Why Motivation Won’t Get You Motivated
Sunday’s normally find me writing a post for our blog.
And yet, sitting on the couch, watching a documentary about the Vietnam War that I’d seen before, my motivation to write anything was absent in the extreme
Which got me thinking if I enjoy writing, why was I struggling to get off the couch and into gear?
The falsehood of Motivation
Hollywood sucks us in with the narrative of glorious, rousing speeches that spur us on to greatness. Think Mickey and Rocky, think Mr Miyagi and Daniel, even Al Pacino to the Miami Sharks
The documentary I was watching covered the harrowing circumstances that ANZAC troops found themselves in when contacted at the battle of Long Tan in Vietnam. One scene covers a radio being delivered to a cut-off company of men with the courier of said radio, Pte. Bill Akell, remarking that as he dropped it off that
“there was no thanks, the cheques in the mail. It was all business!”.
So, if Bill didn’t need 10 minutes of music and theatre to get motivated, why do we think we do? To read more about why you already have all the motivation you need, click here.
Magnesium and Motivation
I loved burning magnesium in Chemistry class. A little work to get it going, then boom. Thunder and glory, but all too short-lived.
Think of motivation as the same chemical reaction.
We get a rush of blood, we start to get excited and then, poof, it’s gone!
As a small business owner, I get this daily, if not more regularly. A great idea pops into my head, and then it’s gone.
Or I wake up and say, today’s going to be my day, then something challenging comes along and my bottom lips out and all bets are off!
Achieving health and fitness goals is no different.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten a Magnum or dunked one too many biscuits in my tea, and then said the immortal words “Tomorrow, I’m going to make a change!”
Why Tomorrow is a Million Miles Away
Relying on tomorrow to come for change to begin, is a bit like relying on the lotto to solve all your financial troubles.
It. Just. Doesn’t. Happen.
There, I’ve said it.
In fact, Tomorrow is a million miles away.
Pte. Akell couldn’t wait until tomorrow to get the radio to his mates.
I shouldn’t be waiting until tomorrow to get my eating in check or my daily workout in.
Now, there’s an obvious difference between guys under fire and a bloke on the couch.
But only in the immediacy of the threat.
You or I not changing our health and fitness or relationship and financial habits will still see a negative outcome, just a little slower than that of the radio turning up late.
So, I hear you ask, how do I get started today if motivation isn’t going to be my go to…..motivation?!
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
I first read about the KISS principle in a military memoir of a British SAS trooper (yes, there may be a touch of the military fetishist in me!).
The principle revolves around simplifying complex problems do to easy to achieve portions, hence the keep it simple angle.
It finds its origins with the US navy in the 1960s.
The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
In our case, we may be thinking about simplifying our health and fitness goals.
Let’s take nutrition for example. One of the most over-complicated subjects you’ll likely encounter.
The amount of advice and recommended approaches is mind-boggling, meaning it’s perfect for overcomplication, therefore even more likely to see you lose motivation and fail.
Breaking up with motivation in 3 easy steps
So we’re done with the emotional rollercoaster that is motivation.
Instead, we’re going to focus on the following
1 – Define your goal.
What is it you want to achieve? Why is it important to you? What will happen if nothing changes? Who does that effect?
Nail these down and you’re golden.
2 – Plan your route.
Just like on any journey, you need to know how you’re going to get to where you want to go to. If you’ve defined your goal properly, this will be relatively easy. (If you’re not sure how, click here for a free 30min goal setting session) with me
3 – Execute!
Yes. Just execute. You don’t need a run up, you don’t need your favourite song (even though it helps), you just need to start. Condition yourself to getting started and you’ll get more done.
Get more done and you’ll see the success of your actions. The greater the frequency of success, the more likely you’ll keep your momentum going.