How many times have you struggled to find the motivation you need? Whether it be for going to the gym, bettering your eating habits, studying, or anything else that you need to muster up the motivation in order to do. We say to ourselves, “I just don’t have the motivation.” Then, to find the motivation, we Google search “How to get and stay motivated,” hoping that they know all search engine will give us the answer.
Well, I’m not saying that I know more than Google, but when it comes to getting and staying motivated, I might be able to give you some valuable insight.
Here’s the Thing,
Motivation is unreliable! Beyond that, it’s unpredictable, and more times than not, short-lived.
Let’s be honest. How long did your motivation last when you decided you were going to start working out every day? Or, were you able to stick with that healthy new eating plan you were so excited to start on Monday (and every Monday following that initial Monday)? Let’s not forget the time you were so motivated to get a good grade on your final by studying far enough ahead of the exam.
It’s time to face the facts. You don’t have a very good relationship history with motivation.
You see, motivation is flaky. It comes and goes, and sometimes we never know how long it’s going to stay in-between the coming and going. Motivation is pretty much symbolic of a very terrible relationship with a significant other (chances are ex-significant other by now).
But not all hope is lost! You can successfully stick to a daily workout routine, follow that healthy meal plan, and rock that final. What’s even better, is that you can do it all without trying to summon the motivation to do so, here’s how!
What’s Better than Motivation?
Here’s what Google is too afraid to tell you. The reason that you can’t get done what you think you need motivation to do, isn’t a motivation problem at all. Nope, you’re just un-disciplined!
There, I said it! You don’t need motivation. You just need more discipline!
In my high school English classroom, there was a poster that read,
“Discipline is the act of doing what needs to be done, even when you DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING IT!”
The key takeaway from this definition of discipline is “even when you DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING IT!”
When you strip away all the outer layers of motivation, its true naked form is a feeling. Motivation is the act OF FEELING motivated to do something. Our feelings, therefore, affect our motivation. Instead of going to the gym WE FEEL like staying in bed. We don’t follow our meal plan because WE FEEL like eating something else. We don’t study because WE FEEL like going out with friends.
Our feelings get in the way of us getting done what we said we were going to do!
But how do we break that emotional bond between feeling like we should do something and doing it?
Motivation is often what gets us started. We FEEL like we need to make a change. But feeling like we need to make a change and DOING what we need to in order to make that change are two completely different things. That’s where having discipline comes in.
In the beginning, you are going to have to fight your feelings with action. Even when you don’t feel like working out, eating healthy, or studying, you do it anyway. If it sounds like I’m dishing out some tough love, it’s because I am. I’ve fought through the urges to not do things. The couch, the cookie, and the bar have all been temptations that I have had to fight through. But you must ask yourself how bad you want what it is that you really want. How bad do you want a healthier body and better grades? Knowing you’re true why makes the entire process a whole lot easier.
The good news is that fighting your feelings with actions isn’t hard forever. The sometimes-forced discipline in the beginning eventually breeds habit, and habit gives birth to success.
Once you have instilled the habit of doing, despite not having the motivation to do it, those FEELINGS of not wanting to do it become more unfamiliar than what having the discipline to just get it done with does.
The Honest Truth.
The truth is that the motivation you want isn’t always going to be there. You WILL NOT always feel motivated and that is when you must be DISCIPLINED in your approach. Your willingness to do what you need to do even when you don’t feel like doing it will get you to the top of the success mountain sooner that what doing only when you feel like doing will.
So, to dish out one last bit of tough love, when you don’t feel like doing it, buck up, and just get it done!