We've all been there
Its 5am on a Monday morning after a long & boozy weekend / a two week holiday. Your alarm is screaming at you to get up, but you have ZERO desire to do so. You're meant to be in the gym for 6am for your first session back but the bed seems like a much better idea, you decide you haven't got the 'motivation', hit snooze and go back to sleep...
In this post, I'm going to be talking about motivation, and why it's not something you should ever rely on.
If you're reading this, then you probably have goals. Most of us that are working towards are goals are doing so because of a reason. As a coach, I've helped people prepare for weddings, holidays, sporting events, you name it. Regardless of what the individuals goals are, they all have one thing in common. A vision of where they want to be and have taken action to get there - and if you're reading this, that includes you.
The beginning of your journey
Whenever we embark on a new journey, motivation levels are at there highest. From the excitement of starting a new programme to the thought of where we will be in x amount of weeks - the initial time immediately after taking new steps towards your goals are where it is always the easiest. But just like anything in life, the honeymoon phase does eventually come to an end, and you're left with looking at the reality of what you need to be doing to get to where you want to be.
Its usually at this point that the relentless drive you experienced starts to slow down, things start to get missed and you ultimately tell yourself "I have no motivation"
The problem with motivation
As a coach, you have no idea how many times I've heard the words "I don't have the motivation". From new starters on their initial consultation to existing clients 8 weeks into their journey - this is something that I hear a lot.
All too often, we tell ourselves that motivation must be present in order to be able to get anything done - and all to often, we believe it.
During my time in the forces, you can bet your b*llocks that there was things I was made to do that I didn't fancy.
Press-ups in the snow / 8 mile TAB's fully loaded - the list goes on and on and on.
Most of us who work have our days. We have days where we wake up and for whatever reason we dread going into work. For some of us, those days happen 5 days a week. But I'd happily place a bet with anyone that all of us, despite this, get up and go to work, regardless of whether we feel 'motivated' to do so.
The reason? Because DISCIPLINE trumps MOTIVATION.
Read that again.
Just cause you may not feel motivated to go to work, you get up and make yourself go anyway.
The same principle applies with your health and fitness journey.
Relying on the unreliable
Motivation is fickle. It's a myth. Motivation comes just as fast as it goes, and it's for this reason you should never make "motivation" your primary driver. If we had to wait until we felt motivated to get anything done in life, the world would grind to a stand-still.
The thing to do instead is to treat the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals in the same way you treat your day job.
They are a non-negotiable.
On a meal plan and run out of food? Meal prep. I don't care if its 8pm after a long day in the office - it's a non-negotiable.
g gym sesh but spent until 1am on tinder? Tough shit - get up and train - it's a non-negotiable.
Of course, sometimes life genuinely does get in the way - and when that happens it's absolutely fine. The issue arises when life gets in the way right after you've missed the last 3 days on plan because you "weren't motivated" - see the pattern here?
Reserving these instances of not being able to stick to plan for when you genuinely can't is the way you can make continuous progress even if life does get in the way here and there.
Your mindset - how to harness it
Your mind is weak. Your mind exists only to keep you warm, safe and cushy and ultimately help you "survive". Your mind can and will always choose the easy option - it does this to preserve energy. Its a survival machine.
The problem is - motivation ONLY exists in your mind. The same mind that tells you to "go on, one wont hurt" when eyeing up your colleagues pack of digestives is the same mind that tells you "skip the gym today - you don't really fancy it".
The mind doesn't always act in line with your best intentions / goals and it is down to you to keep control of it and remember that you are NOT your mind.
So remember - the next time you bail and tell yourself you're lacking motivation, what you're actually lacking is discipline.
Get up, get out and get it DONE - regardless of whether your mind feels like it.
Thanks for reading,