So it’s that time of year where the clocks have changed, the evenings are darker and the cold weather makes you want to hibernate underneath warm snuggly blankets whilst stuffing your face with comfort food.
Autumn is my favourite season but I struggle with my levels of energy and motivation like a lot of people do. Just a few weeks ago I was really struggling, feeling sluggish, craving “naughty” foods, my skin felt dehydrated and tired, I didn’t want to do anything more than keep warm, read a good book, eat cake and drink coffee. After allowing myself a couple of weeks to feel this way I decided to make some changes and form a few habits to try and regain some of the energy and motivation that I usually have.
Two things that I started to do straight away were to drink a tall glass of cold water first thing every morning, before drinking or eating anything else. And secondly I started to take Vitamin B complex, Selenium and Zinc.
By drinking a glass of water as soon as I get up my body instantly feels hydrated and a little more alert. Then i have my usual morning coffee (because coffee is of course mama fuel)! Research says that it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit. After this time the behaviour becomes almost automatic, meaning that you don’t really need to put much effort in to doing it, it simply becomes part of your day.
Previously I was taking a multi-vitamin every day and have been doing so for several years. However, considering that I have quite a balanced diet there is no solid evidence that taking a multi vitamin has much benefit except to act as an “insurance” that your body is getting what it needs. So instead i have changed to taking Vitamin B complex, Selenium and Zinc. Vitamin B complex reduces tiredness and fatigue. Selenium and Zinc enhance immune functions and can improve the condition of your skin and hair.
When it comes to exercise during these months, I definitely have to work harder to motivate myself. I’ve skipped workouts, eaten far too many cakes and chocolate, and it can be demotivating and I just haven’t felt as up-to-it as I usually do. But in order to regain some motivation I use little cues to get me in the right mindset. One of which is music, in the hour before I plan on working out I will listen to songs from my workout playlist to get me energised. I’ll also put on my workout clothes early so that the only thing left to get ready is my mind. I write down my workouts for the week so that I know exactly what I am going to be doing and I can tick it off the list and feel accomplished at the end.
Treating yourself can also have an energising effect, having a haircut, getting your nails done, going out for a nice meal…..all these things can recharge your batteries and kick start your motivation.
As well as making small daily changes such as these, I think that reflecting on previous New Years resolutions or goals that you have had throughout the year can help to refocus your mind and serve to motivate you. Consider whether there are things that you could do for the last months of the year to help you reach your goal, so that when New Year’s Eve comes you can reflect on how far you have come. Or if there are goals that you have for next year, why not get a head start and plan ways in which you can get one step closer to achieving them.
Especially in the colder, darker months it can be difficult to stay motivated. It happens to everyone. The most important thing when this happens, though, is to keep in mind that very first thought that made you decide to work towards whatever it is you are working towards.
Consistently repeated daily actions over time are what get results, but it is times when motivation is low that you have to work that extra bit harder and find ways to keep yourself productive.