How Do I Always Stay Motivated? I Don't. [The Blunt Truth of CHOICE]
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I'm dragging today. My eyelids are heavy, and I did not prepare well enough to have time to make coffee at 5:00 am this morning before leaving the house.
Despite having woken up at 4:34 this morning and shuffled my way to the bathroom to get ready for the gym, made breakfast, ate breakfast, and headed out the door at 5:10 a.m., I am not motivated.
You might be thinking: "What?! NOT Motivated? How can that BE? I mean, you GOT UP so early! You got to the gym and worked out HARD this morning!! That takes a TON of motivation!!"
No, not really.
Motivation isn't always what it takes.
I get a lot of people who come across my spark page or blogs early on in their journey and gush lots of excited [and some dumbfounded] questions about "how did you DO it? How do you STAY MOTIVATED?!" [Don't get me wrong- I LOVE wonderful, excited people who come to me with questions, anxious for change! It's fabulous!] And so, in answer to their many questions, I've written several blogs about the actual process of how I lost weight, and what I now do in my current life to maintain my "new self." But I don't know that I've blogged specifically about motivation before, so this is it.
The truth is [for me, anyway]: You don't always need to be motivated. It's impossible [in my experience]. Motivation HELPS you to make positive choices toward your goal, but it is not an absolute necessity to make good decisions.
So what IS necessary, if not motivation?
The choice itself.
Recognizing that you have the complete POWER TO CHOOSE whether or not you get up for the gym will completely negate any excuses you may have about "not feeling motivated."
Let's say you AREN'T motivated. Like me, yesterday [well, and today too, but I chose differently today]. My alarm went off. I looked at the clock. I groaned. I was warm and tired and sore. I made a choice. Reset my alarm. Went back to sleep.
And that was that.
It was my CHOICE to skip the gym. Could I have chosen differently? Absolutely. But I didn't, so I live with my choice, knowing I won't complete every workout I planned this week.
This morning, same thing. Alarm went off, 4:34 a.m. I looked at the clock. I laid there, awake, trying to reason through my list of excuses for not getting up. "I could go later..? I could just workout BOTH weekend days instead...? I could skip today..I mean, 4 days of gym is still good..." I made a choice. And I got up, hating every sleepy step I took to the bathroom while my husband lay cozy and warm in slumber.
But it was a good choice, though unmotivated.
Here, again, you may be thinking: "How??? How do you CHOOSE something like that when you aren't MOTIVATED?!"
Here's my unsatisfying, unglamorous, blunt answer: You just do.
There is no secret. No magic special quality that "some" people possess and you do not. That's total crap. We each have the ability to make choices and follow through, or not. You ARE capable of choosing to do something for yourself, even when you don't "feel like it" or aren't motivated and jazzed and pumped and thrilled and skippity-doo-dah-day about it.
I'm not advocating that you must now always CHOOSE to go to the gym in the morning. That's just my life-- not yours. Your choices will be different because your goals are different, responsibilities are different, priorities are different, etc etc.
But really. The next time you're tempted to use "I'm just not feeling motivated" as some kind of "reason" (it's an excuse) to not follow through with something you know is good for you and your health, remember that you have the power to CHOOSE whatever you end up doing.
You are NOT powerless. You are NOT weak.
YOU are in control of you.
And chances are, as soon as you get moving or choosing whatever healthy choice you had in mind, you'll start to FEEL that excitement and motivation that's so helpful in our journeys. [Or maybe you won't. But hey- YOU'RE DOING IT!] :)
"You have brains in your head. Your feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss