What is it with people and motivation? I get emails, messages and comments about it almost every day! "What keeps you motivated? What kept you motivated during your transformation? What are your motivation go-tos during a rut? Well, I'm about to give it to you straight. The blunt, God-honest truth about motivation that most people won't tell you. Ready? K...
F*@# motivation. Motivation is a myth. That's right. Motivation is a lie. It over-promises and under-delivers. Motivation is that frenemy from high school that wanted to copy your homework but when you needed them the most they were nowhere to be found. Motivation is instant gratification. It comes from an idea or thought or visual (supermodels in magazines, social media, pop culture, etc.) and fades into the mist when it's time for action. Motivation is not but a small spark of excitement and the key is to figure out how to turn that spark into a forest fire before it dies.
And you know what's going to get you where you need to be? You know what's going to get you out of bed, into gym clothes and out the door? Motivation's far less glamorous, way nerdier step-sister named discipline. You have to train your brain to "just go". That's the hard part. Harder than burning calories, harder than meal prepping, harder than refraining from eating a whole cheese pizza at 2am. I bet you're not always motivated to go to work, right? Do you wake up when the alarm goes off and shout: "YES!!! IT'S TIME TO GO TO WORK BABY YEAH!!!"? No. You go because you have to. It's a decision. Getting fit is no different.
This is why it is extremely important to get a routine going. Especially at the beginning. Figure out what days you'll be hitting the gym and for how long. When motivation is low, exhaustion kicks in and life gets in the way, decide to still go. Even if your body is sore or achy and even if your brain is telling you that you can't, just go. Even if you get there and realize you physically can't give much, even if you just get on a treadmill and walk at the slowest pace or even if you just sit somewhere inside the gym and do nothing but listen to music... go anyway. Go and stay for the duration of the planned gym sesh. Teach yourself the routine. You're embarking on a new lifestyle, slow is perfectly fine. Consistency is the key. I've done it. I've had crappy days where I have no will, no interest and no energy to workout but I still show up, even to do the absolute bare minimum. It's important to train your brain and your body to just get there. If it's not your "off day", you have to show up.
The fact is you won't always be motivated or inspired and thinking that you will is naïve. You can't wait to catch that wave of random motivation if and when it decides to hit. So you just have to do it. Kicking and screaming, tired, frustrated, uninspired. Get up, get dressed, get in the car and go. It's called discipline.
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