How to battle motivational lulls
By Kathryn Mellon – iNSPIRE Psychologist
Motivation is one aspect of your life that you have complete control over. It is completely up to you the amount of effort and commitment you show to any activity you engage in. Now let’s keep it real – everyone has a day where they just don’t want to go to training, that’s a part of life when we are stressed out and tired. But if you are finding yourself feeling that way more often that not, it’s time to ask yourself some important questions.
Let’s talk about me for a second. I spent the first THREE days of this week alternating between lying in bed and lying on my couch watching various numbers of mind-numbing Netflix shows. I had zero motivation to get up and do anything else. I didn’t care about exercising, eating well or what I was doing at work, which until this point had been three things that never wavered for me. It took me a while to realise what was going on, why I was feeling this way and how I had gotten to this point. Sadly, I’m not a lottery winner or set to inherit a small fortune so if I don’t go to work, I’ll have no money. As an athlete, if we continually don’t turn up to training, we likely won’t improve, and it’ll be harder to perform well.
Here are my top 5 tips for battling those motivation lulls:
Ask yourself WHY? WHY do you go to training every day? WHY do you choose to keep competing in your sport when you could just as easily quit? Make a list of the reasons why you love what you do. The chances are you know deep down, but sometimes we all need a reminder of why we do what we do.
WHAT was it that got you interested in pursuing your sport originally? WHAT has changed now to make you feel differently? Have a think about other things you have going on in your life and how they may be contributing to this (e.g. school pressure, training environment, coach). Identifying the reasons behind where you are currently is half the battle in moving past them.
WHO can you talk to about how you are feeling? Coaches/parents/peers? WHO is a part of your support network? Talk to peers in your team or sport and confide in them about how you are feeling. Chances are you will find they have been in your position at some point and may be feeling the same way as you right now. You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Take some time out away from the sport. This can be a weekend of hanging out with your friends non-sport related.
Everyone should have goals set for their competition/month/season/year. Otherwise, what are you doing all this training for? Take a look over your goals and remind yourself of what you set out to achieve. If they seem unrealistic or far away now, write down some that may be more specific or training related to give you something to aim for each week.
Check out the Inspire app for more tips and tricks about managing motivation. Don’t forget to track your wellness daily, this can give you good insight into why you make be feeling the way you are currently.