The Motivation Myth



Lack of motivation is one of the most common barriers to fitness and health...


Frankly, most people don’t enjoy exercise. And that’s ok…At the end of the day, exercise can be uncomfortable, it requires patience and gyms can be intimidating. So when you’re at home, or on the way back from work, it’s understandable that going to a busy gym, while it’s cold and dark, may not seem too appealing.


On the other hand of course, we all want to be fit, healthy and feel confident in our own skin.


So how do you find that motivation, when you know that you are not looking forward to the process ahead of you?


And what is the difference between those of you who talk yourself out of putting in the effort everyday... and those who seem to make living a healthy lifestyle look easy?


The first thing to address is mindset… without any structured programme, your instinct will be to choose comfort and convenience over effort.


In fitness terms, the most obvious example is cancelling early workouts… Anybody can, and will (especially in January), say that they are going to start going to the gym/a class before work, early in the morning. When the alarm goes off at 5am, and you realise how dark and cold it is… you are faced with a decision... The obvious choice is to stay in bed.


It’s easy to label that choice as lazy, and say you're ‘unmotivated’. In reality, you never stood a chance of following through with your ‘plans’. Without a structured workout programme, and without going through a detailed goal setting process, the individual workout is not 'motivating' enough to get you out of bed.


Avoid this by making sure you go through that goal-setting process and setting up a clear programme. This transforms your mindest... By simply formalising your targets, and the process that gets you there, you form a 'contract' with yourself that you will be more reluctant to break…


- you feel more 'motivated' simply by defining and imagining the result of achieving your goal

- you start to view each workout as a stepping stone towards the achievement of that goal.


Missing a workout is no longer ‘just skipping a workout’… it’s now something that negatively affects the bigger picture.



Start Small


The main reason that people feel daunted at the start of a fitness journey, is that they think too far ahead…


They have an 'all or nothing' mindset… wanting to jump straight in at the deep end and achieve instant results. Imagining yourself with a perfect body, and superhuman fitness is great... but it produces unrealistic pressure in the first stages of your process.


Obviously, if you are currently out of shape, have poor fitness levels, and poor diet habits… whatever you imagine perfection looks like, will seem very far away. Because this feels like such a big step from where you are now, it can become overwhelming and induce anxiety. This will inevitably cause you to avoid doing anything… returning to the safety of your comfort zone.


In the beginning, just worry about your first step


And that first step should be a small one…


Example: Promise yourself that you will wake up early tomorrow, spend 5 minutes warming up, do 20 minutes of light exercise and 5 minutes of stretching. Less than 30 minutes total… easy! (the most common excuse for not exercising regularly is “I don’t have time”).


All that matters, is the fact that you took a step in the right direction…


As you start to feel more comfortable with the new routine, and especially when you start to see visible progress, ‘motivation’ will naturally increase…


Exposure to what you thought would be uncomfortable, will decrease that discomfort and increase confidence.


And results will increase your appetite for further progress...



In other words…Taking action leads to increased motivation…


Not the other way around...



If you are waiting to 'feel motivated' before taking action… you have a very long wait ahead.


Instead, get an easy win to get the ball rolling. And take your time building up. Increase the intensity and duration of the workouts gradually. Avoid making it unnecessarily unpleasant until you have formed a strong habit.


Also, expect setbacks… and accept them as part of the process. You are going to miss workouts. You’re going to have days where you don’t feel like giving 100% in the gym. And you’re definitely going to eat/drink something that you ‘shouldn’t’.


This does NOT mean that you have failed. It means that you are human. The solution is simply to accept these setbacks, guilt-free, and get back on track as quickly as possible.


Remember, the aim of any fitness programme is to progress, rather than chase perfection...


Nobody is perfect 100% of the time.


In fact, for most people, carrying out their "perfect" programme 80% of the time, for the rest of your life, will produce significant results. Especially if that approach is more realistic, deliberately leaving room for social/family life and allowing enough flexibility to enjoy your diet.



The Motivation Myth


It is a myth to suggest that some people are 'just more motivated' than others...


Action leads to results...


Results lead to a feeling of self achievement and sense of reward...


This leads to an increased desire to continue that progress...


This is motivation. And it all starts with taking that first step.


It's not as simple as "just go to the gym and stop eating shit in the New Year"...


Your current habits exist for a reason. So let's not put too much pressure on trying to transform those behaviours overnight.


Figure out how you can achieve a small win tomorrow... a 1% improvement on what you currently do every day.


When you're comfortable with the new habit, look for the next 1%...


And so on...


Results are guaranteed.