4 ways to get MOTIVATED.
Motivation is the drive to take action.
For a majority us, we feel we need motivation to do something. We must be motivated! But let me say this first and foremost...
Motivation means NOTHING.
Motivation is simply the initial spark to get things moving. It's a feeling. It can come and go daily. One day you may feel motivated to go and exercise for example. The next day you may want to just stay in bed. It's never or rarely a constant.
The key is to ACT on that feeling of motivation, or that period of feeling motivated, to be disciplined enough to follow it through and to be consistent with both.
One huge misconception regarding motivation is that fitness professionals like myself are constantly motivated. Motivated to go to the gym. Motivated to eat well. Motivated to be and act positive. In essence, it couldn't be further from the truth.
Some days I wake up and I simply have no drive to go the gym! The thought of sharing content on social media seems like a mammoth task. The job of cooking or prepping meals seems like a massive chore. Even the thought of leaving the house seems tough, especially when it's cold and wet outside. Motivation can be in the gutter!
Does that mean nothing gets done though? Does that mean I cancel work, don't go to the gym, eat crap and stay in bed all day? Not at all.
It means I do the things that are required to do to ultimately be the person I want to be. Whether I'm feeling "motivated" or not.
We can have two main drivers when it comes to motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.
In brief, intrinsic motivation comes from within. A personal desire to perform a task because you know it will benefit you, fulfil your personality or needs, has great importance to you or aligns with your personal beliefs. You could read about a subject or topic for example because you have a great interest in it.
Extrinsic motivation usually comes from an external stimulus, with an initial drive such as money, a reward or praise from others usually being the main factor.
Extrinsic motivation is usually the most common. People like rewards. People like praise from others. Most (including myself at one point) are confused as to what they truly want, such as a career path and therefor struggle to create motivation intrinsically. Some argue that intrinsic motivation is the key. In that we MUST be doing our daily tasks for ourselves and ourselves only. I personally believe both play an important role and can affect each other on varying levels.
One thing is certain however...
Motivation means absolutely nothing if no action is taken.
So what can be done? Below are 4 key areas to consider if you feel you're struggling with motivation...
1 - Rest and reflect
Sometimes we simply need to take a step back from what we are currently doing and have some downtime. We live busy lives, busy stressful lives at that, which make it difficult to rest but it's simply a must. To make an impactful positive change to your life you have to step out of the hustle and bustle of what currently is. Even if it's going for a walk. Resting and reflecting brings clarity. Clarity required to make the next steps.
2 - Surround yourself with like minded individuals
This is huge. When I worked the 9-5 it was full of negativity. People who were angry, unhappy, sick and depressed, stuck in that moment of their life with no drive to change. It can be difficult to get yourself out of a situation but steps must be made. In the meantime, you can bring your own positivity to the table. Offer help, laugh, smile, question negativity. Put yourself in a position where you are around people on the same journey as you. Be it in the work environment, at home, socially or at say the gym in a group training plan. You will learn, you will inspire, you will strive and progress.
3 - Plan and set some goals, write them down
Set some goals! Plan where you want to be in life. Get critical with your current surroundings and lifestyle. Once you have a plan down it can be a lot more motivating to make steps towards it. Writing things down is key. If it's down in front of you then you can be reminded daily, weekly, yearly what exactly it is you're working towards. Set some goals today and make a note of them!
4 - Take some form of action
You'll get sick of me saying this in this blog I'm sure! This is the most important point I want to state. Nothing and that's NOTHING is achieved without some form of action. It sounds obvious but it's scary to see the amount of people who are out there with dreams and aspirations, yet do nothing because of fear, finances or simply paralysis through analysis. Looking at options, "thinking" about doing something, but simply stay still and do nothing. I've experienced all of these and would go as far to say that I wasted years. The only thing you need to do is take some form of action, big or small.
Choose a goal. Something that you feel extremely passionate about or simply enjoy.
Once chosen you now know what needs to be done in order to get there. You don't do those things because you are motivated. You do those things because you know they need to be done in order to get to that place or be the person you want to be.
There's simply no time to be sitting around waiting for the right time - for that "burst" of motivation. You can't wait around for motivation. Commit. Take ACTION, and do the things that need to be done. It'll be surprising how motivated you'll naturally become once you're seeing results and doing what you love.