Motivation is crap. So many times in my own life I’ve eaten junk food and I’ve made excuses not to exercise or move my body because I was simply not motivated to. I told myself 100000x “I’ll start tomorrow” hoping I would wake up with some magical motivation that would solve all of my problems and I’d then have what it takes to succeed. That day never, ever came.
Sure, when I was 26 I did indeed wake up one morning and say “enough is enough” I ditched my excuses, worked my ass off to shed my weight, my shitty boyfriend and my draining job. All of which has led to some pretty wonderful opportunities for me, however there is this false sense that if we wake up that first morning motivated, it will be permanent and that is just utter bullshit. There were many days I came home from my job and felt 0 motivation to exercise, I did it anyways.
I did not create the habit of doing HIIT because of one day’s motivation, I did not overhaul my life because of one day’s motivation. To expect that of yourself is not only going to set you up for failure or lot of lost opportunity. It is going to create a lot of negative self-talk because if you are consistently NOT following through on what you set out to do because you did not feel motivated, what feeling does this create for you? Hopelessness, anxiety, depression, fear…etc. This is why I tell my clients the cure for anxiety is imperfect action.
If you have these grand aspirations for yourself to lose weight, get your anxiety under control or leave some dead beat- it is not a matter of motivation–it is a matter of consistency and commitment.
Consistency and commitment to your goals cannot be based on your day to day or moment to moment motivation because that will inevitably fall off when life begins to feel hard–which it ALWAYS will. Life is hard, no matter how much or how little you have it is just a fact. Consistency and commit is looking at your challenges and saying “I see this pain/fear/obstacle and I will not let it stop me”
The example I use a lot with my clients is one’s relationship to their spouse. Do we always have that honeymoon feeling toward our partners? NO! To expect that would be completely ludicrous. Do we cheat on our spouses or break up with them as soon as the relationship gets challenging or we have a moment of not liking them? Also no, because we made a commitment to them and we value the relationship with them MORE than we care about our moment to moment motivation to stay with them.
My point is, I do not always feel like taking care of myself. I get tired, I feel weak and hopeless sometimes. Sometimes my anxiety feels overwhelming and physically painful and all I want to do is quit. But my commitment to my mind, body and soul is not tied to my motivation it is tied to my habits, when I feel weak and tired I do not let it stop me from working out, I use it to fuel my workouts and push harder.
Do yourself a favor and give up the idea that you’ll ever have the motivation to make better habits, make them anyways. Give yourself permission to to the hard work anyways.
Make a commitment to look at your habits and change them one at a time.