noun: motivation; plural noun: motivations
-the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Synonyms: Motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, inducement, incitement, spur, reason
-the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
This is the magic pixie dust we all think is going to come floating into our lives when we start a workout program or begin meal prepping to keep us on track. Whether we’re recommitting to fitness or brand new to it, this is the sought-after and seemingly elusive catalyst we all wait for to keep us going. We look at people in better shape and wonder how they never seem to skip a workout, how they stay so inspired all the time. But what we don’t see is how those people struggle too sometimes. How the wake up for that early morning workout isn’t easy, how meal prep is squeezed into a busy schedule between work and a second degree program or getting the kids off to school. The truth is even some of the best athletes don’t always feel motivated to workout. BUT… they do it anyway. Routine, habit, regimen. These are things that take over for people committed to their health goals on days when motivation is lacking (along with a bit of caffeine most likely!)
Research suggests it takes 66 days on average to form a habit. That’s it. Consistency is key, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and apparently 66 is the magic number of days you’ve got to possibly suffer through something new in order to develop a new routine and stick with it after the motivation wears off.
So, today I’m encouraging you all to pick a point of initial inspiration. Remember your why. Maybe yours is your family’s health history. Maybe it’s an upcoming event like a milestone birthday or a wedding. Maybe it’s backpacking through Europe. It could be as simple as not being out of breath at the top of a flight of stairs—your reason for starting doesn’t have to be huge to be awesome—and do the thing(s) you don’t necessarily want to for two months.
For me, the thing I don’t really want to do is running. I used to love it, but in recent years I haven’t done it consistently at all. I’ve also had some unexpected pain when I have tried to start again, and have used that as an excuse to quit. I’m motivated by a few things; I’m interested in achieving the runner’s high I used to get, and the ability to put my head into a different space. I’d like to do a mud run for the first time in over three years, and I know I have to train for it so I don’t get hurt. Let’s be real too; I’m getting married in a few months, so that’s something to push for. But these things won’t necessarily force me out of bed an hour early or get me to the trail when it’s super muggy and I’m tired after work because well sometimes it sucks. So, I’m taking steps for those days when motivation is just not there and my why seems a little far off. I love people, (shocking I know!) and am much more likely to do something if I’ve told someone else about it or even better if we’re going to do it together. The way this is going to suck less? I’ve found a running buddy and have promised to run at least 3-4 miles three times a week with her to start. I will also be posting in the Facebook group and whatnot to see if other people want to run too, so that way we can all help each other out whether this is something you already do, or if you’re interested in starting for whatever reason! That way people of similar speeds and preferences like trails vs road, can match up and run together, and maybe Steve Smith can find someone who loves burpees as much as he does to do 100 per day challenges with! 🙂
Take steps today. Take steps to make sure you take those steps. Take the same steps every day. Use our Facebook group or the comments on this page to serve as a sounding board and hold yourself accountable by finding other people within our community that want to focus on the same thing, or just by putting it out there like we do on the bulletin board at Warrior Tech! Make it a point to add meditation or another one of our classes to your current routine for example. (I’d also like to be consistent with yoga, as it helps my recovery and mindset immensely… but maybe I’ll have to save that for the 66 days following this change!!) Start a routine at bedtime to make sure you get enough sleep. Park farther from the building at work. Start fitting a long run in once a week. Buy a bike and start training for the triathlon you’ve been talking about for two years. Motivation is nice, and goal setting is important, but it’s the stuff you do every day to get there that really counts. It doesn’t matter how big or how small, just commit to whatever it is for 66 days, embrace a little of the suck, maybe find a way to make it suck less, and make it happen one day at a time.