On Saturday night I caught up with a dear girlfriend. Now this is one of my friends who is hugely motivated and successful.
A very driven chick. As we shared a vodka soda fresh lime or 5 (!) we discussed that fine line between appreciating the NOW and staying driven and motivated to achieve more. To have a greater impact. To play a bigger game. Yet also, to have gratitude for all that you have right now.
It’s a delicate negotiation to undertake.
Our conversation was specific to business however it very much mirrors the balance of focus and priorities necessary to achieve any significant and meaningful health goal. Whether you’re looking to get fit, healthy, strong, lean, energized… some days are simply going to be a little struggle street.
Perhaps you might slam up against a whole month of struggle street!
In todays show 3 steps:
How To Stay Motivated.
How To Stay Motivated Step one: Acknowledge That Motivation Is A Daily Choice Rather Than a Gift.
And it’s certainly not something you’re entitled to without regularly sowing the seeds.
These are things you schedule into your daily and weekly routine that give you that little motivation hit. Ideally before you need it.
For example perhaps:
=> The music you listen to during a workout or before you rock into work.
=> The online mentor you spend time with via their podcast, youtube channel or blog.
=> The monthly meet up / networking group you attend. Or paid / high quality forum you join.
How To Stay Motivated Step two: Focus On Actions Not Outcomes.
It’s all about the actions however for your actions to be effective you need to turn them into habits.
In show #170 I share my top 5 Keystone Habits. (I’ll link to #170 in todays show notes however here’s a quick run through)
One: 7-8 hours SLEEP.
Two: Plan and then consume NUTRITIOUS MEALS consisting of fibrous veg + quality lean protein + good fat and plenty of water.
Three: Incorporate at least 30 minutes of PHYSICAL ACTIVITY daily.
Four: PLAN your day to come the night before.
Five: Consciously practice GRATITUDE daily.
For better or worse these Keystone habits build on each other and also effect every other habit you’re looking to create.
Can you imagine how much more HUGELY challenging it would be to start your day with a nutritious breakfast when you’re dragging yourself out of bed after a miserable 4.5 hours sleep? Particularly so, if that breakfast was not already planned and ready to go.
Are you really going to hunt down some fibrous veg, lean protein and good fat before you race out the door late for work?
What are the chances a lunch time workout will sound like a good idea?
Especially if you’ve spent the morning in reactive fire fighting mode as you didn’t plan your day to come the night before.
It’s likely not exactly the day that leaves you reflecting on just how grateful you are for your current situation.
In contrast, I’m sure you can imagine a few months focused on these 5 simple – not easy yet certainly simple – keystone habits would see you well on the way to achieving the outcome you’re seeking.
How To Stay Motivated Step three: Track Your Reference Points For Success.
To continue with the actions rather than outcomes focus I’m a huge fan of tracking the right actions you take rather than the number on the scale. Those actions are within your control and although ultimately the number on the scale is too it can also really mess with your head!
A great eating and exercising day today might not be reflected not the scale tomorrow. And that can be pretty UN-motivating.
In contrast, looking back at a calendar full of ticks to indicate the exercise sessions you made happen is going to make you want to continue the habit. It’s human nature to feel more compelled to choose the option you chose yesterday. I think it’s called The Law Of Recency.
Regardless, I know you’ve experienced this: Skipping your workout yesterday or devouring the muffin yesterday makes that workout much easier to skip and that muffin much easier to devour again today.
There’s a consideration for step 3 that I constantly need to remind myself! Sometimes you need to lower the bar so far as your reference points for success. To set really achievable standards that classify as success. Of course it’s going to be easy to track, focus on and appreciate those big wins… that’s going to be hugely motivating. However the skill is in staying motivated when you’ve only got small wins to work with.
Maintaining the positive focus and as such the momentum and the motivation.
For example achievable standards that classify as success might be:
=> You got to bed half an hour earlier than normal and got up half an hour earlier than normal.
=> You planned and consumed an awesome breakfast.
=> Although you missed the gym you got a 15 minute walk in at lunch… it all counts!
=> You took 5 minutes at the end of your day to plan tomorrow and to have gratitude for 3 simple things today.
To get actionable today, I’d love you to plant some Motivation Seeds.
Perhaps that involves updating your screen saver to display the body… the holiday… the whatever you’re working towards?
Or maybe it’s finding a new podcast to listen to as you do your weekly meal prep?
(I’ll link to one of my current favs: The Rich Roll Podcast in the show notes)
Potentially, and this is my personal focus this week (!) it involves reframing an UN-motiavting situation that isn’t 100% within your control. So the “Oh no how insanely infuriating!” response that has been your highly UN-fun gut reaction to a situation up until now might instead become: “Ok, this means I’m going to really appreciate when this situation IS resolved. What can I do right now to have a positive impact on a situation that IS within my control?”
If you liked How To Stay Motivated, you’ll also like: Why NOT Being Genetically Gifted Is A Weight Loss Advantage.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.