One of the questions I get asked the most is: “What advice can you give me for staying motivated?”
But what is motivation?
In this week’s newsletter I’ll share my thoughts on motivation and why people struggle.
Plus, I’ll offer some tips to help you achieve your goals.
What is motivation?
Motivation is like a magic power that makes you want to do things and reach your goals.
The problem is that it’s not always there when you need it.
Most people tend to confuse inspiration for motivation.
Inspiration is the feeling you get when you watch someone achieve something. This can make you feel like doing something similar or making a change in your own life. Which is great.
But, inspiration doesn’t last long. Long enough for you to decide you’ll go for a run in the morning. Not long enough to get up when the alarm goes off.
It’s easy to feel inspired sat on the sofa in the warm. But when the alarm goes off, it’s gone!
Motivation is actually the result of purpose rather than the starting point itself.
Why do people struggle with motivation?
It comes down to a lack of a strong emotional reason or reasons.
People tend to confuse actions like working out with goals.
Big meaningful goals are motivating. Motivated people have discipline. You need discipline to be persistent. You have to be persistent to achieve any goal.
Here’s the flow:
Goal >> Motivation >> Discipline >> Persistence >> Success
For example, losing weight is not a reason. It’s a step on the journey towards a goal.
It’s not motivating in and of itself.
In fact, what’s the first thing you think of when I say losing weight? Hunger and sacrifice, right?
That’s not going to motivate anyone!
5 Other Reasons People Struggle
- Not having a clear plan.
- Doing the same workouts over and over can get boring.
- Discomfort, pain or injury during exercise can be discouraging.
- A busy schedule can make it hard to find time for working out.
- Not seeing results from your workout can make you lose motivation.
How to Stay Motivated
Let’s go back to the weight-loss example above.
There must be a BIG emotional reason you want to lose weight or get fitter, or achieve anything.
A reason might be that you want to be able to play with the kids without getting out of breath or ache for a week after. It matters because the kids value the time they get to play with you.
Getting stronger, fitter and losing weight are the ways you’ll get to your end goal.
Then how do we give ourselves the best chance of achieving our desired outcome?
Step 1: Define your reason. What is the end result? Why does it matter to you? What would achieving it mean to you or your family. What are the consequences of not achieving it?
This doesn’t have to be deep stuff. It can be selfish or even what some people might consider vain.
Who cares? It’s your life!
But it has to matter. If it doesn’t matter you won’t prioritise the tasks you need to do to achieve it when easier options spring up. AND THEY WILL!
Step 2: Don’t set goals that are too hard. Start with something small and achievable, like walking for 10 minutes a day. Or doing three strength-training exercises per week.
As you achieve each small goal, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going.
Step 3: Mix it up Try doing different exercises or activities, like yoga or dance, to make working out more fun. Changing things up will help you avoid getting bored.
Step 4: Find a workout partner or coach. Working out with a friend can be a great way to stay motivated. Having a trainer or someone to exercise with can give you support, encouragement and accountability.
In conclusion, motivation is what helps us reach our goals, but it can be hard to keep it going.
People often struggle with motivation because they don’t have a strong emotional reason for their goals, or because they get bored with the same routines, or because they don’t see results.
To stay motivated, it’s important to find a strong reason why your goal matters to you, set achievable goals, mix up your routines, and have support from a workout partner or coach.
By following these tips, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals and feel more motivated along the way.