Stop chasing the thought of endless motivation and start creating habits beneficial to you!
Motivation is a spark of energy, that spark that has you jumping out of bed. Motivation will have you blending smoothies, hitting a gym class and drinking 2 litres of water that day, but motivation does not get you up every day. That’s what habits are for and they are essential in everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, motivation is completely beneficial and can help you change your life for the better, but habits are what will keep you consistently smashing goals.
Motivation can often be wished for over habits because lets face it, good meaningful habits are hard to create. Until you really put your mind to it!
Think about something you wish you were more motivated to do. Think about how many times you have done this, or not done it. Take working out regularly for instance, for me, I find there are times where I am really motivated. For a week or two I'll be on track and be persistent in the gym but then motivation wains and I’ll start making excuses again. “I’m sore”, “I’m tired”, “I had a hard day at work”, “I’ll go after dinner”, “Oh I can’t go today my cat has the hiccups”. The list continues until I'm no longer working out and what hard work I did do, well it slowly disappears.
So then, how do you create a helpful habit and sculpt those killer abs you have always dreamed of?
Although motivation can be key to starting your journey don’t give it too much credit, or power over your actions. Motivation can get you off to a start and getting you moving towards a goal you really want to achieve, however in order to achieve that goal you need to put in your own work. You need to make changes in your life that ultimately you can commit to. Habits are all about repetition. For every time you repeat an action you are subconsciously re-enforcing that behaviour and ultimately creating a habit, advantageous or not.
Habits are all about being honest with yourself. If your goal is to lose that extra couple of kilos but you never really move (10,000 steps a day should be your baseline). Then DO NOT decided you are going to do 5 HIIT sessions next week. You may be motivated enough to make it through the week but after you have finished killing yourself you’re likely to quit because it was not enjoyable. It was just too hard and too different from your normal routine. Same for dieting. DO NOT suddenly cut out all sugar from your diet! Start by increasing your movement, maybe you go for a little 20min walk each afternoon. Maybe you can decide you're not going to have dessert every night this week. Hell, even just start with drinking a couple of extra glasses of water a day.
Start small, like really small!
Tackle and conquer that little achievable goal and move onto the next one. Once you have a few little valuable habits you can stick to, other small changes become easier and you're goals won't seem as far off anymore. You may have big bad habits you want to change and motivation will tell you this time you can do it. Hell, maybe you can, but as we have all experienced, when your goal is large it is hard to keep up when the motivation fades.
Habits are habits for a reason. You have preformed the same action so many times that once you go to autopilot your brain knows what to do. That is how a habit works. In order for you to break that habit, you need to change it up. And you can! Just take it slow, decide on new small goals that are easy enough to achieve on a weekly, daily even hourly basis. Every time you reach that new small goal you are on your way to creating a new habit, no motivation needed. Isn't that amazing!
Finally, remember, you are an amazing creature and when you put your mind to it, you can do anything!