I get asked ALL the time about where I find the motivation to workout, plan, cook, shop and prioritise my health.
As a fitness trainer and a coach, having a lack of motivation is something that I often find my clients are consistently worried about...like there might be something wrong with them if they find themselves feeling bored and not excited by the idea of a workout or another salad for lunch.
I’m not quite sure what it is about me that screams “motivation” (perhaps it just comes as an assumption with the weight loss story and the job) but I’m also often being asked to motivate other people as if I was born with, and have some kind of endless supply of, the stuff!
“I need you to motivate me because I can’t do it on my own!”
Now, on the surface, I see where most people are coming from with a statement like that but here's brutal truth about motivation...
It’s a really tricky personality to deal with.
Just for the purposes of this post: I want you to think about Motivation like a difficult boyfriend.
You like him, for sure. He’s fun and makes you feel good. He excites you.
But he comes and goes when it pleases. He’s really hard to predict and really hard to rely on.
Temperamental. At best.
And you feel like he’s never there when you need him the most.
Then, after you’ve been left alone – again – he send you a text that says “why don’t you ever get anything done?”
And so he does what bad boyfriends do. He spreads the guilt trip all over you and makes you think there must be something wrong with you. It couldn’t be him that’s the issue...he’s God’s gift!
If You're always waiting for him to show up on time before you get going, you’ll never make it out of the house. You’ll never grow, experience anything or reach goals.
You’ll never feel good about yourself. So you’ll never prioritise yourself.
So, just like a good girlfriend, I’m here to lend a sympathetic ear and give you some solid, loving advice. I’m telling you to BEAK UP WITH MOTIVATION and start flirting with INSPIRATION.
Inspiration is like motivation’s shy best friend.
He is sweet and smart.
He’s a little more mature than his mate. Like he’s a bit more in touch with himself. Deeper, y’know?!
He makes you feel powerful and in control. He encourages you and shows you what you CAN do.
When you do something great he cheers you on and shows you how to keep going when it’s tough.
He’s ALWAYS there when you call him but he totally respects your personal space too. He knows that you are capable and strong and that’s what he loves about you, that you are your own woman.
He makes you feel ALIVE!
You can trust this guy. You can bring him home and feel really proud!
This is the one you wanna get into bed with every night...know what I’m sayin’, ladies?!
So, snap back out of your double date fantasy for a sec and see if you get my point! There’s nothing wrong with wanting motivation (hey, everyone likes a bad boy, right?!) It’s just when you are INSPIRED by something, motivation just comes along for the ride. When you are doing what FEELS GREAT for YOU, you will form habits and routines that are good for your health SO much easier than when you find yourself having to force it .
The great news is this:
Inspiration isn’t something you OWN. You don’t have to be one of the lucky girls to get a date with him.
Inspiration is something you CREATE.
It comes from giving yourself the time to find what lights you up and makes you scream HELL YEAH!
Case study time: Take Bec, a client of mine (and my lovely sister-in-law!) We had a session last week where she was lamenting about the loss of her motivation. Where was it? Why couldn’t she seem to prioritise her workouts? Get her act together and get to the gym? She felt flat but didn’t really care either. Like she’d been stood up by her less-than-dependable boyfriend, but knew that she wasn’t really missing out on much anyway. She was happier home on the couch.
I asked her: what kind of workouts do you like doing? What are your goals? What do you think you’re best at.
She answered, without hesitation. I’d like to get a good steady jogging pace, and run a kilometre or 2 without stopping. I like boxing and have been thinking about doing some more. (As a matter of fact, I knew she liked boxing. We’d boxed together at our PT sessions in the past and I can attest to how strong the girl’s crossover jabs are! She never smiles when we do burpees – go figure – but give her gloves and she’s grinning!)
So here she was, thinking she was bad for not getting to the gym. But the gym wasn’t giving her access to what made her feel great. They had no boxing on their timetable and she likes to walk and jog outside with her adorable pooch anyway.
The gym was not even close to inspiring her! So why they hell would Motivation come round to pick her up for a gym date?
After a quick chat about why she thought she SHOULD to go to a traditional gym, Bec realised that she just had to give herself permission to explore what she actually WANTED! By the end of that week she had found a boxing studio in town and signed up for a free session with them on her next day off. She called, and inspiration answered.
Dear Motivation. I’m tired of waitin’. Your mate Inspiration and I are goin’ hot and heavy!” Love Bec.
Dear Bec. I’m freaking out about the next time we box. Please go easy on me. Love Meg!! (hehehe!)
What can we learn from Bec’s bizarre threesome this week:
All the motivation in the world actually doesn't make a difference if there's no action to back it up and you’ll never take action if you’re not INSPIRED to do so. The key to your success is allowing yourself to look inside and ask yourself the question “what gets me excited? What do I REALLY want?”
Don’t fall victim to thinking you have to do things a certain way because it seems everyone else is, or because it’s the traditional method.
Inspiration comes from making choices that that honour your body, mind and spirit. The trick to getting results is creating a sense of fun and enjoyment that turns into healthy habits. Take small steps every day and focusing on making honest progress instead of chasing perfectionism and duplicating everyone else.
Hate running but secretly want to try salsa dancing? Great! Google a Studio!
Can’t stand salmon? That’s Fine! Try something else! Look at recipes that sound good and include other flavours that you LOVE!
Don’t want to get out of bed for a walk? What if you got in the car and drove to the beach or bushtrail and tried different terrain or scenery?!
You see...Inspiration NEVER runs out of stamina. (something else that’s makes him such a catch, right?! #awwwyeah!)
DO what you LOVE. If you don't know what you love GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TRY THINGS UNTIL YOU DO!
Start something, even if you don’t feel ready or sure.
Even if you feel nervous or bored.
Spend your time with inspiration and let him show you some love. Soon, people will be asking you where to get some Motivation and you'll answer:
"honey, I ditched his unreliable ass long ago!"
Peace Out, Ladies!
With all this in mind I've actually put together my top tips tools, ideas and recipes into a motivation kit that will make aworld of difference when the thoughts run dry and you need a hand to buildthosehealthyhabits!
and how's this: it's only 5 bucks!