Are you struggling to do the things that you know you need to do? Are you having trouble waking up early to get to the gym or go for that run like you promised yourself last night? Are you finding it harder and harder to go into that job that you hate? And probably one of the hardest things, are you fighting with yourself to avoid the food that you really want to eat?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the questions above, I am right there with you. While I can’t tell you how to prevent those feelings, I can help you work through those feelings. Let’s talk about motivation and how to find the motivation you need to do the things you don’t necessarily want to do.
What is motivation?
According to www.dictionary.com, motivation is the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way. So what does that mean? In the most basic of terms, motivation is the reason you do what you do. In other words, motivation is your ‘why.’
Know your ‘Why’
In our lives there are thousands of instances where we have to make the choice to do the thing we don’t want to do. This can range from cooking at home instead of eating fast food to staying at a job we hate instead of quitting and walking out the door. Why do we make these choices? This is where you must really sit down and consider what you get from doing these things. Is it so that you can take care of your family? Is it to improve your health? Will you increase your self-esteem? Will you finally get to go on that vacation you always dreamed of? What is the reason you initially started and what will you get out of it if you continue doing it?
Consequence of action vs. inaction
Every action has a consequence, as I’m sure you are well aware of by now. And remember, consequences can be both good and bad. For today, we will focus on working out. Let's take a look at what you get if you work out, whether at home or at the gym. What made you decide to start working out in the first place? Was it to lose weight? To feel better about yourself? Do you want to run a 5k or your first marathon? Will it improve your health if you work out? Now let’s be honest, what will happen if you don’t workout? Will you gain more weight? Will you be happy with your looks? Will your health improve? Will you ever see the results you are looking for? Your #1 source of motivation is personal gain. What will you get out of this?
Create a vision board
A vision board is a visual representation of your goals. To me, it’s a no brainer that you should have a vision board. Constantly seeing the vision that you have for your goals and your life is a source of motivation that cannot be replaced or ignored. If you don’t have a vision board, you must create one today.
Stop comparing yourself to others
While this is not a source of motivation, it is a source of de-motivation. So STOP doing it. People only post the highlight reels of their life. Most will not let you see the tears, the “failures”, the losses, the bad hair days, etc. This action is critical to staying motivated: unfollow anyone who makes you feel inferior, incompetent, self-conscious or unworthy. Do it NOW!
Make sure you are taking care of you
One of the quickest ways to lose motivation is if you are not getting anything out of your extra effort. Schedule time in your day to do the things that you want to do. You can use that time to read a book, color (I love coloring), trying a new recipe (I also love cooking and baking), or taking a nice relaxing bubble bath. Whatever brings you joy, you need to make time for it every single week.
Look for motivational quotes
If you need motivation, one of the easiest ways to get it is to look for motivational quotes. You can just type motivational quotes into Google and you will see tons of websites listed. You can also search YouTube if you would prefer motivational videos. To keep some on hand, you can buy quote books as well. I have one written by Stedman Graham (yes, Oprah’s Stedman) titled “You Can Make It Happen Every Day.” You can also use a website like www.brainyquote.com to find quotes on all topics.
Motivational Hashtags to follow
If you are on social media, then you know that hashtags can help you find almost anything. Try searching for and following motivational hashtags. While you’re at it, unfollow a few people and hashtags who make you feel self-conscious, unworthy, or inadequate. Some hashtags to follow are:
If you have ever heard a motivational speaker speak then you know how empowering it can be. Being in the room when a motivational speaker is speaking is an experience that you need in your life, at least once. Do you already have a few favorites? If not, take some time and search YouTube for videos of motivational speakers. Then pick at least 3 to follow and subscribe to their channels. Here are some of my favorites:
- Stedman Graham (saw him live, he is amazing. I bought every book he mentioned and a couple of his as well)
- Tony Robbins (watch “I am not your Guru” on Netflix)
- Les Brown
- Lisa Nichols
Two key examples of areas where motivation is needed are working out and cleaning.
To get motivated to work out you can:
- create a playlist of songs that fire you up
- buy some new workout shoes
- buy some new workout clothes
- commit to one tiny action every day (e.g. roll out your yoga mat, do one squat, do 1 pushup, do 1 sit up, drive to the gym, etc) once you do the tiny action your momentum will eventually lead to you completing a workout.
To get motivated to clean, you can:
- create a playlist and turn it into a dance party
- listen to your favorite podcast or an audiobook while you clean
- Make a game of it (e.g. try to beat your best time, see who can clean better (compete with your kids or spouse)
- give yourself a treat afterward, maybe a nice bubble bath, a massage, your favorite dessert
Motivation is personal, you have to find a way to make the hard things and the things you don’t want to do meet your values and priorities. There are ways you can find motivation from sources outside of you but the strongest motivation comes from within. It is that fire that lights you up. Until you find it within, don’t hesitate to use the other sources I mentioned here to get you going.
Now that we’ve talked about motivation, how to find motivation, and even looked at a couple examples, it’s time for you to take action and find the motivation you need in your life. Download the “Find Your Motivation” worksheet to get started. And as always I’d love to hear from you. Share your favorite motivational quote in the comments below.