Is it motivation or action that leads to results? If you believe it is motivation, you are wrong. I wanted to spend time today explaining why this is. I hear it all the time “I am just not motivated” and I get that. Motivation comes and goes and can’t be relied on. Do you think I am eager to get outside at 5:30 am to run in August in Beaufort, SC? No way! It is not fun running with your clothes glued to you because they are drenched in sweat. My shoes and socks are even wet from sweat. Then why do I do it? It is my why that gets me out of the door every morning. I am intrinsically motivated. I know I have a half marathon coming up in November and every mile logged will make that run easier. Plus, I have been a runner since I was 18 and I know at the end of every run I feel good and accomplished. Running keeps me in shape and strong. It is also a time I can spend alone with God and once a week I run with my best friend.
Now, think of what change you want to make in your health? Write it down. What is your goal? Do you want to become a consistent exerciser? Do you want to pick up running? Do you want to become a swimmer? Do you want to lift weights? How will you do this now knowing motivation is not a thing? You will take action. Action is your first step. Your first action step needs to be small. Starting today, I will run for 5 minutes or I will run down my block or I will run for 60 seconds. You might be attempted to do more than that but stick with that for several days. Knowing you only need to run for 60 seconds is very doable. As you succeed at this, you start to feel successful and your confidence grows and you will find that you want to run another 60 seconds in one day. Action leads to results which lead to motivation.
I have shared this story many times before because it is such a great example of starting small. January of 2017, I wanted to work on my spiritual health. I knew I never went to church so I knew it wouldn’t work if I jumped right in and attended every Sunday. Instead, I set the doable step of attending the first Sunday of each month. I told my parents and they picked me up every Sunday morning which helped keep me accountable. I soon realized that I felt really good after leaving church on the Sundays I attended. It wasn’t too long before I was attending every Sunday. My attendance didn’t go up because I was told I had to go but because I wanted to go.
Changing behavior is hard but when you start small, earn a few wins, and have the support of family (or a health coach), lasting change can happen. Email me back with your current goal and how you plan to attack it. I can’t wait to hear from you. You’ve got this!!