At least once each week I will receive an ‘urgent’ email from a client claiming they have lost their motivation and need help. And while I would love to run over to their homes and give them a dose of the big M, the truth is that you don’t ‘find’ motivation and you don’t ‘lose it’, you either commit to it, or you don’t.
Motivation comes from wanting something enough that you are prepared to work as hard as you need to in order to get it. Please note, not as hard as you think you need to, or as hard as you think others are working, but whatever you need to do in order to get where you want to go. In the case of health and fitness goals, and for weight loss, this means not waiting until you suddenly feel like committing to the gym again, or refraining from excessive eating and drinking, but committing to this lifestyle in both the short and long term. While it may seem ‘hard’, there is also a level of acceptance that comes with knowing what you need to do to stay on track and keep your diet and body in the shape you want it to be.
So next time you feel that you are ‘lacking motivation’ and find that you are using it as an excuse to do nothing, here are the steps you need to take if you really want to take control of your health and weight related goals.
1. Put a time limit on it
We all have days when we do not feel like going to the gym or eating a salad for lunch – we are human but the key is to accept this as a short term emotional state that lasts one meal or one day and then get on with it. I have clients who lose motivation and then do not come in for week or months – is it any wonder they do not make progress towards their goals. They are using a perceived lack of motivation as another excuse.
2. Stop thinking, just do
Much time is spent thinking about how hard things are or why you don’t want to go to the gym. If you make a concerted effort to remain action focused and just do something small even when you are not overly motivated, such as cook a healthy meal or meet a friend for a walk, you will continue to move closer to your goals, small step by step.
3. Do things you like
Often we find things hard because we do not like them – we join a gym even though we hate it, or follow a diet plan that we are not overly fond of. Make your lifestyle choices conducive to your likes and dislikes and you will be much more likely to follow through with them.
4. Find cheerleaders
Positive lifestyle choices become much easier when the people around you also choose to live in that way. Seek out other people close to you who are already committed to eating well and exercising and things will become a lot easier on a day to day basis.
5. Forget motivation
Once you ditch the notion that your motivation will come and go, and accept what you need to do on a daily basis to get results, the common excuse of ‘lacking motivation’ becomes null and void and we are able to simply focus on action and results.