January 12, 2021

How To Find (lasting) Motivation In The New Year

Do you struggle to find the motivation to get workouts done or to eat better? Or maybe you struggle to stay motivated after you start?

The solution to each of these motivation struggles is to discover a strong enough or important motivator that will always answer the question “what’s the point?” But maybe more important than dialing in your big “why”, your true motivator, is recognizing that motivation is an emotion. And once you grasp that concept, you won’t be tossed around so much by your current motivation levels.

What is motivation? 

"Motivation is what causes you to act. Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior. ‘Motivation’ is why a person does something."

It’s the big WHY. Your driving force. The thing that’s making this important to you. It’s answering the question “what’s the point?” 

The struggle and pain points with motivation

When I ask people what they struggle with the most with their workouts, nutrition, and self-care in general, they almost always say one of two things: 

  1. Consistency
  2. Motivation

There are two main struggles with motivation

  1. Getting motivated. This could even be said as finding motivation. 
  2. Staying motivated. 


Now, before we talk about the different types of things that may be motivating us, I need to remind you of something very, very important...


Motivation is an emotion 

  • Ebbs and flows
  • Unreliable 
  • Don't let it drive the boat


Ok, so knowing now that motivation is merely an emotion, which we can assume is going to come and go with uncertainty, we can now talk about the things that motivate us. 

If you have a GOOD source of motivation, a strong and enduring enough reason to behave a certain way, it’s more likely that your emotion of motivation will remain on the higher side. 

But if you have a poor, inadequate source of motivation, you’re going to feel like you’re getting tossed to and fro all over the place by the emotional waves.  

Poor sources of motivation

  • Sense of obligation - because you have to
  • Feeling fat and out of shape 
    • This is a very powerful motivator in the beginning, but it doesn't last very long 
  • Pleasing someone else - you want to either impress somebody else or you don’t want to let somebody else down
  • Guilt and shame
  • Vanity - looking a certain way
  • Fear


Ultimately, all of these motivators are shallow. They just don’t have deep enough roots to keep you grounded firmly when your emotions want to take over. 


Good, lasting sources of motivation 

  • Long term health 
  • Overcoming pain 
  • Strong enough to fully participate in life
  • Leaving a legacy for your kids
  • Feel comfortable in your body
  • Sense of responsibility and stewardship
  • As an act of worship “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 
  • Love


These motivators have deeper roots. But here’s the trick with these deeper motivators, though… they’re trickier to conceptualize and nail down. The more shallow motivators seem more tangible, right? But they’re still shallow. They won’t hold up. 


These are deeper, but that means they’ll take a bit more work to pull into the tangible realm and make them more specific. 


In order to do this, play the 5 Why’s game to really nail down what matters to you, and why taking care of your body is important.  


I did this with a client one time, and by the time we got to the final why, it turns out that she just didn’t want to end up like her parents and grandparents before them. They were unhealthy, riddles with disease and couldn’t participate fully. 


Big Takeaways: 


There are two main struggles with motivation

  1. Getting motivated. This could even be said as finding motivation. 
  2. Staying motivated. 


The solution to getting and staying motivated is having a strong enough or important enough motivator - or reason to show up and follow-through that’s not shallow or rooted in vanity, fear, or selfishness. And to figure out what that might be for you, play the 5 Why’s game with yourself. 

But above all else, please remember that even if you have a really strong Motivator, your feelings of motivation will still ebb and flow just like any other emotion. So don’t let it steer your ship and determine your actions. 

© 2020 VIGEO, LLC