Most people struggle with motivation.
They think the reason they can’t follow a particular nutrition plan or exercise routine is because they’re not motivated enough:
“All those people getting lean and sticking to their plan must be more MOTIVATED than I am.”
“They must know some secret of motivation.”
Let’s look at that idea for a moment.
Motivation is defined as: the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
Do you think that all those people going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week always have a desire to do it?
Would their preferred choice always be chicken breast and veggies instead of a burger and fries?
Many times they’re tired and don’t feel like going to the gym, but do it anyway.
They choose certain foods because they remind themselves how good those foods make them feel and the effects they have.
They do it because they know about the benefits.
They’ve made a commitment to themselves to make certain choices.
Many times they think about the fact that even though they don’t necessarily feel like going to the gym or eating the healthier food, they’ll probably feel better afterwards.
You can do the work without feeling the motivation to do it.
Make it part of your routine.
Schedule it in like any other important appointment.
But you need to WANT to make a change in your life.
And you won’t change until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of the changes you need to make to get there.
Think about that for a moment (it’s a mental twister, that’s for sure!).
Until the pain of not having the body you want is greater than the pain of exercising and turning down that extra bagel (things required to make a change), then you won’t do anything.
It doesn’t have to related to fitness either.
If you don’t enjoy your job, you won’t feel the need to change until the misery of that job is greater than the discomfort, inconvenience, and potential financial disaster of being unemployed.
When the pain of your current state overrides everything else, you’ll make the change.
As humans, we naturally go towards pleasure and avoid pain.
And it’s not always what’s best for us.
So if you need to make a change, it’s HARD.
No one can make you do it and no one can just push you in the right direction.
That’s the unsexy truth about motivation.
Until it hurts so much to stay as you are that you don’t want to stay there anymore, you won’t do the things you need to do to change.
Many of my Online Coaching clients have been encouraged to change by a health scare, or forced into action by an upcoming milestone birthday.
The pain of staying in their current state became too much.
They felt compelled to make the change.
Once the change is made, it needs to be reinforced on a daily basis.
In my 20s, I spent a lot of time having epiphanies that I would never eat chocolate again or binge eat again.
“Really, THIS is the last time!”, I would tell myself.
Until it wasn’t.
So I kept making the same mistake over and over again.
Don’t Do It Alone!
It’s important to have support to keep you going in the right direction.
Whether that’s friends, family, a support group, or (ideally) a professional coach, most people need guidance on their fitness journey.
Some days it will seem more important than anything to have the fitness to be able to play with your kids without getting winded.
You’ll think about how things will look in your 50s and 60s if you continue on the path you’re on and it will scare you enough to do things differently.
And then one day your desire may be overcome by a donut that crosses your path.
Or the pint of beer that somehow ends up on your table.
Soon that “motivation” won’t be as strong and you’ll start to slip.
What happens then?
If you don’t have anyone to support your goal or keep you on track then your behaviour may change for the worse.
That’s why it’s important to have a support system to help you achieve important goals.
When one of my Online Coaching clients feels their motivation wane, I’m there to remind them why they started the process in the first place.
Creating a powerful “why” is an important tool to keep your desire for change burning.
So find your reason.
Do you want to be a good example for your kids?
Are you disappointed with how weak and tired your body feels?
Is your health not what you would like it to be?
The motivation to make a lifestyle change will be easier to find when you have a strong reason.
Find what motivates you.
Get support along the way.
Once you’ve built up the habit of exercise and eating well, you’ll go through the motions that get results…even when your motivation isn’t particularly strong.
That’s when things start to feel effortless.
And you’ll know that real change has happened.