I asked you guys this week what you need help with, and the number one request I received was for motivation. So let’s talk here about motivation; what it is, what it isn’t, and what to do with it.
What motivation is: you already know. Moving on!
What is isn’t: reliable for reaching your goals. Relying too heavily on motivation is a big mistake people make when trying to reach a goal. You won’t always be motivated, and you have to learn to do things anyway. More on that below.
If you’re struggling with motivation, check in with these three things:
1. Know your “why”. If you’re trying to make positive change in your life, you have to tap into the motivation behind it. Understanding why something matters to you beyond just wanting to drop some pounds can help keep you moving forward. Ask yourself why you want to eat healthier, exercise, etc. Don’t just stop at the first answer, either. Continue to ask “why” until you get to the heart of the matter.
Example: “I want to eat healthier because I want to feel better and have more energy.”
“Because I want to be able to keep up with my kids .”
“Because I want to be the best parent I can be to my children.”
2. Create habits. Think about all the things you do each day that are habitual; brushing your teeth, showering, driving to work, etc. These things aren’t particularly enjoyable, but they don’t require motivation because they’re just ingrained into your routine. If you want to be better at something, make it a habit. Don’t make the mistake of taking on too much too fast. Start small by choosing one (just one!) doable change that you can implement for a few weeks. Work on that one thing until it becomes habit, then add the next thing. If it’s habitual, it doesn’t require motivation. You just do it.
3. Get over it. The main thing to understand about motivation is that it won't always be there for you. Relying on motivation to eat better or exercise is a recipe for failure. If you want to be successful, you have to learn to do things even when you don't feel like it. When you do feel motivated, enjoy it! Use it and roll with it, but expect to have days where that's not the case. Get in the habit (there’s that word again!) of doing things even when you don’t feel like it. Just because you don’t feel like exercising or cooking a healthy meal doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Put your big boy/girl pants on and do it anyway, and you’ll find that you actually feel motivated to do it again.
What do you do to stay on track even when the feels are low?