You know what you have to do, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it. Does that sound familiar? Is your ability to motivate yourself just not there?
This is all I seem to hear from my family friends who want the motivation to lose weight or want the motivation to study. Especially at the moment, during lockdown! They know what to do but they don’t do it.
I can guarantee the reason is that what you know you should be doing is something that doesn’t excite you. Motivation only comes easily when it’s something you want to do. So how do you motivate yourself to do something you don’t want to do?
Understanding what’s going on inside your head might really help you. The more you understand on a conscious level, the more you can actively make better decisions.
How your brain works
You can probably relate to this, you wake up early in the morning and think to yourself “I need to get up” but suddenly the other voice makes an appearance, the one that makes up all the excuses. “It’s too cold” “You don’t need to get up yet”
Why do we do it? Why do we make up all the excuses in the world to stop ourselves from doing what we should?
Well, it’s actually because our brain is programmed to keep us safe. It keeps us (or tries to) away from anything that’s difficult or scary. Staying in a nice comfy bed is so much easier than getting up on a rainy day and having to drive to the gym at 6 am!
When it comes to finding the motivation to do the things you DON’T want to do, you’ll always struggle to do so.
It’s our thoughts that spark our actions so if you’re not feeling motivated, it’s because you’re not thinking on the right level.
What do I mean by the right level? Well, to put it simply, just stop making excuses! You have the ability to tell yourself whatever the fu*k you like. So use that ability to your advantage.
Think of yourself as a child who makes excuses when they don’t want to eat their vegetables. What would you say to that child as you, the adult?
Either be strict and call out your own bullshit or be a cheerleader and cheer yourself on at the moment you need it.
You’re 1 decision away from a different result
If you think about it, everything you have in your life has come from all the decisions you’ve made so far. Are you where you want to be right now? Do you have everything you want?
I’m guessing NO is the answer!
There’s a difference between the person who gets up out of bed at 6 am in the morning and the person who lies in. It’s not motivation, it’s the decision you make and the action you take at that moment.
I can guarantee that the person who gets up at 6 am is more successful than the person who lies in. And it’s got nothing to do with them getting up early and having more time if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the fact that they made a decision that would benefit them at the right moment.
In the grand scheme of things, snoozing the alarm might not seem like it would destroy your life but it’s the little decisions we make throughout the day that determine your actions and therefore achievements.
It might start with a decision to snooze the alarm but you might also make the decision to eat that biscuit you know you shouldn’t and bin off going for a run to watch Netflix instead. Before you know it you’ve seen all episodes of Tiger King and you’re sat there at 1 am cursing at Carole Baskin!
If you want to be able to motivate yourself every day, think about your decisions in more detail. And next time you catch yourself making excuses ask yourself this:
“How badly do I want the end result?”
Being able to motivate yourself all comes down to how much you want something. Do you want that corporate career you’ve always dreamt about? Ok, so get studying! Do you really want those abs? OK, so get exercising!
By consciously asking yourself the real reason you want to reach your goal, you’ll know straight away if you want it enough to work hard for which can spur motivation.
All I can say is if you don’t want it enough just stop moaning! If you’re not going to take action all you’re doing is trying to trick your brain into thinking you do. And when it throws back those excuses and you give in, you’ll feel more sh*t about yourself for not taking action.
In fact, it can spiral into negative feelings, such as feelings of failure. In contrast, not giving in to those excuses and making a powerful decision to take action will put you in a great mood, even just for trying.
If you feel that your negative thoughts are what stop you from taking action, read this post: The effects of negative self-talk and how to stop it.
Stop putting your goals off until tomorrow
You might be reading this and doing what we all do. You’re thinking “this all sounds great, I’ll start tomorrow”
I’ve done it so many times. Don’t say it or think it, it’s a trap! Trust me, this kind of thinking isn’t going to get you motivated.
We’re so programmed into this ‘new year new me’ thinking, always putting things off until a time that seems more ‘motivating’ but all you’re doing is putting your goals off because you know that it gives you more time to stay in your comfort zone.
If you’re truly intent on making a change, do it right now! I mean if you’re stuck at home during the pandemic, what else do you have to do?
Get off your phone, stop reading this blog post and make the decision to take action right now! 5, 4 , 3, 2, 1, go!
If you’re still here feeling stuck and lacking motivation, I strongly recommend familiarising yourself with the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker. Watch her 5-minute motivational video that explains the simple trick right here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Valentina is a life coach + health & wellness blogger. Her blog, Dare to Glow is her hub for delivering actionable advice to help you step out of your comfort zone & live a healthy lifestyle. She also works 1:1 with women who feel stuck and need a life transformation.