Motivation... We all get it from time to time. Sometimes it hangs around for a couple of days, sometimes a couple of weeks. Sometimes it stays even longer, however, most of the time it doesn't.
Motivation can be a wonderful thing and can be the difference between you getting up early to go to the gym, getting those renovations done or finishing off that assignment/project you've been putting off. If you could buy motivation in a pill, everyone would buy it.
But it is the unreliable nature of motivation that makes it overrated. It won't always be there to rely on - particularly as it comes to our training and health.
There are going to be days when you won't feel on top of the world and ready to give it your all.
Often there are certain times of the year or events that can bring in a rush of it. The start of January being a perfect example, where New Year's resolutions are aplenty (and ambitious!). Maybe you want to get fit for a wedding coming up, or maybe you just got dumped... These things can sometimes spur people on to train hard for a little while.
We've heard them all - believe us.
This post is not going to tell you how to get motivated, in fact, it's almost the opposite.
This post is going to tell you what to rely on instead. Obviously, we are going to be talking more about the health/fitness side of things, however, this can also transfer to other areas of your life.
If you only went to the gym when you felt absolutely perfect then you wouldn't train very often. Even the best of the best will have days when they aren't feeling 100% motivated.
The difference between them and most others?
They are disciplined.
They have a routine.
They know their reason 'why'.
These factors are far more reliable than motivation. Have the discipline to get it done when you might be feeling a little flat, have the ability to make training a healthy habit, know why you're training in the first place.
These factors are far more effective drivers of maintaining your health and fitness.
Currently, there are some common reasons as to why motivation might be lacking. Obviously it's getting colder and darker as we get into the heart of winter.
As you are probably aware, it is a lot harder to get out of bed when the sun isn't out and the birds aren't chirping.
This is where routine is important - there's not much point in training only half of the year when it's warm and sunny and then losing everything because all of a sudden it's a little colder (shout out to our 5am strength class regulars - still our most popular class in July).
Create a routine and don't let external/uncontrollable factors interfere with it.
This year has obviously been unprecedented and disruptive for the entire planet. Due to restrictions, we might have lost some progress with our training. It might seem daunting to get back into it and it's easy to lose motivation to start again.
However, the longer you leave it, the worse it will get (snowball effect). Again, think discipline, routine, and 'why'.
Being work/time poor is probably one of the major issues stopping us from being motivated to train.
To regurgitate some wisdom from the Dalai Lama, who highlighted the ignorance of humans when it comes to health:
"He sacrifices his health in order to make money, then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health".
This probably falls more in the category of knowing your 'why'. If you don't know your 'why' as to why exercise is beneficial to you, then go back to our older blogs and look at some of the incredible physical and mental benefits it offers you.
Do your best to avoid sacrificing your health for your work, remembering that you only get one body/mind so you need to look after it.
Now, we must add that we are not saying you have to train EVERY single time you're feeling off.
Listening to your body is important if you've only had 1 hour's sleep for example. What we are saying is don't rely on motivation to be your knight in shining armour to prompt you to exercise.
Rely on discipline.
Rely on routine.
Remember your 'why'.
This approach will be your most powerful exercise catalyst.