong enough. With­out a clear rea­son to jus­tify the short-term dis­com­fort (such as say­ing ‘no’ to the in­stant gratification and hit­ting the snooze but­ton), we usu­ally find that even­tu­ally ex­er­cise will get too hard or we’ll ‘get too busy’. Our brain likes re­ward so it helps to con­tin­u­ally re­mem­ber all the ben­e­fits of de­lay­ing in­stant gratification. Oth­er­wise, why would we choose the hard op­tion? It’s see­ing our­selves as a fit, ac­tive and healthy per­son, rather than some­one that goes on and off an ex­er­cise pro­gram.


2. Have clear goals:

There are two types of mo­ti­va­tion – ‘away from’ mo­ti­va­tion and ‘to­wards’ mo­ti­va­tion. i) ‘Away from’ mo­ti­va­tion is when a per­son is try­ing to move away from some­thing; some type of pain or feel­ing that they don’t want to ex­pe­ri­ence. ‘Away from’ mo­ti­va­tion is pow­er­ful for a very quick fix, for ex­am­ple, get­ting out of the way of a speed­ing car on the road, but it’s not pow­er­ful to use for long-term re­sult. As soon as the pain is re­moved the mo­ti­va­tion is also elim­i­nated.

You’re mo­ti­vated to lose weight. Your key ‘driver’ is to get away from the weight, so your mo­ti­va­tion is the pain. You start chang­ing some be­hav­iours and you lose


a cou­ple of ki­los. Once you have moved away from the pain, you are no longer mo­ti­vated to main­tain your new healthy habits. And this is usu­ally where the self­s­ab­o­tage comes in. You think, ‘Oh I’ve been good lately, so I’ll just miss my work­out to­day’. This can be­come a slip­pery slope. Of­ten, this road leads back to miss­ing lots of work­outs and gain­ing all the weight that you’ve lost. ii) ‘To­wards’ mo­ti­va­tion is about know­ing what it is that we want to move to­wards; what we want to at­tain. What we fo­cus on is what we be­come. If we’re always fo­cus­ing on what we don’t want, we usu­ally get more of it. If we can change our at­ten­tion to fo­cus­ing on what we want and have a vi­sion for our life, we usu­ally start to move to­wards it, re­gard­less if it’s freez­ing out­side.

If you want to con­tinue to be mo­ti­vated for the rest of your life, the key is con­tin­u­ing to set new goals that ex­cite, in­spire and mo­ti­vate you.

3. Take Ac­tion – re­gard­less of how you feel:

Mo­ti­va­tion is a bit like love – it’s not just a feel­ing… it’s a ‘do­ing’ word. Sit­ting around wait­ing for mo­ti­va­tion to start rarely works.

A coach once said to me, ‘Mo­ti­va­tion comes af­ter you take ac­tion’. When we act BE­FORE feel­ing like it, this usu­ally leads to a feel­ing of real pride. Hon­our­ing our de­ci­sions and com­mit­ments feels great! Of­ten peo­ple will say things like, ‘I was so mo­ti­vated last week - and now it’s just gone’. In­vari­ably, they have lost mo­ti­va­tion be­cause they stopped tak­ing ac­tion. They stopped ex­er­cis­ing, stopped pre­par­ing healthy meals, stopped work­ing on an op­ti­mistic mind­set. Of­ten this leads to the path of least re­sis­tance. Re­mem­ber, our brains love pos­i­tive en­cour­age­ment and re­ward. It lights up our dopamine cen­tres (one of our feel­good hor­mones). To make the most of this ev­ery time you do some­thing to hon­our your val­ues by mak­ing hard de­ci­sions, I rec­om­mend that you re­ward your­self – such as pat­ting your­self on the back, speak­ing kindly to your­self by say­ing things like ‘Go me!’, ticking off a chart, or telling some­one about what you’ve done. You’ll then start crav­ing more of those good feel­ings!

Kat Mil­lar owns Get Re­sults Train­ing, ded­i­cated to help­ing peo­ple trans­form their health, mind & body. Since 2003, Kat has helped thou­sands of peo­ple achieve their goals. She’s a coach, speaker, award­win­ning fig­ure com­peti­tor, fit­ness lec­turer & NLP prac­ti­tioner. Her pas­sion helps peo­ple achieve life-chang­ing re­sults & ful­fill­ment, with a range of pro­grams for holis­tic health & body trans­for­ma­tion. Con­tact via Kat’s web­site or Face­book

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