Have you ever signed up for a walking or running event to help motivate you to get active?
Or joined an office challenge like Step-tember?
Or set out to lose 5kg?
Most of us would agree that setting goals can be pretty helpful in guiding our health behaviours. They can be awesome in giving our actions a sense of purpose and direction.
But what happens after?
Once you completed your race or achieved your goal did you feel a bit lost or restless? Did you question your routine and wonder whether you should bother keeping it up? Did you start hitting snooze instead of heading out for an exercise session?
I certainly have! And so have a number of my clients.
So read on if you have found yourself in that post goal or race funk. Here are my top tips for keeping that motivation going, even once your goal has been achieved.
1.) Take the time to reflect
Its easy to just immediately let your mind start wandering. Whats next? What more can I do? And although this is normal, first try and revel in the awesomeness of reaching your goal! Most goals require doing things which aren't always easy, being disciplined and often come with a degree of self sacrifice. Reflect on what you were able to do and give yourself a pat on the back! Whether its through meditation, journaling or catching up with friends and family, reflecting on the highs and lows of your journey shouldn't be skipped.
2.) Give yourself a break..and enjoy it!
Depending on the nature of your goal, a good rest may be in order. For my runners, I am particularly keen on this piece of advice! If your goal has required a big physical effort, then giving your body some time to rest afterwards can do wonders for tendon and muscle recovery, your immune system and more! Although some individuals don't like the idea of this very much, I've found setting a clear time frame for a scheduled rest can help allay some of the anxiety and guilt that can come with taking a break.
3.) Start thinking about that next goal
If you are one to struggle with maintaining a good routine without a goal, then naturally....you will need to find that next goal. Doing some offline and online research, asking for input from friends and family as well as considering what will keep you feeling good are all part of the process. Reflecting on how you managed to achieve the last goal is crucial, so you can ensure that the next goal you set is realistic and meaningful to you.
4.) Keep moving, but spice things up!
The time after achieving a goal can be a great time to try something new. Is it time to try a new group exercise class? Or try out some local walks which you wouldn't normally do? It isn't uncommon to feel a bit sick of your previous routine and craving some variety. Embrace it!
So if you are in a bit of a funk after achieving your goal..don't despair!
Managing your health and wellness are long term pursuits. Peaks and troughs in motivation are normal, and its also natural for your priorities (health and otherwise) to shift over time. Celebrating and reflecting on all the hard work you have put in is hopefully the first step in helping you get back on track.
Now...off to find my next race :)