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That Motivation Situation

So it's been Christmas, we've had New Year and now it's apparently time to resume with better health and fitness habits, or to make a fresh start. Thing is, I keep seeing comments from people that are struggling to find their 'motivation'. Now motivation is a tricky thing, and horribly fickle. It'll be all in your face one minute screaming "Go go go!" and then the next minute it's fled to the dark side and left you sitting on the couch wondering what the hell happened.

So here's what I've told a few people recently, and it's quite likely the number one reason why I've lost so much weight:

Motivation has nothing to do with it.

Sure, it's great to have it. Fantastic. In fact I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't go looking for it if yours is currently the suddenly-disappeared-into-the-netherworld variety. (Me, I love fitness and weight loss quotes with what is probably an unhealthy passion). What I am saying, is that even if you don't have motivation, it's no excuse not to still work towards your goal.

Goals and motivation to get to them are clearly different things. I consider goals to be more long term, whereas the motivation to work towards that goal is a more immediate thing. "Do I go to the gym today?"... "Nah, I'm comfortable here on the couch and it's cold/wet/hot/*insert your excuse out there and I don't feel like it." You probably have the same conversation in your head over whether you really need to eat chips, or pie, or chocolate too. End result? Time passes, your eating isn't great, your exercise isn't great, and you're complaining on the internet that your 'motivation' left you.

So here's my secret. Those marketing gurus over at Nike were onto something - JUST DO IT. Sure, there were days where my motivation wasn't there. But I decided, when I set my goal to lose half my body weight, that it just didn't matter. My end goal is far more important to me than if I feel like dragging my sorry backside to the gym on this particular day. (As a note, I also find that if I exercise, I have a bit more leeway if I do decide to eat more chocolate, my Archilles heel!) And since now I also have fitness goals, you're probably getting the idea that going to the gym is quite important to me.

Create a routine, which in turn will create habit. Make a commitment to yourself that you will STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE. Then JUST DO IT. Motivated or not, time is going to pass. And it's ultimately up to you what you do with that time. I vote not to ramble on the internet about how my 'motivation' has left me, because it's far more satisfying to show results, whether or not the motivation to get them was currently in residence.

And one more secret I'll share... often the road to more motivation involves travelling the first part without it. Just do it, you'll understand what I mean soon enough.

29 votes + -


tanyatabone9 wrote 52 months ago:
Love this. Thanks for your 'motivating' blogs :)
xenaroadwarrior wrote 52 months ago:
I think this might be exactly what I needed to hear right now! Thank you :-)
Roaringgael wrote 52 months ago:
You are so right. A friend said to me a long time ago, do you think competitive swimmers want to get up at 4 in the morning and train (in the middle of winter)? They just do it and feel about it later!
mjay26 wrote 52 months ago:
yet another fantastic blog! Thank you :)
Mindylee143 wrote 52 months ago:
This is fantastic...and totally TRUE!!! :)
Awesomers wrote 52 months ago:
So true! I try to approach all of my goals as I *have* to do it, rather than finding (and maintaining) some kind of motivation. It got me through college, so now I'm trying that line of thinking with fitness -- just do the darn thing!
CoriannMichelle wrote 52 months ago:
I agree that you are more likely to be successful if you make exercise as part of your daily routine - fitting it in like eating meals. Once you get in the habit of doing it regularly, it will become natural and part of your life without thinking about it. I also feel better when I am consistent with it. Another reason that I exercise (not only because I see results) is because it gives me more calories to allow me to eat treats or drink alcohol). So its sort of like having an incentive to exercise.
jeansuza wrote 52 months ago:
I just love what you wrote! I totally agree! Great!
Rochester_mom wrote 52 months ago:
I really needed to hear that. Thank you!
MeRoHa wrote 52 months ago:
I also agree. When I committed myself to this journey. I set two goals for myself. 1) To get an hour of exercise everyday. Whether it is broken into several 10 minute increments or all at once. 2) To keep at or below my calorie daily max. (Even if that means doing more exercise). I have set a few others as I have gone along, but try my best to stay true to these two. It seems to be working so far.
emmasage2u wrote 52 months ago:
So good. And I needed to hear this just now. Get off my "but" and "just do it." My "but" are all those excuses I can use... I'd go to the gym but... I'd do my sit and stay fit but ...
msdeb424 wrote 52 months ago:
Thanks for this! Makes so much sense and is just what I needed to read! :)

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