It was almost as if it snuck up on you, 1 minute you're feeling on top of the world, smashing goals, training regularly and then the next there's a permanent mould of your body in the couch with repeats of the bachelor playing with not even a thought of moving more than for an occasional hot shower.
Ok, maybe that was a little dramatic but let's be honest we've all been there. It's normal, it happens, and yes at this time of year it's more likely to happen.
As the days become shorter, your sleep and waking cycles become disrupted, leading to fatigue. Less sunlight means that your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. Because the release of this sleep hormone is linked to light and dark, when the sun sets earlier your body also wants to go to bed earlier – hence you may feel sleepy in the early evening. All this tiredness plus the poor weather can lead to a less than fun mood*.
Even though, it's probably the last thing you want to do; exercise is the best thing. It helps by releasing those "feel good chemicals” such as endorphins and dopamine that improve your mood. It gives you energy, helps with stress and can turn your day around.*
However there seems to be this notion or belief that you need to be 'motivated' all year round to exercise, and that the moment you don't 'feel like it' something must be wrong with you, or it's the beginning of some catastrophe. As a result some people throw in the towel at this point.
I think this is partly due to the image of 'healthy' or what being healthy should be, smacks us in the face every time we open our social media feed.
If we're not training as often or look like we're enjoying it as much as the fitness models on Instagram there must be something wrong with us.
The belief that you must be motivated and always look forward to training could not be further from the truth, and this thought pattern is only setting you up for failure.
Exercising and eating well is a habit, and a habit put in place for long term health and wellbeing.
Just like brushing your teeth is a habit for long term oral health. We don't just brush our teeth for 28 days to get into our favourite outfit and then stop do we?
However so many people take this approach with their health, and I think it's effecting so many people physically and emotionally.
If you've been guilty of this, maybe It's time you begin to shift your focus to what is really important to you, what makes you feel good, and what's the best approach for you to stay fit and healthy so you can enjoy your time on this earth with less concern of disease or ill health.
Being motivated is great to get you started, but to continue getting good results (whatever that may mean for you) is about really committing to the habits required to achieve them.
It's about doing the small things consistently, not for that big event or for summer but for your life.
And sure there's going to be times you don't feel like it, and that's perfectly normal, but it's about embracing that feeling of being uncomfortable and doing it anyway.
So if you've 'lost your mojo' firstly accept that it's ok, and then follow the below steps to shift your focus and reignite your passion for exercise.
Here's some steps to help you 'find your mojo'
Write down 10 reasons why you exercise - keep these somewhere you will see them often.
Create a few ' non negotiable habits' or minimum standards for your week/day to ensure you're doing what's required to help fulfil your reasons.
For example: Reason 1 why I exercise = to have more energy.
Non negotiable habit - to move in some way or another each day for at least 20mins.
These little habits should not be too hard, you should be able to easily achieve them. And in doing so you begin creating the pattern of achieving (which we are addicted to) and then new habits will form if you do this long enough.
Be easier on yourself. You're going to have good weeks and some not so good weeks. The not so good weeks don't define you, just pick yourself back up and focus on what you can control.
Find the joy in exercise. Look for ways to have fun while doing it, this is why group training is so great, but maybe you could find a friend to join you. Too often we use exercise as punishment for eating poorly which is not a great relationship to have. Focus on making exercise 'fun' and as a reward for being healthy.
* Partly copied from: