This month in the Monthly Mindset, I want to discuss the ideas behind motivation. Motivation is a funny thing, when it shows up it shows up in full force, but when it is not present, it seems like the hardest thing to find. Does this mean we are failing? Does it mean there is something wrong with us? The answer is absolutely not. You are not alone.
We all find ourselves in a funk every now and then. Whether it is falling off of our routine, falling off of our nutrition, not fully enjoying what it is that we are doing anymore. These moments get really tough to stay focused and to many it often leads to premature quitting and a life of dissatisfaction.
But what if I told you, it did not need to be that way?
With the right approach, motivation can be there all the time. If you have a deeper understanding of the end game, it becomes less of a sprint now, but more of a marathon for the future.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you start to feel the lack of motivation, or feel like you are falling off.
It is important to have a goal. Something we are constantly striving for to keep us going. If a person never has a goal or a destination and just keeps traveling the bumpy road aimlessly, then it becomes very easy to get discouraged and quit. Short term goals feed your long-term goals, and if you find yourself losing the motivation to keep going, take a second and restructure and refocus you what you are aiming for. For instance, in our health and fitness journey, if you are feeling lack of motivation to keep losing weight, then shift your focus to getting stronger. Both of these fuel the long term goal of becoming our best self. Maybe a workout doesn’t interest you, or you are tired of going 100mph every day. Well then don’t!! Take a look at something else. Maybe you want to increase your leg strength or better your technique? Shift your focus and keep it fresh. If you are not excited about what you are doing then you’re missing a big piece of self-fulfillment. Nobody ever said they enjoy doing boring stuff, and just because it’s boring now doesn’t mean it always will be. Write your long-term goals down, write down what you are currently doing, and shift the short-term focus to something new and fresh that will ultimately keep your moving along the journey.
It does not have to be just in the gym though. This concept can be taken into life outside the gym walls. If something in life is getting stale. Reset your goals and provide your mind with the sense of fulfillment towards something your excited and passionate about.
Avoid Burn Out:
Burn out is a big driver towards losing motivation and eventually falling off. Unfortunately, we live in a society that preaches things like “No pain, No Gain.” But this mindset is not sustainable. For some reason the idea of work, work, work has been the ticket to success. Who needs sleep? Nobody, just work. Who needs to relax? Nobody, just work. Take time for yourself? No way, just work. This actually works against you when you try to build a sustainable approach towards success. Our body and minds cannot go 150mph day in and day out without rest and recovery, which makes a sustainable approach necessary.
Not every day needs to be your top performance. In fact, very rarely should it be your top performance. It is important to listen to your body and mind, and move it the way we need to for that day. We should strive to hit our intensity threshold and not our maximal intensity. If you can listen to your body and mind and provide it what it needs that day, you will be on the path to a much more enjoyable and successful journey. Maybe it’s a day where we just move, or maybe it’s a day we just do something we truly enjoy doing that we don’t do all that often. Whatever it is, we need to listen, and keep our mind and body moving and happy.
The last peace to battling that lack of motivation is routine. A lot of the time when people begin their journey towards something greater, they do not establish routine first. This leaves them basically driving as fast as they can with no map. Picture this, you are on a road trip trying to get to a destination that is 24 hours away. You get in the car and put the pedal to the metal, and just drive aimlessly to your destination. Yeah, you might get there, but that experience is going to be more stressful and tiring, so when you finally get there, you have no energy to enjoy the destination. On the flip side, if you planned your trip, with stops, agenda, and pace, you find yourself arriving to your destination having enjoyed the ride.
Routine becomes essential to staying on track. Plan your rest, plan your training, plan out how you are going to get to where you want to be. Following that plan will give you the ability to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
To end, lack of motivation is inevitable. We fall off track, we get exhausted, but it should never lead to quitting. You started your journey for a reason. It still lives down deep inside of you. If we prepare ourselves for the journey, it becomes second nature. Every mountain has a peak, and every mountain comes back down after it goes up. Embracing that knowledge, and knowing that whatever difficulty you face will eventually pass will keep the mindset and fire alive. Maybe you need to rest a little more on the uphill climb, or need to adjust your path. Regardless, whatever it is that you have to do, as long as it is not turning around and going back down, will keep you in the pursuit of your goals, both mentally and physically happy and fulfilled.