*If you are feeling sensitive or like you need to be wrapped in cotton wool – don’t read this. If you are looking to step into your own greatness and use movement as the catalyst for change that will generate self belief and progress in ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE… please proceed & know that I am always coming at you with love.
My lip is almost bleeding. Ive been sitting here biting it, tapping my fingers on my desk next to my keyboard, looking up at the ceiling and hoping the right words would fall into my lap. How can I say this without coming on too strong? I don’t think I can – and my lip really hurts, so Im just going to go right ahead and say it – YOU NEED TO STOP USING THE WORD MOTIVATION.
“Couldn’t find the motivation to run today”
“Found it hard to get motivated”
“Lacking motivation this week”
Ohmygodddd – STOP IT PLEASE.
Ill sit down and stop yelling.
Here’s the thing. It’s not your fault. We have been told time and time again that fitness and motivation go hand in hand. Fitness professional themselves use the word motivation to describe what it might take to get up and get moving.
So its not your fault. You have simply been conditioned to believe that your ability to follow through on a training program (or anything in life really) all comes down to whether you ‘feel enough motivation’ at any given moment.
Can I ask you a question? What is motivation? What does it mean to you? You cant touch it, taste it, hear it, see it – you can only feel it right? So what does it feel like? Where do you feel it in your body? Where does it come from and where does it go?
When you have committed to a fitness program or training plan and you don’t want to follow through on the things you have committed to – I believe that its actually fear, anxieties or past failures that are holding you back – not a lack of motivation.
The way in which you talk to yourself, the meaning you give to experiences both past and present and the standards you hold yourself to are all things you can hold accountable for your inaction – rather than just a ‘lack of motivation’.
My biggest problem with ‘motivation’ is that it is so vague. Beyond that – its just accepted as a reasonable excuse to half ass things.
So, what am I suggesting?
Simple. Drop the excuse and up the anti on understanding the importance of decision making. Dig deeper to truly understand what it means to commit to something.
If you want to jump out of this running group – go for it. But don’t drag yourself through it half heartedly offering up piss poor excuses for why you simply decided to not make it a priority each week.
Harsh? No. If this is hitting a nerve then I have a way forward for you.
Limit the decisions you have to make in a day.
I have been doing this for over a decade without realising it. My morning routine and dedication to morning movement is not a decision I make daily. It is a decision I made once – and I have followed through.
It is indecision that causes us suffering. That looping argument we have with ourselves when we are trying to simultaneously talk ourselves out of something and hold ourselves accountable all at once. Its exhausting. It’s a waste of time – and usually, you don’t make a great choice, our demons are usually far too cunning and convincing.
Steve Jobs (you know, one of the most successful business leaders of our time – and the guy that gifted us with iphones) was a great decision maker. You are probably already aware of the fact he basically wore the same outfit on repeat. This was not because he lacked creativity, but because he automated certain behaviours to make space for the things he considered truly worthy of his time, energy and focus.
You want to avoid decision making fatigue so that you aren’t worn down, your willpower isn’t beaten and you aren’t pushed to try and be an angel with a devil on your shoulder.
You have decided to do this running program. Decide what days/times you are running – AND JUST DO IT.
Cut the drama. Erase the anxiety. Don’t bring willpower into the equation. Simply decide and execute. Make the decision NOW and follow through for the next 5 weeks.
When was the last time you truly understood what it means to make a decision? DECIDE and you wont need motivation.
Does that mean you will always feel good about going for a run. No. That’s the reality of it. Accept that – and do it anyway. Experience has shown me that we always feel good for having done the damn thing! So just start – honouring your decision and the commitment you made and have faith that you will be glad that you did.
I believe in you. Feel free to borrow some of my belief until you have truly cultivated your own.