Motivation is a tricky thing. It can create challenges when you’re trying to drum it up from the depths of wherever it lives. It can be fickle, failing to show up when you feel you need it most. And it can cause you to see, full-frontal, all your excuses and BS that you let get in your way.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry, it sounds like me, too.
Whether you’re trying to get fit, build a new healthy routine, or work on personal growth, motivation will frequently be a part of the experience.
While I was writing my book, I faced a lot of issues that fall in the ‘motivation’ bucket, and so I want to give you some insights on that today.
When Do You Most Rely On Motivation?
One of the difficulties I faced while writing was in showing up day after day, month after month, to consistently pull the thread I’d started unraveling forward.
When writing a book, not only can you not lose the thread, you also have to guide it along to the end point you are aiming for. And you have to be ruthless about cutting out parts of this thread that are not going to work and then stitch the two newly cut ends together in a way that fortifies the strength of the thread as a whole.
Think of this in relation to your fitness or health goals.
To make measurable progress, you need to make consistent efforts. You have to be honest about things you might be doing that are getting in the way of doing so. And you have to pick up once again each and every time you get thrown off course.
This long-term consistency was surprisingly challenging for me, given that I consider myself very capable of being consistent in other areas of my life. On the tough days, I spent more time trying to get motivated to write than I actually did writing.
It was interesting to note that on the days when things just flowed easily, I didn’t feel compelled to “get motivated”.
This is lesson one about motivation. You don’t tend to need it unless you’re facing a hurdle that you don’t yet know how to get over.
What Are You Really Trying To Motivate For?
What are you really after? A good sentiment about this, which I cannot remember who I heard it from, goes like this: You think the problem is that you’re not doing the thing you need to be doing. That’s not the problem. The problem is whatever is keeping you from doing the thing you need to be doing.
Put another way, doing the thing is not the problem. It’s what’s keeping you from doing the thing that’s the problem you need to solve.
That is lesson two about motivation. It’s always within you, but only for things that actually hold value for you. Find what you value and you’ll find motivation.
And that dovetails into the third lesson about motivation…
An Unexpected Benefit Of Searching For Motivation
You may search and try every which way to find motivation to do the thing you are intending to do.
And every now and again, you just might find that you actually, truly, deep in your soul, don’t value doing the thing. Which means it may be time to let that thing go.
I had a client once who, when we first started working together for strength and mobility training, she was an endurance running athlete who said she was working towards becoming a great swimmer and cyclist so that she could start doing triathlons.
There was just one problem. She frequently missed or skipped her swimming and cycling workouts, but she had no problem getting her runs in, and she always showed up on time and ready to go for our workouts. She didn’t have to report to me about those workouts since I wasn’t her coach for them, but I did listen and support as she went through the entire process of seeking motivation and trying various ways to make it happen.
I’ll never forget there was one day we met for our workout and she said, “So I had a realization. I don’t think I actually want to do triathlons. I don’t like swimming and cycling is just OK, in my opinion. I thought I was supposed to do triathlons because it seems like that’s what everyone does after they’ve been running for while.”
Take a look over your goals and see if any of them are there because you thought you were “supposed” to have them as goals. For me, there was an entire section of the book that I took out because I had written it thinking I “had” to because that’s what writers “should” do. Yuck.
So, What Are You Motivated For?
To wrap up, I’d love to hear what you’re motivated for these days. What other insights would you share about motivation?
For me, as I get ready to release the book, I’m motivated to get it into the hands of people who will read it and come away feeling confident that they can feel better (not worse) as they get older, and they know how to do it.
I’m motivated for readers to finish the book and know that building their body to be what they want it to be is not too complicated for them.
And, I’m motivated to see how readers put into action everything I teach in the book.
Leave a comment down below about what you are motivated for currently. And if you’d like to stay in the loop as I announce more about the book, including when pre-orders open, join my newsletter list here.