What to do When you Lack Motivation

I’ve said it before, motivation is unreliable and we cannot depend on it. I am writing today based on my own current lack of motivation. We are just over a month in to 2023, and how many of us have stuck to our new year’s goals/resolutions? According to an online survey, 23% of us will quit in the first week, and only 36% of us will make it past the first month (source). I am somewhere between the two. I started 2023 with the best attitude I could have had. This will be my year. I am going to get out of this maintenance dieting phase and smoothly transition to a fat loss phase, so that by the end of March I will be seeing all these muscles I have worked so hard on. Then, I tweaked my knee, started missing my gym training sessions and loosely began tracking my macros throughout January, some days not even hitting my numbers at all. What can I say? In addition to being a nutrition coach, I am also a human being. I lack motivation even though this is what I do for my job.

Fellow humans, it isn’t easy. Motivation is not where it’s at. You have to look past that and dig deeper to make yourself do what you need to do. I will use my garage as an example once again. I will never clean my garage if I wait for that motivation to do it, because it’s not showing up anytime soon. (FYI – I seriously dislike cleaning my garage. I currently cannot even park my car inside of it because there is no room for it.)

What do we do then if we can’t rely on motivation? We come up with some practices and build daily habits instead, get into a routine. Want to work out three days a week? Schedule your workout time and days before the week even begins. Come up with a ‘before the gym’ routine. This could be as easy as packing a gym bag, or setting a timer to remind you to stop what you are doing so you can change into gym clothes and put on your workout shoes. Eat a pre-workout snack. Whatever you decide to make your routine, do it every time you are ready to work out. This applies even if you workout from home. Build a set of routine practices and stick to them regardless of how you feel.

This doesn’t just apply to going to the gym or working out from home. Things we know we have to do, tend to get done. Do you have a job you have to be at every morning at 8am? You show up. Do you have people who depend on you to be there for them, maybe pick up children from school? You show up. It is the same concept when we are doing things for ourselves. We don’t wait for motivation to go to our jobs or take care of our families, so don’t wait for motivation to take care of yourself. Just do it. Keep showing up for yourself, and the more you do it, the more the motivation will show up.

Note to self – Set a phone reminder to put on a pair of old jeans and a sweatshirt to start cleaning the garage tomorrow morning at 9am. Also, get my gym gear ready now for this afternoon’s 4pm gym session. I am training today!

If you need help working on daily habits and routines to help you become your best self, I can help. Reach out to see if I’d be a good fit.

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