Training during winter – motivation or habit?
I’m a ‘student’ of human motivation – I find it fascinating to understand what drives human behaviour in many different applications. In my world I think about this a lot in terms of parenting my children, growing a business and of course keeping my clients exercising.
There are many people more intelligent than me who have done numerous studies in this space but here are a couple of things that I’ve learnt that may be helpful as you strive to keep your exercise routine going over the cold, wet months of winter –
- Understand why you exercise. What value does it bring you? Why do you do it? For me, although I have an intellectual understanding of why exercise is good, the biggest driver is how it makes me feel. I like feeling physically able, strong and fit. I like the way that it clears my head, gives me enormous energy and leaves me ready to attack my day and give it my best. I believe that regular exercise allows me to deliver well in every other area of my life.
- Set up a sustainable routine. Know what you are doing, when in your week you are doing it, where you are doing it and have it scheduled. I wouldn’t be telling the entire truth if I said that I was motivated to get out of bed and exercise early in the morning during winter. At a more civilised time of the day, when I’m completely awake, I could definitely tell you why I’m motivated to exercise but in the dark of the morning what gets me out of bed is routine or habit. This is the key to making the choice of ‘do I go/not go’ when the alarm goes off. Routine needs to be well planned out in advance, gets easier the longer you’ve been doing it and works ‘most’ of the time!
Put some time into both of these areas and you will have taken the first steps to achieving a more consistent exercise routine this winter.