Fitness Inspiration Self-Care

The Truth About Motivation

Motivation is elusive and we’re always looking for in the wrong places. We’re looking for someone to give us the secret to finding it: We read books about how to get more of it, we go to therapy because we’re fearful of the reason why we don’t have any, and at the same time we give people who lack it the side eye.

Motivation feels fickle because it’s actually more fantasy than fact.

The truth about motivation is that you don’t find it, you manufacture it.

When starting something new or trying to pick up a habit you lost, if you’re waiting for something internal to motivate you enough to stop doing the easy thing and instead do the hard thing, you’ll never move. Instead of waiting for “motivation” to pull you off the proverbial (or literal) sofa, here’s a game plan for getting going:

1. Make it the most important part of your day (for now).
If you want to start doing yoga more often, set a day and time to do it every single week. Put it in your calendar and make it non-negotiable for a minimum of 3 days. I don’t care if you have to sacrifice other things to make it happen– just do it. Give yourself a Drill Sergeant style pep talk. Push dinner later. Wake up earlier. Let the baby fuss for a minute while you wrap up those last few poses. Just. Make. It. Happen.

There’s nothing sexy or “inspired” about this part and that’s why no one in the wellness world wants to talk about it like this. But real talk: people who get sh*t done can do what they do because they don’t wait for motivation to strike. They set a habit and then don’t deviate from it because their WHY for doing the thing is enough to make it a priority.

2. Find your WHY.
If your WHY is weak, the habit will never stick. Dig deep and ask yourself why you want to do what you say you want to do. Is it guilt? That won’t last. Is it because of someone else’s input? That’s not strong enough. Is it because someone you admire on Instagram said you should because it’s what they do? Unless it’s God himself, chances are that person isn’t as perfect as they appear. Your reasons can be simple, but they have to be REAL. They have to matter to you not just in this moment, but long term, too.

3. Integrate it into your life.
Once you’ve committed to making something a habit, now you can integrate it into your life more flexibly. Did you realize one time would work better over another? Did you find a better way? You can accommodate yourself when you can depend on your own accountability.

4.Hold yourself accountable.
…and if you can’t do it yourself, find someone who will help you! Find a friend who can nudge you when you don’t have the energy. Or a community. Or set rewards for yourself along the way so you feel the accomplishment in a tangible way.

Remember: The truth about motivation is that you don’t find it, you manufacture it.

So whatever you have to do to manufacture that pep in your step, do it.

Over to you! What’s your go-to method for manufacturing motivation and getting stuff done? Mine is a dash of drill sergeant and a strong Why!

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10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Laila

    January 26, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    This has been a huge struggle postpartum – I needed this post SO badly. Thank you!

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      January 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      glad it was useful!! <3

  2. Avatar

    Cherie’

    January 26, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    #1 is my biggest thing. I have to schedule it until it becomes a rock hard habit before I deviate a bit. I have to exercise first thing in the morning or it won’t get done.

  3. Avatar

    Mary

    January 26, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    #2 is the strongest of all to me! Serious back pain preventing me from feeling perfect… Seriously well though through article, well done!

  4. Avatar

    Ashley dePreaux

    January 28, 2020 at 11:32 am

    All of these are great, especially #1 — just do it! This method works well for me for exercise, not so much for chores and the like 😛
    Another thing I love to do is use a habit tracker app that counts your streaks towards setting new habits/things you want to get done. My favorites are Strides and Streaks, but there are tons available. I love seeing my streak go up, and sometimes it’s that extra push I need to get it done — I don’t want to break my streak!

  5. Avatar

    Leslie Hughes

    January 28, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the continued vulnerability .❤️ It is so easy for us to portray our lives and selves as we have it all together all the time . And we all know that’s some B.S. It seems like you are living your yoga by listening to your body and not forcing things just because you have an image to maintain or ego to feed . This is a beautiful thing . I’m learning this as I’ve had to slow down to care for my parents and adjust to some physical issues . So opposite ends of the caregiving spectrum , but giving ourselves grace throughout the process is vital. Keep that shit up!
    Also, please immediately seek medical attention about this wine issue. Love ya!

  6. Avatar

    Luvion

    February 7, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for this great insight! Very helpful.

  7. Avatar

    WildEssence

    March 1, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Great points about motivation! The second point is the most important for me.

  8. Avatar

    Kratika

    March 4, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Hey, great post! Inculcating motivation as a habit is very difficult. It’s about not being able to concentrate. Any help?

  9. Avatar

    Andrea

    March 30, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Keep track! Mark the accomplishments in a calendar. Visualise the progress (or the lack of it)
    What helped me get going with flexibility exercises at home, is that I have installed an app that puts a checkmark in a calendar for the days when I complete the exercise and obviously no mark for the days when my laziness had won. This motivated me a lot, as I knew that every day that I miss, it will be a day that will “ruin” my progress and this was represented visually too.

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