Two perspectives prevail when it comes to thinking about motivation in general. One is that motivation is an essential or even required part of taking action. The other is that taking action is not a question of motivation but a choice. It’s a decision which is undeterred by motivational whims.
I bet you can guess which perspective I embrace. What about you?
Bottom line, we’re all driven by some sort of motivation. It’s just not always motivation to do the things that are in our our best interests.
You can think about it like this: When you talk about “getting motivated” to do something, what you really mean is you want to change your lack of motivation to do it. You want to feel energized or, at the very least, willing to that thing you’re resisting or procrastinating about. And this is a key distinction because it raises an important question—can your flip the motivation switch? If it’s possible, how effectively or reliably can you do it?
And here’s another problem with “getting motivated”: How do you change something that a dominate part of you struggles against?
You want to do X, but you wish you really wanted to do Y. You want to want to do Y.
I get it, you desire to feel the willingness!
But here’s the reality, you can decide right now, today, to stop waiting for the spirit to move you. You don’t need motivation to take the wheel.
Instead, take comfort in the fact that real progress towards accomplishing whatever you want to do, no matter how hard you perceive it to be to get going, comes when you establish habits, routines and action plans . The next step is just to get out of your own way!
Don’t fall for the Motivation Trap.
The motivation trap is the false belief that:
- You need to feel motivated before you do something.
- Feelings of motivation can come by desiring then to come.
The fundamental problem here is that you can’t just summon motivation. Your level of motivation has already been determined by your circumstances, habits, and environment.
We often wait in vain for motivation or inspiration to surface. We even put in real effort, thinking about all of the things we want to achieve or the exciting results to stir up the right amount of motivation. But when nothing happens we think all is lost because we accept the flawed theory that motivation is the only key to taking action.
And here’s the worst part, sometimes, miraculously, you will be able to convert your reason to eat home cooked food rather than order food from Grub Hub into motivation to actually cook at home. Yet, even if you do happen to succeed, your level of motivation may still become weaker.
Why succeeding with motivation can weaken you.
You may tend to think that if getting motivated helps you sometimes, then those times you succeeded are worth celebrating, right?
Not so fast.
Getting motivated to do X when you are really motivated to do Y is more difficult and less reliable than other techniques for action. So, whatever success you do experience only reinforces this less effective strategy of waiting on motivation.
Perhaps unintentionally, motivation seekers train themselves not to do anything unless they feel energized or inspired to do it. That approach puts the kibosh on consistency. It interferes with your ability to develop reliable habits. It keeps you from real progress. Now that’s what I call frustrating!
I can appreciate the appeal and logic of doing whatever you’re feeling motivated to do. Forcing action isn’t a naturally easy thing to do. But, it can become easier over time until it feels more natural when you establish habits, routines and make plans that you adhere to, no matter what. Your emotional state doesn’t dictate your choices, your plan does.
Waiting on motivation can make you feel weak and powerless. So when you remove that artificial barrier, you’ll see all the possibilities of who you can become. As you change, you will feel increasingly more powerful.
Motivation is optional.
It’s comfortable and reassuring when motivation naturally aligns with your desired action.
But motivation and enthusiasm don’t always show up for work when you do. So I must reiterate, you don’t have to feel like getting something done in order to do it.
If you think that “getting motivated” means generating inspiration or excitement before starting an activity, here’s your reprieve: feelings don’t need to align with actions. You can lack motivation and still move forward.
Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it? Here’s the problem with that thinking, it’s the actual thought that you think you need to feel motivated to begin.
Routines, habits and plans can outsmart feelings because they don’t consider your interest level.
If you follow the routine, you’ll engage in the task. It’s that simple. There’s no need to take your emotional temperature because it doesn’t matter.
Results accumulate when you repeat the system without stopping to gauge your feelings. Now, ironically, this can lead to increased motivation!
Success doesn’t necessarily require motivation or ironclad willpower.
While motivation influences our needs, desires and actions, it exists on a spectrum from zero interest to an off-the-charts drive to take action. And it often comes naturally. After all, who needs any extra motivation to claim her lottery winnings!
But you don’t need to wake up before sunrise, drink bulletproof coffee, meditate, journal or run marathons before you can bring great ideas to life.
Creating systems and habits can remove dependence on motivation from the equation. Let habits, routines and systems do the heavy lifting.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood to tackle a task. You simply need to show up and follow through. Established, efficient planning will make weight loss so much easier. Focus on adhering to those habits, routines and plans.
Focus ignites motivation.
Focus and motivation are remarkably connected.
Once you get started, a powerful feedback loop almost always kicks in.
This feedback loop helps you engage in tasks and activities even on days when motivation is in short supply.
Focus only on your top 3 priorities to activate motivation when you want to feel its energy.
Imagine you have three weight loss priorities: creating a food and drink plan, eating only within a specified time window and planing exceptions to your food plan at least 24 hours in advance. These 3 priorities should inform everything you choose to do to lose weight.
If cravings or urges try to sabotage your plan, notice how they doesn’t fit within your habits, routines and plans. Just give them the old heave-ho.
Focus on those aspects of weight loss that create joy and meaning for you.
Stop putting motivation behind the wheel and focus on those aspects of weight loss that align with your priorities.
Approach your weight loss process with genuine curiosity. Interpret each step you take as a building block capable of creating the alignment needed to become who you want to be.
Prioritizing the pleasure of the process provides an interesting shift in perspective. Focus on what matters most. Create systems to support your weight loss journey and motivation just may jump on for the ride.
Waiting to feel motivated to jump start your weight loss efforts?
Let’s find out.
If you are, we can design a strategy to do what you want without depending on feeling motivated to commit to an action plan. We can create an action plan that zeros in on the most important habits, routines and plans that make losing weight for the last time much easier.
And then we test the plan. We tweak it. You lose weight. I call that winning!
So, please take me up on my offer for your FREE Strategy Call. Then you can see for yourself how it’s possible to jump start weight loss.
This exploration can help you reach your weight loss goals with a lot less stress and drama.
It’s totally possible to make 2022 your year to create the healthiest you. No matter your age, stage or past disappointments.
Jump start your fresh start. A year from now you will thank yourself you reached out to me today.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. Let’s go!