The Motivation Myth
Are you feeling uninspired by your fitness?
Spring has sprung and the layers are beginning to get peeled back. This isn’t just true of our warm jackets and furry boots, but also our mindset. Those new year’s resolutions are long dead for most of us. If you’re one of the millions that ditched the new diet, workout trends, or shiny new mindset in favor of what you did before… I want you to know it’s not your fault.
Anytime we start a new fitness plan, we are super motivated and ready to rumble, maybe even desperate for a change after resisting taking action for so long (after all, change is HARD and not something we’re wired for!) Motivation is a powerful tool, but eventually, it wanes. The excitement of change wears off and the “this is hard” sets in.
You can't depend on motivation to get you to the finish line.
If you want to change and prioritize your health but feel like you’re lacking the motivation this blog post is for you! Again, motivation is important for driving action, but you simply can’t depend on it. Motivation is not the key to success, no matter what type of succes you’re talking about! Nobody wakes up every day and wants to workout, eat healthfully, and conquer the world. Some days, you just want to laze around in your pajamas and watch reruns of “New Girl”.
Staying fit and active is quite literally in my job description, so I have a little added pressure (and privilege) when it comes to taking care of myself. If I was depending on motivation to keep me moving forward you know where I would be right now? In my bedroom watching “New Girl” instead of writing this blog post for you!
Want to know a secret?
The women you know who are healthy and fit are not more motivated than you are! That’s a myth. They’ve just found systems and habits that work for them, that keep them on track when the going gets tough. Because let’s be honest, the going always gets tough! Life is hard enough as it is without having to stress over every bite of food you eat and whether you worked out the “right way”.
So, are you misleading yourself by believing you need more motivation to change your life? You can stop that, like, today. Right now. What you need are habits, structure, systems and strategies to keep you on the right path when you’re feeling less than inspired to stick to the plan. What does that mean?
Structure is all about your surroundings and making it automatic that you reach your goals. Think of this as an environment you create that makes sure you get things done. Your environment should make it convenient to do what you set out to achieve. Choosing a gym that’s on your way home from work will make it more likely you actually show up. Keeping healthy food in your fridge makes it more likely you’ll eat that instead of ordering something.
Systems are practices we use to kind of pre-program our behavior and take away barriers to entry. This could be as simple as something like setting up workouts day in your schedule. Trying to workout 3 times a week? Well, on mondays, you workout. No fighting yourself or waiting until you “feel like it”. It’s monday, so you workout, end of story. Trying to cook more of your own meals? On sundays you food prep 3 dinners for the week. That way most of the work is already done for you and you’re more likely to check that goal off your list.
Strategies are all about finding structure and systems that work for YOUR life. Everybody is different and you have specific needs for your goals and your life. Some people might find meal prep to be the MOST effective way to get them to eat healthfully during the week. But if your sundays are crazy and you never have time to spend in the kitchen, that could actually be the LEAST effective system for you and you might be better off with a meal delivery service or choosing to cook on a different day. This is YOUR life and you are the only one who knows what will work for you!
What's the common theme?
The key to all of these structures, systems, and strategies is that they are all HABITS. They make your life changes automatic. They take away your ability to resist and fight yourself to change. They are all about ACTION and making it easier for you to reach your goals… and that might be the BEST part! That’s why action and habits is what we focus on in the LEAN Life program. Learning about health and fitness is great, but you can have a PhD in exercise physiology and still be overweight and unhealthy. Implementing is the important part. We build structure, systems, and figure out strategies that work for us. We hold each other accountable and cheer each other on when we have trouble. This is especially important, because remember, motivation will wear off. There will be days when you want to throw in the towel… and if you don’t have a plan for that day well, then you don’t have a plan at all.
Success doesn't happen because you are SO motivated that you just never stop. In fact, I'd argue that success happens because DESPITE the lack of motivation, we just keep on the right track and continue to practice the behaviors that we know will get us where we ultimately want to be.
So there you have it… the motivation myth BUSTED. I'd venture to say that you don't need more motivation. You just need to figure out your “S”s. Keep showing up for yourself. And know how you’re going to keep going when the going gets tough.
Ashley is an entrepreneur in NYC and helps people feel better in their bodies. She specializes in biomechanics and mobility, teaching people how to workout effectively and how to eat foods that align with their goals. She creates comprehensive health and fitness plans by pulling from her experience with Pilates, Yoga, Crossfit, and Strength Training. She uses the science behind exercise physiology to empower her clients to lead healthy, happy lives. Her passion project is writing “The LEAN Life Newsletter” which goes out every Tuesday and focuses on Lifestyle, Exercise, Active recovery, and Nutrition and serves as the backbone for her L.E.A.N. Life online health and fitness programs. She aims to get this information into the hands of as many women as possible so they can feel stronger and more confident in their bodies. For more information head to AshleyBrownFitnessNutrition.com or @AshleyBrownFitnessNutrition on instagram, or click here to get on the L.E.A.N. Life List!