Consistency and habits are the building blocks to success.
BUT building those traits requires motivation to start. Let me explain:
Willpower is a depleting force. The more decisions in your day, the less strength you have for the better decisions. (You can read the fascinating research: here.)
Essentially, with each decision you make throughout your day, a percentage of your willpower goes does down so by the time you get home after work, you don’t have enough willpower to fight against those cookies and binging on Netflix.
This is why building healthy habits is so essential to a healthy life.
Once you’re in the habit of health, you don’t have to give as much effort to the decision. They just become automatic.
But let’s talk about the stages before something becomes a habit.
Others may disagree, but I rank motivation as the #1 spot when trying to build a habit. Why? Because when I’m feeling lazy, my own internal willpower won’t get me to make a good decision, especially if I’m tired.
So, when I’m in the beginning stages of building a new habit, motivation is what gets me through those first 30 days before it becomes automatic.
If I just relied on my own willpower, I would fail. Guaranteed.
I’ll also bet that you haven’t stuck to various programs throughout the year. What usually happens is that people get motivated once, swear to start working out, keep the motivation for about a week maybe two, then quit.
Finding YOUR motivation
Finding your type of motivation is also extremely important.
Ask yourself: “What gets me up and going after watching/reading/thinking _____?”
Some people get motivated by looking at pictures on Pinterest.
Some people think about their kids and wanting to stay around for them.
Some people get motivated after having a horrible health event.
Some people need a friend to do it with them.
Some people need to join a team to have that competitive aspect.
For myself, I perform above and beyond when I have a tough coach on my ass pushing me to go to the next level, reminding me that one day I’ll be dead so it’s now or never.
Not everyone gets motivated like I do, and that’s fine, but you HAVE to prepare.
I know, I know. You just got off of work and you’re exhausted. The last thing you want to do is think about fitness and going to the gym, but I promise you that if you just start watching/listening to/thinking about your deepest motivation, you’ll find the energy where there wasn’t any before.
One way I used to hack my motivation during a really tough time when I couldn’t find it in me to get to the gym was to leave something ridiculously important to my work in my gym locker, so I had to go to the gym.
Whatever gets you going, you need it to keep the gas in the tank while you build the foundations of your new habits. DON’T just rely on your own willpower to get you through it.
What gets YOU motivated? Leave a comment below!