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3 Ways to Boost Motivation

habits motivation Oct 21, 2020
We're already one month into 2020 ....
if you pushed the START button in the last month, how's it going!?
I'm gonna be real here : I've gotten sick, incurred an injury, and I am struggling with what's probably a little SAD. My motivation to the small commitments I've made to myself in the past few months is LOW. If you're in that boat or just TOO BUSY, I just want to make this clear first:
you're not alone. You're not weird or broken or lazy or incapable.
Statistically speaking, "intrinsic" motivation (the internal drive to to do something) is our most limited resource. Without a bump of novelty or visible success, it has a lifespan of about two weeks. TWO WEEKS!! That's it. Then your brain takes little (or not so little) detours to make sure that the more rewarding or pressing things show up as more pressing.
In my experience, however, it can take 4-6 weeks for your body to adjust to the changes you're making and start to noticeably adjust. And - frankly - sometimes that means recognizing that what you're doing isn't working and trying something different.
In order to maintain motivation in the long run for long term changes to your strength, energy and life, it's imperative to tap into other resources that have a longer lifespan and an easier feeding cycle.
I've found that these three things have repeatedly kept my clients out of the discouragement pit and on the move:
1. Use a timeline and make small corrections.
I say this over and over and over and OVER:
longterm. change. doesn't. happen. in. one. week.
On your calendar, mark one month from now and re-assess your progress at THAT point. If you haven't given your current protocol a consistent "go" for at least 3-4 weeks, now is not the time to throw up your hands or try something new. If it's been a full cycle, and nothing is changing, reevaluate, talk to your coach, and change something for another few weeks. Repeat.
2. Use external resources.
See that thing about motivation lasting about two weeks? and the other thing about a full "change" cycle usually needing at least three to four weeks? Yeah. If you find yourself consistently falling prey to "I'll just do this one thing, then go to the gym..." and never going, read on:
Use habit trackers, social networks, and reminders in your phone. Choose locations and resources that are convenient and require no extra effort. Get a coach that will hold you to your schedule and health commitments. One way to figure out what works well for you is to ask yourself what keeps you on track in other areas of your life when you "don't feel like it?"
3. Reward the PROCESS, not just the PROGRESS.
A very (VERY) real part of your brain responds to validation and reward. If you only validate achievement, it becomes nearly impossible to talk yourself into action when it's just feeling hard.
When you go to the gym, choose a healthier meal, do your eye drills or meditate for a few moments, take the time to validate the behavior or give a small reward. It will create a little dopamine kick associated with the behavior and help your brain look forward to even the least "pleasant" parts of change.
Even just an honest, internal "good freaking job, me!" on a regular basis can neurological shifts that create massive change!
I LOVE seeing the flame come back to life when disappointment and frustration have set in... and even more, I love seeing the results that come from commitment and longterm work. Trust the process. Trust yourself. Work Hard. Rest Hard. You've got this.
What do you do when motivation fails? How many times have you quit and started over?
If you're struggling or can't wait to start your path to energy, life and health...
REACH OUT! We're here. We've got you. We can't wait to talk. (608) 205-8266.

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