I am not sure what it is about motivation that I am so put off by. I know, it is a strange aversion. Maybe I’ve been scarred by the plethora of motivational speakers and cheesy posters I grew up with as a child of the 90’s, I’m not sure. But there is something about the “go hard all the time”, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality that I just don’t find compelling. This is particularly true when it comes to health and fitness. While there are many who find themselves needing to be like Jillian Michaels, drilling themselves heedlessly in order to stay fit and healthy, I just want to be myself. And “myself” is a pretty chill, go with the flow person.
But my biggest theory…motivation doesn’t work.
Motivation isn’t sustainable. It might get you started but to be in a constant motivated state is just exhausting. Shouldn’t something like a healthy diet and exercise be part of a normal daily routine? When was the last time you said to someone, “I really need the will power to brush my teeth in the morning” or “if I could find the motivation maybe I would actually pay my bills every month”? Hopefully, these things aren’t an issue for you. You don’t need to be motivated to do them. Somewhere along the line, you found yourself motivated to have fresh, minty breath throughout the day. That desire drove you to brush your teeth everyday. But the desire doesn’t keep you brushing, habit does.
The past four weeks I have found myself feeling quite apathetic about what I eat and how I move. I have been blaming it on the feet of snow on the trail I normally run on–which I have convinced myself is a legitimate excuse. I want to pick up the pace again, but this time I am going to experiment with the idea of relying on more than motivation. I want my healthy lifestyle to move beyond desire and become habit. Isn’t working out hard enough? I would rather put the effort into all those squats rather than getting myself to get up and but my gym shoes on. Ironically, my motivation for such an endeavor is the infamous Nike slogan, that I think encapsulates the epitome of what I want my healthy routine to look like.
Just do it.
This experiment may utterly fail, but it seems worth the risk. I’ll keep you in the loop with how it goes.
Here is to having as little motivation as possible and drinking lots of water.
Please note: I am not a professional in either health or fitness. I am rust a rambling laymen trying to figure out what works for me.
Keeping Willow by Stacy Feyer-Salo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.