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!