I often get asked how I stay motivated to workout, eat right, and stay the course. It may come as a surprise, but I don’t actually look for and rely on motivation, because it has failed me too many times throughout my life.
Motivation is the Casanova of the Health & Fitness industry.
He seduces us with highlighted reels of sexy transformations and emotional success stories. He makes us believe that we can be anything we want overnight.
Motivation preys on our deepest insecurities, promises instant gratification and quick fixes, and then just as quickly as he has won us over, he walks out and moves on to his next target.
That’s why our motivation fluctuates so much, and we often find ourselves in a yo-yo.
Here are the harsh words you need to hear, “Motivation does not love you! Motivation does not care about you! He only serves himself!”
His only goal is to trick you into bed, or in this case, into buying the newest fitness product, fad, or service. Once you buy it, he’s done with you.
And, the sad thing is, we keep falling for his tricks, thinking that maybe this time will be different.
Motivation is a liar and a thief.
I think we are “motivational junkies.”
We love to talk about it, post about it, take pictures about it, make videos about it, share it, “Like” it, and make memes about it. Oh, the seduction and lust!
And then, when we actually start the relationship, we quickly realize that this is a lot more work than we planned for, and motivation is no where to be found.
It’s time we sit down and admit to each other that we are addicted solely to the end result, and hardly ever (if at all) consider the countless hours of hard work and consistency it actually requires to get there.
It’s time to get real.
The only way you will truly accomplish your health and fitness goals is when they become more important than your excuses, and you are ready to put in the hard work and time required.
If health and fitness are going to become a part of your life, then you need to marry dedication and consistency, and finally dump motivation.
While motivation is incredible at first dates, he’s unstable for the long-term, and far too brittle for any setbacks or obstacles.
You need to find your pain, attach it to your goal, and create a higher purpose.
Research shows that we will do far more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. So, the trick is to find a pain greater than the sore muscles and lack of sweets. In order to find your pain, you need to ask yourself why at least a dozen times, if not more, and keep going until you’ve reached your hell.
Here’s an example:
I want to lose weight. Why?
Because I want to look good in a bikini. Why?
Because I hate how my stomach looks. Why?
Because it sticks out and makes me feel self-conscious. Why?
Because I care about what others think of me and how I look. Why?
Because I got picked on at school a lot growing up for being fat, and it made me insecure. Why?
Because I want people to like me and not call me fat. Why?
Because I feel lonely and depressed. WHY?
Because I do not like myself. I do not like the way I look, and I do not like the person I have become. I want friends, and I want self-confidence. I hate being home alone all the time. I hate being single and never asked out on dates. I hate the way I hate myself! I want to finally learn to love myself, take care of myself, and be who I can be, but have always been too chicken shit to do anything about it.
BOOM! And there it is – The pain!
The higher purpose.
That is the pain that is going to fuel the fire and keep the engine running, even when motivation runs out, even when your body hurts, even when your lungs burn, even when someone hands you a slice of cake, and even when setbacks and obstacles strike (because they will).
Everyone’s pain will be different. There is no right or wrong. It does require some raw honesty with yourself, though.
Sometimes, it has to get worse before it can get better.
Find YOUR pain. And, don’t let someone else tell you what it should or shouldn’t be. Not even your coach or best friend. Don’t pick something that you think others want to hear, or what would look good on Facebook. Don’t pick someone else’s pain.
It has to be yours, and yours alone.
Find your pain, and then crush your goals!