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What is motivation?

October 3, 2018 Published by admin

I’ve had a few people this week message me and say they lack the motivation to go to the gym. This got me thinking about how to motivate them and help them.

It also motivated me to write this post. But as soon as I started writing it I lost motivation to write it because I realised it was a hard topic to write about.

Then I realised that motivation is just like any other mood. Sometimes we have motivation sometimes we don’t. Just like sometimes we are in a happy mood or a sad mood. Moods come and go.

So what is it that causes motivation and how do we keep it or create it?

I think it’s a misconception that people are motivated at the beginning. I know I was definitely not motivated to wake up at 6am every morning to workout. I would much rather have stayed in bed till 10am. So if it wasn’t motivation what was it?

I believe taking action comes first and motivation comes second. It’s through taking action that we start to form a habit and then through a habit and getting results we start to feed our motivation. Motivation is usually the result of taking an action and not the cause of it. Getting started even in very small way is an active form of inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

You don’t need much motivation once you’ve started a behaviour. Nearly all of the friction in a task is at the beginning. After you start, progress occurs more naturally. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

So how do you start taking action?

The first thing I’d recommend doing is booking out the time to take the action. If you don’t have a set time you are going to do something, you’ll make all sorts of excuses not to do it or spend your time thinking am I motivated enough to do it today. But once it’s at a set time everyday it becomes part of your routine. So open your diary and write down the time you are going to workout everyday for the next 3 weeks.

So the key is to make a ritual that forces you into the action.

Each night before you go to bed, put your workout clothes out ready to put on first thing in the morning. Set your alarm for 530am and get dressed into your workout clothes that are already out.

It’s a simple act but by doing the same thing each morning, habitualises it, makes it easy to do. It reduces the chance to skip it or do something different.

So start by taking Action first the motivation will come and go!