Why motivation will let you down 100% of the time – and what to do about it
Does any of this sound familiar?
- May 1st – Yay, it’s spring, I’m going to get really fit, do all sorts of things outside like run, ride my bike and get in some hikes, maybe even a class or two when it rains. 3x a week – I’ve even put it in my planner and talked to some friends. Yippeee, here we go!
- May 15 – Ok baby steps, I’ll start when its not so rainy. I saw a good class online – It looks hard tho. I will do a few weeks of that circuit I saw on YouTube then go to that class.
- May 30th – Finally went to class. I’m going to go all the time (once my body does not feel it will cripple under its own weight for soreness)
- June 5th – Got to the gym twice this week! Even got my bike tuned up.
- June 10th – I ran outside, yay me, went to bootcamp, double yay and rode my bike – whoot!
- June 29 – Vacation mode. Crap, I haven’t been doing what I said I would. Maybe I should get a trainer or something? Yah..well after holidays?
- July 15th – BBQ, patios, cottage, Bluesfest, I need to save some money (it’s all going out the social/vacay door)
But guess what? You’re still not exercising regularly, still letting days and weeks go by without accomplishing what you said in your heart and gut you wanted. You had 2 good weeks of fitness and now summer is in full swing. Might as well wait until the fall to get back on the wagon, right?
Momentum – it’s a bitch. You have successfully squandered 4-months of time intended for self care, getting fit and enjoying the outdoors. It doesn’t have to be that way. You didn’t even save any money. Your wallet did not fill out, your lulu’s did.
Don’t feel bad – WE ALL DO THIS. Without the correct tools in place, it’s pretty hard to be motivated all the time. We all have good intentions, we all have guilt, we all defer and stall progress until we’re “ready” (you will never be fully ready).
One of my favorite quotes –
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
― William Hutchison Murray
- BEGIN – start where you are. Get over it. Confront your reasons and negotiate with the self sabotaging devil on your shoulder.
- GET RID OF THE HESITANCY – Simplify your decisions and options that fight for your time. Book your workouts like any other meeting or can’t miss event. Have a plan A (regular workout), plan b (workout for when you feel crummy), but NEVER a plan C (I could swim, go to yoga, walk the dog, do a circuit…NOPE, it doesn’t happen. Every night that starts like this ends up with you on the couch watching netflix or clicking like on your tablet). Decision making paralysis is real. Make it black and white. Friends and family can come after your 30 minutes. Its 30-minutes. They need to learn deal with that.
- RECOGNIZE that you will rarely ever ‘feel like working out’. Did 30-something Kobe Bryant show up to his practices and training sessions pumped and ready to shred? I can guarantee he did not!! Practice a 5-minute grounding meditation before each workout to get yourself into the right space and start slow. Give yourself permission to stop after 15 minutes, but you can’t not start. It helps!
- PUT YOURSELF FIRST FOR ONCE and create healthy boundaries and expectations from those around you. There are days when everything and everyone seems to be on fire. Ask yourself – is anyone going to die if I defer this task by 30-45 minutes? Probably not. You’re important, your time is too. Take your limited resources seriously and grant yourself the respect you deserve. Fires have a way of putting themselves out if you let them.
- PUT ‘HOOKS’ IN PLACE – schedule someone, like a friend, trainer or class. Sign up for a group activity or club, show up. Having someone checking in on your side helps.
- EVALUATE YOUR TIME – are you setting aside enough time, or simply just cramming things into an already packed schedule? I can tell you that if you don’t have your down time and create blocks of time, you will burn out and quit. It’s NOT sustainable. Ask your partner to pick up groceries or the kids on Tuesday. They have to be on board too.
- GET HELP – sometimes it goes beyond time and planning. Sometimes there are psychological or emotional reasons we can not do well by ourselves. If you keep hitting the wall, maybe it time to see a life coach or therapist.