Stay Motivated During Quarantine
Working from home has its perks, you don’t have to shower or get dressed for meetings, but it has some drawbacks as well. It can be difficult to stick to a schedule, stay motivated, and be productive. With no early morning wake up call, I find myself sleeping in, staying up late, skipping meals, and struggling to find the energy for a workout. It doesn’t take long to realize this can’t continue, and with uncertainty of when all of this will end, it’s time for some changes.
Motivation follows action
There’s a misconception that action follows motivation, but in truth it’s the other way around. If you wait for motivation to strike it never will. Like me, I’m sure you’ve figured this out quickly being stuck at home. Instead of something productive, all this extra time has just been devoted to more Netflix. We need to take small and thoughtful actions to keep the motivation train moving along, or else it’ll lose steam and come to a screeching halt.
It’s easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling than it is to feel yourself into a better way of acting.
Start with the small actions to build up to the big actions you want to take. Throw your shoes on and suddenly you feel ready for a run, turn up your tunes and you get pumped for that heavy lift. Running 3 miles can feel daunting and exhausting but putting your shoes on is quick and easy.
Redefine your goals
Your workouts most likely look very different than they did prior to the stay at home orders. If you were working hard towards reaching a health goal it feels like you’re starting over again from square one. That can be emotionally draining and suck your desire to continue towards your goal.
Now is the time to focus on the big why of your goal and define what accomplishing that goal is going to mean for you emotionally, how it will make you feel, and how your life will be better after reaching it. Once you know that, you can set up smaller goals and still stay on track during quarantine. If your goal was losing weight, create a smaller goal around smart grocery shopping. If you want to run a marathon, try 30-minute jogs and lower body drills to improve strength and stability.
Schedule your time
Your normal routine is completely disrupted at this point. If you don’t create a new one, you’ll find yourself in front of the TV at noon, still in your PJs. When I create my calendar, I schedule in every moment of my day from waking up to settling down for my pre-bed ritual.
Start with your bedtime. You may not have to get up as early as you’re used to, so setting a bedtime is essential for getting quality sleep and sticking to a routine each day. Once you have your bedtime, you know when your next day will start. Set an alarm and stick to it. Schedule the rest of the day from there. Start with any important work tasks that you need to complete. Then schedule in your meals; it’s so easy to skip meals right now, so it’s essential to get them in your calendar.
Once you have the essentials, schedule in your breaks and screen time. Breaks are important to stay productive and scheduling them into your day will prevent you from turning 15 minutes into a 2-hour marathon of Modern Family. Set aside a time before the week starts to create the framework of your calendar and fill in any missing details as you go.
Now is the time to be kind to yourself. There are going to be days when we’re going to sleep in, eat nothing but a bag of chips all day, and stay up until 3 a.m. watching Netflix. Start each day fresh and with intention.
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