How many times has it happened that you’ve made the decision to go to the gym for your usual morning workout and you go to put on your typical exercise outfit when you suddenly feel completely unmotivated to take another step towards the door. Probably more than you’re willing to admit, am I right? You’ve become bored by your routine, your exercise and maybe even your outfit.
You are not alone. In fact, this can apply to more than just motivation to exercise. It’s easy to get bored in any routine. Bored with weekly meals, bored with work, bored with the color of your living room. It’s easy to get completely uninspired by our routines and surroundings, but we don’t have to let that keep us stuck in a rut, unable to motivate to do the work we need to get done. In my last post I talked about how essential it is to mix up your routine to continue to see results. Keeping things the chronically the same is the last thing you want!
The good news is that there is a cure for all that is stale. It’s called novelty. Remember that feeling when you got a new toy as a kid? You wanted to play with it for days nonstop. It was your new favorite thing. All of your attention and focus revolved around this new item. Similarly, notice how it feels to buy a new outfit. You’ve got something new, secretly you want to keep wearing it more than just once a week. Suddenly you are more excited, and feel better about how you look once you are wearing it. Similarly, buying a new pair of running shoes can make you feel like you are ready to get busy getting your sweat on. Pair that with a new workout top, and a new music playlist- how can you resist not getting to the gym ASAP to move and groove?
The other key piece of getting a new key piece of equipment is the upgrade factor. Usually when we get something new, it’s also “improved.” Higher quality. Improved functionality. I noticed this effect last week. I upgraded my 8 year old clunky laptop with broken buttons, failing battery and frayed cord to brand new feather-weight, lightning fast Macbook Air. When I opened the box I felt compelled to get on it and start writing. I wanted to “do my homework” for hours. Believe me, the novelty of a new Mac was HUGE (being a previous PC user, I couldn’t tear myself way for learning the machine. But at the same time there was also the “improved” factor that was quite significant. Can I just reiterate “8 year computer upgrade?” When you realize that you are tolerating less than ideal in your circumstances, your environment, your equipment it’s easy to avoid and procrastinate. Worn out running shoes or a slow computer drag us down energetically and physically.
Often we delay the decision to upgrade, citing lack of money for example. But the truth is we are buying more than just a better version of what we already have. We are investing in ourselves. Investing in productivity. Investing in health. Investing in efficiency. What is that worth? Sometimes I see the price tag of a new pair of running shoes and think- bah, I’ll keep using the ones I’ve got a little longer. But when I come back from a run with sore knees, hips and less pep in my step, I wonder, am I really just shortchanging myself? And trust me, nothing tested me more on this than the price of a new Macbook. But now I look at a price tag and see only part of it for goods and services. The other part may be accountability, commitment or quality.
Now not all motivation boosters need to involve a financial investment, many are free. It’s more about mixing things up and making things new again. You can purchase new, but you can also swap out with friends, buy consignment or discount or just take the time one afternoon to create a new playlist for your workout. Aside from a little time investment, some of the most effective motivational boosts are free. Call up a friend and ask for a new recipe. Mix up your spice cabinet. Add a new color to your wardrobe. There are countless ways to make a stale routine fresh again. What are some of your favorites? What role does money play in allowing you to upgrade and add novelty to your routine? Please share a comment below!