Ever heard someone say “I just don’t have the motivation”? This is something I hear all the time, so now I’m asking; what motivates you? Who inspires you? Who makes you want to be a better version of yourself? The answer to that question should be… Yourself! Unfortunately, all too often, that isn’t the case. People tend to rely far too much on “motivation” to take responsibility and achieve their goals. Do you ever find yourself watching “motivational” videos or reading “motivational” quotes in the hope that they will inspire you to actually do something? I get it, I used to be guilty of this too. The sad reality is, this just isn’t enough.
You see, this “motivation” will only get you so far. I like to say, “motivation” is merely the spark that ignites the fire. From that point onwards, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to keep fuelling that fire. Most people lack all of the components that make up the concept of “motivation”. A lot of people have the activation (spark) aspect down, but they lack the persistence and drive to actually follow through. So let’s make sure we are 100% clear on what motivation really is. Motivation is not simply about taking action, that’s all well and good, but the most important and most crucial part is that you continue to take action once that initial spark has worn off. Motivation is not just about being inspired, it is also about being dedicated.
Right now you may be wondering “Ok, but how do I do that?”, “It’s just too difficult!” or something to that effect. The answer is, you have to make a commitment. Something you can’t run away from. Right now is your chance to decide what you want. Set your goals, and think BIG! For some of you, this may be a competition, a charity event, perhaps even a holiday. If you enter a bodybuilding, Crossfit, or Strongman competition and you show up on the big day not being your 100% best, then prepare to fail miserably. If you sign up for a marathon, half marathon or triathlon, would you rather slack with your preparation and struggle through it, or persist through your training with everything you’ve got so you can show up and enjoy it? I know what I’d rather do. Be the one who is working harder than everyone else.
You have to think about the big picture. It’s about making a lifestyle change. Deadlines such as these can give you an idea of what it’s like to go all out, and in turn make you realise that a slightly more relaxed, sustainable, healthy lifestyle isn’t so bad after all. You may even learn a few things about yourself. You will see progress, once you see progress you will see potential, and once you see potential you will see confidence. Confidence in yourself, self-belief. There’s your motivation.
The answer is you. True motivation comes from within yourself. You are the only person who controls your thoughts and your actions. You need to challenge yourself. If competitions and events really aren’t for you, then that’s fine! But that does not change the fact that this is a lifestyle change. Set yourself other achievable goals, and reward yourself for smashing your targets! Set some small daily goals that are manageable and measurable, then gradually add to them. To start, this may be drinking at least 2 litres of water per day. Research the benefits and you’ll be amazed. Next you may want to lower your caffeine or sugar intake to improve your health and perhaps drop a few pounds. Once you have a few of these in check, set yourself a weekly and monthly goal. From there you can add more daily goals to make sure you stay on track. It’s really not that difficult when you break it down and accept it for what it is. If you hit your goals for two weeks on the go, reward yourself with a treat meal.
Notice how I said treat meal instead of cheat meal? Right. Branding a reward as a cheat is what makes things so difficult. It gives you the totally wrong attitude. It’s only cheating if you feel like you haven’t earned it, but then you’re only cheating yourself. Yeah, you worked hard for two weeks, you met your targets so it’s about damn time you reward yourself! Give yourself something to look forward to, work for it, enjoy it, and don’t feel guilty afterwards! That’s like saying you worked for X amount of years saving into your pension, and then feeling bad for retiring! You earned it! Don’t say you’re going “on a diet”, because that implies that one day you are going to come off a diet. You’re automatically setting yourself up for failure. Commit, work hard, reward yourself. You need to have balance. Get your friends and family involved, be accountable, have the right, positive attitude about it. You’re improving your life, it’s something to be proud of!
With all that being said, I’m going to ask you again… Who inspires you? What motivates you? What really makes you tick? Correct. You. Who knows, your journey could inspire somebody else to make a change. And so on, and so on. Everybody has a starting point, make yours now! Let’s do this together!