What happens to you when you wake up at some ungodly hour and realise it's pointless trying to sleep?
Well, being self-employed... it's sometimes hard to switch off from all the things you could be doing. You only have to look online for a few minutes and voila! You're sucked into the vortex of "What should I be doing to help grow my business?" and "Look at all those really coiffed, gorgeous people out there running really successful enterprises with amazing websites and online courses, webinars, tele-wotsits.."
It's obviously not a strong-enough motivator yet to make me buy a suit and use a hairdryer... But it is always inspiring to me that people do go and invent themselves, their businesses and actually Do the Do.
In musculo-skeletal medicine (my field of choice), and any medicine to be fair, one of the main challenges is motivating people to change and do a different do that will take them towards health and a better quality of life etc I hate to see people struggling with pain and poor mobility when I know how much better they could feel with a few intelligent adjustments.
I'm well aware of how motivation can dwindle, being a mere mortal too. My own back really complains when I don't put in the time to care for it with rest (horizontal), exercise (general) and rehab-specific exercises to improve the function of the stiffer/weaker/less sensorily-aware bits (eg right foot after repeated ankle aprains). So what is the trick to keeping on keeping on?
1. One of the benefits of paying to see someone professionally, for most people is it's a great motivator. Because who wants to feel they're wasting their hard-earned money? Knowing someone will look you in the eye and say "So, how did you get on with the exercises then?" and you will have to face their unwavering gaze...can be quite powerful. Who likes to squirm?
2. Having a goal. For me, personally, this is massively motivating. Particularly when I will be called to account. Exams or tests are good for this.Take my flute practising... just entertaining the idea of taking my Grade 5 this Spring has massively upped my practice.
And having just found out I've a place on a rehab exam in less than 4 weeks... that's very motivating for my back to get lots of exercise and attention, because I will be needing to perform natural squats in public etc and stuff that an athlete will need to progress their rehab. By February, I'm going to be a whole lot fitter!
If you've not come across them, have a look at making your goals SMART.Very CBT! : Specific, measurable, acheivable, realistic, time-based. ooh!
3. And of course, as they say in Germany "Ubung macht den Meister..." (practice makes perfect). And becoming more masterful at anything is a great feeling. It becomes a pleasure to do it rather than a task or trial. Show it off! Bask in that glory!
4. Making it part of your everyday routine. This is really key. And easily doable with a little creativity.
If you come to yoga with me, you'll realise that I do add things that my body needs to the class. It's my way of making sure I look after myself at least 5 times a week. Often people keep going doing things at work that are just hurting them long-term. This is taking the opposite approach of using work to keep me well. And of course yoga is a total passion of mine... I don't see it as work at all!
5. Pre-commitment. Nice word eh? This little beauty is what sets everything up ready for action to happen. For me, it's having a nice rug for doing my yoga and rehab moves on right by the bed. I can just roll out and there I am. If I'm journalling, my notebook is on the bedside table. If I'm going to walk or jog, my trainers are by the front door ready for me. It's taking away the reasons to avoid, and making it easy to do it. What simple thing could you do to make doing it inevitable?
Having a routine is great and for meditation there are great daily apps like https://www.headspace.com/ with 10, 30, year long programmes. One of my favourite things last year was the free 10-day Shutupandwriteathon challenge run by the marvellously-named Stella Orange. This is all about getting a writing habit and finding your voice as a writer. Stella is so amazing, I was prompted to check if she is available... sadly she's married. But all her stuff is very motivational: so taking a look at her in action could probably provoke you to do whatever you're wanting to do in 2017. She gets you looking at your "mean wolf" the little voice that picks on you, puts you down and holds you back from being the wonderful piece of human being you know you really are!
I'm excited to hear about your planned doings in the next year and how you're going to motivate yourself to get there...
And if you need any help, you know where I am.