Motivation is one of those things that is constantly needing attention, much like a two-year old. Although it’s not as needy and doesn’t request hearing “Baby Shark” umpteen million times, it does need to be “fed.” I may be speaking from personal experience, but motivation to do anything doesn’t always come easy. There are excuses or legit reasons we can’t get to something and that is okay, but when we always have excuses it becomes a problem. We need motivation for all sorts of things – from working out or folding laundry (why do we not have machines for this yet?!) to making sure you are cooking a healthy meal. You wouldn’t use excuses when it comes to taking care of your kids or your animal children, so you shouldn’t make excuses when taking care of yourself.
In my opinion, there are two kinds of people: those who can hear a great song or see a motivational movie and feel like they can go through walls; the other kind needs to talk themselves into things. I am the latter; I need to talk myself into a lot of things, but I know I feel the best when I am exercising, cooking healthy meals, and folding that dang laundry. It is a constant battle and I am always making excuses in my head as to why I can’t do XYZ. I have to remind myself that while I may loath squats, my legs are looking good! Or, I forgot to defrost the meat, so “oh well, let’s eat out!” Then I remind myself that is what my Instant Pot is for – you don’t have to defrost the meat. Quick PSA: If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I would get one. They are life savers!! Are you seeing what the pattern looks like? It can be a very hard habit to break.
They say it takes two months of consistently doing something to make it a habit, and I think there is something to that. When you start to think about an area in which you want to get better or improve, just start doing it and set some goals. Be thoughtful on these goals; make them achievable. I’m a big believer in small goals. Small goals are easier to achieve and help keep you motivated. For example, the only time you have to workout is if you get up early and get it done. The best way to start this would be to just start waking up early and in small time increments. Wake up just 10 minutes early every day for three days and then increase it to 15 minutes, then 20 in three day increments. If you need to go to bed earlier, do the same in reverse. Going to bed earlier is a goal I am setting for myself. I’m terrible at going to bed early! Before you know it, you are waking up in enough time to get at least a 30 minute workout in. So be mindful of what you want and easy with yourself when setting goals.
When you start reaching your goals, be sure to reflect on how far you have come! Seriously. It may sound silly, but when you start thinking about how far you have come in achieving your goals it helps you to stay motivated to continue or try something new. So keep a log or a list. There is something oddly satisfying about crossing things off. Or keep a journal about what you have been doing and your struggles. This kills two birds with one stone and helps you to look back. It can be a great stress reliever!
My lovely husband has a saying that seems weird, but oddly makes sense: “Fail at 100 miles per hour.” Meaning, you will fail, but do it giving your all. I don’t really like the term “failure.” It seems to definite and the opposite of motivating. But if you change the way you view failure, it can actually increase your motivation. Using the earlier example of getting up early, if you just can’t get up one day or even two, it’s not a failure – it’s a set back. Look at what was the root cause of why you couldn’t get up. Did you not go to bed when you should have or did you not sleep well? Identifying the root will go a long way in minimizing the times you skip. Missing a few times or having a hard time starting up after a vacation is just a set back. Failure is also how you learn. You learn what worked and what didn’t. I used to get so discouraged when something didn’t go the way I wanted. But I trained myself to start viewing it differently. I instead tried viewing it as something to learn from. It was not easy, but it is so helpful when you are working toward a goal.
There are many ways to stay motivated and finding what works for you is key. It may be a visual. I know someone whose mom keeps a picture of a hot guy on her fridge (love this!!). You could try a series of quotes or hanging your goal list on your mirror. Or put together a playlist of songs that get you going and have it playing during a workout. Just find what works for you to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
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