“Oh man, I just feel so lazy – I can’t get myself moving these days”
“My body feels so sluggish I think about exercising but then I just can’t get motivated enough to actually DO it.
“I really want to get back in shape but my energy levels are WAY lower than they used to be.”
“I do fine for a couple days, but then I get bored and side-tracked – I need to get more excited about exercising again so I can stick to it.”
How many times have you said something like this to yourself? Probably more than a few times, if you’re like me. But have you ever wondered where your motivation goes when you lose it? If you knew that, it would probably be a lot easier to find it again, right?
Motivation isn’t something you can find or lose, or something you can get from anyone or anything else. If you really want to accomplish something, you already have all the motivation you need, and there’s nothing to go looking for.
If you find yourself choosing the couch and the treat more often than you’d like, the absolute WORST thing you can do is to start thinking that you’ve lost your motivation. That just makes you feel helpless and down on yourself, and/or sends you off on a wild goose chase looking for something you already have.
What you actually need to do is train your wandering mind to remember how much you really want to accomplish your goal and how good it feels to do what it takes to make this happen. Then the choice between sitting on the couch and eating chips vs. getting your gear on and getting to fitness class is easier. If you REALLY want the results of fitness class, you’ll hold true to your commitments …. AND you’ll cut yourself some slack to sit on the couch and watch a show sometimes too!
The real motivation-killer is thinking that “being motivated” means not having these conflicts between opposing desires, or expecting that you’ll do the “right” thing every time. That’s what leads to feeling guilty or defective, and beating up on yourself–and that’s about as helpful as a broken leg is to a runner. Sometimes, cutting yourself some slack is just what you need.
So, here’s my advice: stop wondering where your motivation went, and kick all that negative self-talk to the curb. Instead, come up with at least one thing you can do to help train your brain to remember how motivated you really are.