Why You’re Already Motivated.
Don’t worry: you’re not suffering from a lack of motivation.
You WANT to be active; I’ve no doubt of it. Your reasons are your own.
And so are your influences. You WANT to exercise…but there are other distractions.
Your motivation isn’t absent; it’s just being consumed by other things.
You have a motivational data plan. We all do. It renews each month, and you draw on it every time you have to make a decision. You use it up.
If you’re under the pump, you’ll consume your motivation pretty quickly.
If you have a stressful home life, you’ll chew through your motivation QUICK FAST, probably before you even leave the house.
These are some of the reasons why it’s hard to start exercising when your life is stressful. You’re NOT being slack, or making excuses: it really IS hard. You can’t just “get motivated”.
But you CAN direct your motivation differently. You can replace your motivation to do something ELSE with the motivation to exercise, or eat well, or meditate.
For example, you might be super motivated to watch Shortland Street. If keeping up with the series has consumed all your energy, it might be tough to trade that motivation for a better motivation.
BUT…can you BREAK that desire?
Can you say, “I’ll record this episode because I can watch it tomorrow, and go do a 30-minute bike ride right now”?
A few days ago, I wrote about “2017 is a 13 week year”, about giving yourself a couple of goals to complete by 31st December. Today, I’m talking about the replacement: what’s one negative habit you can afford to cut out–even temporarily–and replace it with movement right NOW?
(If you’re trying to give up smoking, cut out the sugar, or quit watching so much TV, you MUST replace that bad habit with another habit anyway. Nature hates a vacuum.)
Another example: you’re tempted to go and get fish and chips. Do you have to say, “Fried food is bad, I’m never eating it again!”
Or can you say, “I’ll go in half an hour after I’ve walked the dogs”?
Now, let me recap:
You have finite motivation. You can use the little motivation you have in the tank at 7 pm to get up off the couch and drive to the chip shop…or get up off the couch and move around. Just go for a walk. Heck, WALK TO THE CHIP SHOP.
(Next time, forget your EFTPOS card.)
If you want to find the money to pay for fitness coaching, you’ll have to replace something else in your budget (I recommend the chips). And it’s the same with your time and attention. So here’s the trick:
Like our previous little thought assignment for setting some goals, isolate where you’re spending your time.
Is it at work, on the couch, in the pub?
Now, what MOTIVATES you to spend time doing those things?
Job: you need money, roger! Can you offset going to work? Probably not!
Couch: uh, Shortland’s on? Can you offset that one? Yep.
Pub: Beer’s cold, and the music is loud. Yep. Can you get some fun and loud music any other way? Yes.
Now, how can we REDIRECT motivation from a passive habit (you’re just basically letting life happen to you) to an active habit (you’re taking that bad boy out for a ride)?
You give yourself an emotional reason to succeed. Emotion trumps logic. And it’s the root of motivation.
The final trick to switching motivations is finding a strong emotional anchor to do so. I’ll write about that more tomorrow.
An object in motion stays in motion. But it can deviate towards a new destination! Even though your life is chockablock, and you’re racing along at top speed, you can still take the onramp to a better life.