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!
LailaJanuary 26, 2020 at 1:01 pm
This has been a huge struggle postpartum – I needed this post SO badly. Thank you!
Erin MotzJanuary 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm
glad it was useful!! <3
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.
MaryJanuary 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!
Ashley dePreauxJanuary 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!
Leslie HughesJanuary 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!
LuvionFebruary 7, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Thanks for this great insight! Very helpful.
WildEssenceMarch 1, 2020 at 9:44 am
Great points about motivation! The second point is the most important for me.
KratikaMarch 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?
AndreaMarch 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.
Target 100 yearsAugust 21, 2020 at 8:03 am
Our body is designed to survive even in some crucial conditions and if we make ourselves dull by not improving our physical condition, well we are just inviting new problems for ourselves
Check out more on – Importance and impact of Exercise
Darren JamesFebruary 2, 2021 at 3:04 am
If we want to achieve something. We have to sacrifice a lot of things. As you said that you have to make a habit. To stay fit , we have to follow a routine like diet plan, training schedule and workout plan etc. Here I recommend a platform which is called WeRun where all kind of age people may join groups at their nearby location.
Gustavo WoltmannMarch 17, 2021 at 12:47 am
I agree motivation keeps us going.
Hannah StoneMarch 23, 2021 at 4:59 am
Some more tips on how to stay motivated can be found here: https://www.hamelin.store/blogs/be-noteworthy/the-ultimate-guide-to-staying-motivated-during-a-quarantined-summer It’s not really about working out, but these tips apply to everything.
For me, the way that works is to make a new habit the central event of each day. That’s how I’ve taught myself to work out regularly, drink enough water, and more.
RealhappinessMay 7, 2021 at 4:10 am
much appreciating article, thank you so much for sharing with us.
Laurie R. EdwardsJune 20, 2021 at 7:17 am
Thanks for this post! I often give up after some time of training… And I really try to find the motivation to go on. Self-discipline and time management are very important to succeed in any aim. For me, the main aim why I am doing sports is my health and high energy level. And I noticed that the rule ‘ Make it the most important part of your day ‘ works for me!
I recommend you to check this resource for more info on sports.
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Ben richardsonAugust 25, 2021 at 5:31 am
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KasperJanuary 9, 2022 at 9:07 am
Great tips! I used to struggle a lot with motivation when I was younger, and the steps that helped me is very similar to the steps you described here.
Jones BrownMarch 22, 2022 at 3:27 am
Yoga can be a great start for building motivation and with this 4 steps I believe it can bring more positivity into the head. This blog has a great compilation of doing the actual things and easy to understand.
lisaApril 24, 2022 at 9:14 am
Much obliged for this post! I frequently surrender after some season of preparing… And I sincerely attempt to track down the inspiration to go on. Self-restraint and using time productively are vital to prevail in any point. For my purposes, the principle point why I’m doing sports is my wellbeing and high energy level. Furthermore, I saw that the standard ‘ Make it the main piece of your day ‘ works for me!Electrician Chandler
Warren FlemingJune 16, 2022 at 3:54 am
Aleksandra Włodarczyk ZumbaJuly 26, 2022 at 5:15 pm
Yes, motivation is the most important. After the motivation the workouts should be very variable and fitted to the participants. I like very intense workouts like Zumba Fitness and the more people, the more motivation have all the participants.
IndimedoAugust 13, 2022 at 7:14 am
Amazing blog, The facts are really great and the provided pieces of information are great. They are really very helpful to me.
Thanks for providing this information!!
Guadalupe ParnellDecember 8, 2022 at 2:54 am
People who work out all the time, or eat right all the time and think they’re motivated never work out! Almost 90% of people are not motivated and will be motivated to change their lifestyles if they believe the reward outweighs the effort it takes to achieve it. I prefer to check this canterbury concrete and get more new things for concrete. The truth is our mindset is the key to change and with that let’s dive into how motivation works.