Today’s post will be my answer to another reader question and something that most of us have probably wrestled with at least once since March 2020. That question is: “How do you find & keep the motivation during these scary COVID times to make the right choices for exercise & nutrition?
There’s no question the world has changed since March 2020, and we have ALL been impacted by this pandemic.
Far too many people have died or become ill, and the pace of change has left a large number of people worried about what the future holds.
It’s also true that each of us is experiencing this pandemic in different ways and finding different strategies for coping with the tremendous changes we are faced with. Everyone’s experience is truly their own. Think about it…
- Some people have lost their jobs or businesses.
- Some people are working more than ever, are stressed out, and struggling with self-care.
- Others have lost loved ones.
- Others are separated from family, isolated, and feel lonely
- Some are immunocompromised and even more at risk than everyone else
- Some people are loving the change of pace, enjoy the time to explore new hobbies and skills
- Still, others are having their best year ever and thriving each day…either despite or because of the pandemic.
None of these experiences is right or wrong. They are unique to each person.
In the user question, the word “scary” stood out. It’s an interesting one and demonstrates this reader’s current mindset about the pandemic.
While I don’t know the reality of her current situation, I do know that mindset is the filter through which we see the world. It’s formed through our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, all of which can be changed to shift our perspective.
The perspective or lens through which we choose to view our current circumstances is one of the easiest and quickest ways to shift our mindset and produce the results we want in life.
Our perspective is shaped in part by:
- What news you are watching
- Which articles you are reading
- What thoughts you are choosing to focus on
- Who you are choosing to associate with
- What actions you are taking each day
- What projects you are choosing to work on
These areas have a MASSIVE impact on mindset, motivation, and the results you see each day.
Is it OK to be scared? ABSOLUTELY!
Should we let that fear override our actions and create longer-term lasting harm to our mental and physical health? I say no.
Back to the question of how to find the motivation during COVID times, to make the right choices for exercise and nutrition. This will come from what you believe is happening in the world and your role within it.
It has very little to do with workouts and food. You already know that regular exercise and healthy eating are important. You probably already know the basics to do in each area, but they aren’t happening.
The real barrier is based on mindset and habits.
If you believe that the world is a scary place and that you don’t have any control over your circumstances, then there will be very little motivation (or need) to take care of yourself.
On the flip side, if you acknowledge the reality of your situation, assess the risks, and choose to focus on what you have control of, then your situation changes dramatically.
As humans, we are ALWAYS in control of our thoughts and actions.
This is the most powerful part of life that gets easily forgotten when things become challenging, scary, and uncertain.
Those who are most successful, have systems and processes in place to remember that they have this control, then to harness their control to persevere and thrive, even in the most difficult situations.
So, when the inevitable trough of motivation during COVID occurs, we can:
- Have an “emergency system” in place to remind us that we are in control (even as simple as a sticker on your mirror that says “YOU HAVE THE POWER TO….)
- Remind ourselves of what we value most in life
- Write out our 1-2 most important goals in common categories (personal, career, financial, family, community, etc.)
- Put down WHY each goal is important to us
- Write down in VIVID detail the feelings/emotions and experiences you will have once those goals are realized
- Write down the most simple and basic FIRST STEP you can take towards accomplishing each goal
- Take one small forward step EVERY day towards your top objective.
- Review and CELEBRATE even the smallest step forward.
- Write down several specific things we are grateful for each day
To cultivate and maximize our energy habits during these tough times, we can…
- Do our part to keep ourselves and others safe
- Remember that (in general), the healthier we are, the safer we will be from illness
- Remind ourselves that movement CREATES energy and boosts mood
- Set reminders throughout the day to MOVE your body (even in 30-60 second intervals)
- Ensure we have healthy food in the house
- Get to bed on time
- Wake up, shower, change and go for a walk outside before starting your day
Your brain and body are intricately connected.
So it’s important to harness the tools in both areas to maximize your mindset, motivation, and forward momentum each day.
All of these things are available for free…for everyone. They are at your fingertips. They are simple to do.
The challenge is to make sure they happen consistently each day.
Not all of them need to be done all the time. Start with the ones you feel are easiest to implement, and then use the small boosts in mood and performance to implement others.
Soon, you will be firing on all cylinders and bursting with energy, motivation, and enthusiasm…at the very least you will feel less like crap! 🙂
It’s also important to realize that getting out of our own heads is often the most challenging thing we can do. This is where getting help from a trusted coach, friend, or mentor is extremely valuable.
If you are ready to create that change and want help making it happen, enroll in some of our Carefully Designed Courses made by professionals.
That’s it. Now go take control of your day. If there’s something I can do to help, let me know. 🙂