How to stay motivated during the winter
I thought I would start by giving you a brief definition of motivation:
Motivation is the characteristic that gives a person drive, meaning it arouses a person to take action toward a desired goal. It is the internal driving force behind behaviors, such as the choices one makes, how long it takes to get started, the level of commitment and perseverance one has, and how one feels and thinks during the execution of an activity. Motivation is when you grasp an idea and decide to follow through with it.
So how do we kickstart our motivation, and what do we do if we lose it?
Strengthen your desired scenarios and let them energize you in the present
Having something to look forward to can provide you with a lot of energy in the present. It helps you get up in the morning and do what you’ve planned, even on more challenging days. Therefore, go through your desired scenarios for the upcoming golf season as follows:
- What are you looking forward to in the next golf season? What do you want to achieve? How do you want to feel? Do you want to hit longer shots? Straighter shots? Do you want to be calmer on the first tee? Play with more joy? Play on a new course?
- Place your hands on your heart, close your eyes, and see what comes to mind.
- Write down 1-5 things that came up and that you wish for in the 2024 golf season.
Tip! Feel free to use the goal map where you write down your desired scenarios in the upper right box. Then you can fill in the rest to create a plan on how to go from the current state to your desired scenarios. Having milestones to look forward to along the way will also help you maintain your motivation.
Recharge your energy
If you lose your motivation, it may mean that you need to recharge your energy. You can do this in two ways:
– Calm your body and mind through some form of relaxation training. This releases unnecessary tensions that may have built up in your body and frees up energy.
– Fill your day with at least one thing you enjoy and that energizes you. It could be eating something you like, going to the movies, talking to a friend who energizes you, being in nature, cuddling with your dog, or something similar.
Choose one of these activities and do it every day, at least 3 days a week. It will replenish your energy and, therefore, increase your motivation.
Accept the present
When the “low” days come, it’s easy to try to “run away from them.” It’s uncomfortable to feel low, and we’d like to get rid of that feeling. However, to get rid of it, you need to first accept it. Accepting the present is an important lesson to be able to let go and move forward again. Accept what is and view the low day as a sign that you need to take care of yourself a little more.
Strengthen your ability to be in the present
You always feel and function best in the present. As I mentioned earlier, you can gain energy and boost your motivation by thinking about something you look forward to. But it’s essential to strengthen your ability to be in the present. There’s no worry about the future or anxiety from the past here. When you play golf, you always play your best when you are present. This training will help you become a better golfer.
Practice presence with the following exercises. Choose one exercise per day.
– Breathing anchor 1-3 minutes. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe through your nose and start focusing on the air flowing in and out of your nose. Feel that it’s a bit cooler when you breathe in and a bit warmer when you breathe out. This air is your anchor. If you lose your anchor/your focus, notice it, let go, and come back, gently but firmly, again and again.
– Choose an everyday task and do it with full presence. For example, when you’re drinking coffee, walking, showering, washing dishes. Do it with full presence.
Make a list of what to do when your motivation is low
To remind yourself of what you can do when you lose your motivation, you can keep a list handy. Place it on the refrigerator or maybe on your desk. Write down what you want to remind yourself of. The list could look like this:
- Think about my desired scenarios and what I look forward to.
- Take care of myself.
- Practice the breathing anchor – the key is my calmness and presence.
- Accept the feeling and the present.
- Everything will work out!
Tip! Feel free to use the SOAS-A model that we went through in the article on how to get along with your fellow players. It will help you get back to the present when something unexpected happens or triggers you.
And as a conclusion, I want to remind you that it’s easy to be mentally strong when things are going well. We train to be able to handle even our bad days. With the training and tips you receive here, you will build your mental strength from the ground up and be able to handle both good and bad days. And as the Navy Seals often remind us:
“We don’t rise to the occasion; we sink to the level of our training.”
Take care, and see you soon,
/ Jenny Hagman