On the surface, motivation seems to be a simple concept. It is a drive that pushes us towards our goals. It’s good to have motivation. People want it and look for it in many places. There are motivational speakers, videos, books, podcasts, sayings, and workshops. Some blame the lack of motivation for not achieving what they want and some have such an overabundance of it that they want to spread it around to others.
I think motivation is a little more complicated than a simple drive that propels us to what we want.
There are many different kinds of motivation. There is the motivation to get started, to keep going, and even the motivation to stop when we need to. I think this is what can frustrate people when they want to become healthier. They think that all motivation is the same and they look at others who seem to have an endless supply and don’t realize that those people have to work just as hard to be motivated towards their goals.
I can tell you from personal experience that the reasons I am motivated to stay healthy today are vastly different than the reasons I was motivated to start years ago. It’s also a lot of work (and yes, even after all this time it’s still work) for me to stay motivated to keep pushing towards my goals. There are days where I don’t want to workout at all. I think about the run I have planned or the weights I have to lift, and I feel like staying in bed or watching TV instead. There are times when I just want to eat a whole cake by myself instead of the healthy meal that I have planned. I used to worry that those feelings and lack of motivation were a bad thing. I thought that I was giving up or failing and I felt guilty. I tried to shove those feelings aside and convince myself that I was constantly motivated and constantly being healthy.
Over the years I’ve learned that those feelings are just fine and in fact they’re normal.
I’m a human being and I am going to lack motivation at some points in my life. Motivation isn’t in an endless supply for anyone. Even those people who seem to have it day in and day out struggle to keep it going. There are going to be days when being healthy is the last thing on your mind, where working out is going to be at the bottom of your list, and getting whatever food you may find in your belly will be the top priority.
Don’t feel guilty like I did about that.
Motivation is meant to be renewed every day. It is meant to be strengthened as you go along. It’s normal for it to fade every once in awhile and it’s ok for you to have to work to get it back. That’s what makes you a human. I used to feel like everyone in my life would judge me if they knew how I felt on those days that I had zero motivation to do anything healthy. I was suppose to be an example of good health. I put myself on display through this blog and my actions and I didn’t want to let anyone down. I’ve learned that pretending to be perfect is a bigger let down to people than showing them I’m just like everyone else.
I have my good and bad days just like you have your good and bad days. The fact that I pick myself back up and get back at it is what defines me more than my occasional lack of motivation.
If you’re feeling like you’re a failure because you haven’t been as motivated lately, or haven’t had any motivation at all, stop. You’re a human and you are doing the best you can. You get start fresh every single day, so start today and strengthen your motivation for you and your health.