Why is it so easy to lose momentum?
Sometimes it’s hard for us to find the willpower to workout or we find that we have a lack of motivation to work out. But the truth is that it’s not the lack of willpower or motivation, it’s one simple rule we are forgetting to stick too that affects our momentum. This rule is called the Goldilocks Rule.
The Goldilocks Rule is a riff based off the old tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, and finding what is just right for you and your health. The rule states that we experience the highest level of motivation when we are working on tasks or skills that provide just the right level of challenge and complexity. So basically. If you take on a task that is too easy or too challenging, you lose motivation, consistency and focus, which are all key factors to maintaining momentum.
Why is it so hard to find momentum?
Let’s say for example that you haven’t worked out in a few years, and now you want to get back into the gym to build some muscle. In that moment you are feeling very motivated and excited to get back at it and nothing can stop you. You find a workout online, a 5 day bodybuilder-style program that lasts 10 weeks. You see it and think “Oh wow, this is exactly what I need.”. It’s fast and you can get it done quickly while still achieving the results you want.
But here lies the problem: If you are going from zero workouts to 5 workouts a day a week for 10 weeks, your chances of success are pretty low. It is way too big of a jump for you and your body in every way. You would be putting too much stress and pressure on your body that it actually wouldn’t help at all, and not to mention it isn’t very realistic. The whole point of the Goldilocks Rule is to find the perfect fit for you.
Finding the perfect fit for you is important because it is for your needs and your body. When you take on too much too soon, it is easy to predict when you might miss a day or two. And when this happens, you might get discouraged or frustrated, making you quit the program early. Taking on too much can also lead to injury. Going from zero workout for a few years, to suddenly working out 5 times a week can cause possible injury to you and your body. Taking on too much at once also may make you feel too overwhelmed, so you may be less likely to put in the effort which might make you quit early. Quitting early can also make you lose confidence, which is so important to giving you that motivation.
Taking small jumps rather than giant ones will help you to see improvements, and as you see improvements, you increase what you do. Start small and gradually build onto that, that is how you will see the results. If you expect too much too soon, you won’t see the results you want.
How can I pick a better path?
Having confidence and thinking you can do anything is a good mindset to have when working out, because it gives you motivation. However, the best way to achieve these goals is by creating a path that will make it more likely for you to succeed, not just diving head first into a plan that isn’t right for you or without considering your starting point. Here is a typical scenario: You might hit all your sessions in the first week or two, when your motivation and drive is at its highest point. But once reality catches up (soreness, time, tiredness), you will begin to lose momentum, drive and your willpower will begin to fade away.
The best results will always come from small changes and steps that you can repeat that will cause you as less stress and annoyance as possible. If you want to and are trying to get back into working out, being consistent is your best chance at seeing results. Even if you start off slow and you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, you are, and it’s actually better to start off that way.
To create the best path for you, make a baseline or starting point for yourself and also make a finishing point. Having a finishing point in mind can help keep you motivated and consistent with your routine. This baseline can include things such as how many times you workout a week, your fitness level, and some meals which are easy and hard. You know yourself and your schedule best, so making the baseline yourself is a good option. Here at The Markham Gym, our team of professionals will help you set a good baseline and get a better idea of what is good for you and your body.
Something that is worth remembering is anytime you are struggling. This is key to remember because it helps you figure out and differentiate what is “just enough” for you, rather than what is ideal. Everyones body and fitness levels are different, so we can’t all just do the same workout routines or sessions. Finding out and figuring out what you can handle and finding what “just right” for you will help you to keep motivation and drive.