What are your expectations when it comes to having, or not having motivation? Do you think that motivation is something you SHOULD have every single day? Do you think you are going to jump out of bed and think “YAY I can’t wait to do my workout and eat perfectly all day today”?
Well, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but suffice it to say..I do not start my day this way. The first thoughts going through my head usually sound more like this:
“oh my God is it really time to wake up already?” “Is it possible I set my alarm wrong?” “oy vey, I’m not ready to adult yet” “I need a day off”. “I wonder if today is the day that my coffee is going to make itself”. Along those lines. Very, very rarely (almost never) do I wake up and think “YES, I can’t wait to get my workout in!” It’s not real life to be highly motivated every day. Not for most of us anyway.
Starting out a new “diet” or workout program usually starts with super-human levels of motivation. The “yes, I’m going to crush this workout and eat well all day” thing. It’ll last for a couple of days..and in my experience, not much more than that. Then the inevitable thing happens: LIFE. Something at work stresses you out, the kids aren’t having any part of the “new and improved healthy dinners” you are making (which lead to grilled cheese and who the F can resist those?), your spouse wants pizza for dinner and to eat chips while watching a movie with you, you are running the kids around to sports and haven’t had time to prep a bunch of broccoli and chicken to take with you, etc etc. So now you are on day 4 of the “new diet” and you’ve missed 1 workout, you’ve eaten pizza and chips, and in your head you are thinking, “shit, I’ve blown it. I failed AGAIN. Oh well, I guess I’ll start again on Monday and try harder to get my shit together.”
You don’t need to get your shit together. You haven’t failed. Dealing with life HAPPENS and dieting doesn’t belong because it is inherently a way of life that isn’t sustainable long term. Let me repeat that: DIETS DO NOT BELONG IN YOUR LIFE. It’s the diet that has failed you, not the other way around. Nutrition, on the other hand, is something that you can ADD into your life. Workouts are something that you can ADD in to your life.
I digress. This is about motivation. Maybe instead of having the expectation of this great and intense magical motivation everyday, you just pick something small, easy, that you know you can do everyday without fail and without a ton of effort. Can you add in an extra serving of veggies to your meals 90-100% of the time for the next 2 weeks? Yes? Great. It doesn’t require a ton of motivation, or any, to just make this one small adjustment, just a bit of practice until it becomes a habit. What about taking a multivitamin every day? Do you need motivation for that or is it something that you just get used to doing until it’s also habitual? Awesome. Now you have added in 2 pretty significant changes to your nutrition that required very little effort and fits into your life and your schedule without giving up other things that you love. Water is another one. Many of us are in a state of dehydration which makes us feel like shit..add in an extra litre of water every day and there you have it, another incredible habit that was relatively easy to do AND has huge health benefits. Didn’t have to “change your lifestyle” for that one either.
My point is this: changing your entire lifestyle to fit into a diet or workout program isn’t easy or doable for most of us. It leads to giving it up and feeling like we failed. Motivation doesn’t stick around long enough to see it through. So how do we succeed? By doing the small, easy steps, one at a time. Building, learning, and practicing new habits that we can easily incorporate into our lives. ONE AT A TIME.
I workout almost every single morning. This isn’t fuelled by motivation, it’s fuelled by pure habit. And it took me a long freaking time to get to the place where I just fucking do it without thinking about it. I almost never WANT to, fyi, I just do it. I practiced the habit every day until it was just that, a habit. For me, that was something I really wanted to do and it fit into MY life a lot better than trying to fit in a workout at a different time of day. My kids were teeny tiny then and so getting it done before they got up made my life easier. This isn’t for everyone, won’t fit into everyone’s schedules. It worked and works for me. FOR ME.
Start small. Really small. Decide on 1 small thing that you KNOW you can do 90-100% of the time for the next 2 weeks and focus only on that. Start where YOU are, not where the crazy fit girl on instagram is. This is YOUR story, not hers ❤