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Is motivation working for you?

I had a really great conversation yesterday with a client about staying motivated. It led me to the question, “is motivation a good tool to accomplish your goals?”

I sit down with a lot of consultations for training and programming and one of the questions I always ask is “what barriers have kept you from achieving your goals up to this point.” One of the most common answers I hear is “I lack motivation.” Seems to me like motivation has let a lot of people down. Why?


Motivation does not demand action. Here’s an example, I can be highly motivated to go for a run. I may even understand the benefit of running, may own the right shoes and shorts, I might even have the perfect playlist picked out with my favourite 128 bpm tracks ready. But motivation does not demand that I take action. It doesn’t demand I go for that run. Apply this same idea to any thing in your life that has been held back by a “lack of motivation” we all have them, it’s okay.

Instead of relying on motivation let’s adjust our approach.

Start with your goal. How clear is the goal? How big is it? Is it something you truly care about accomplishing? This is where it all starts. A lot of the time I hear people use a goal they think I want to hear, or think they should be doing but maybe haven’t thought about what’s important to them.

If we can come up with a really clear goal that you care about accomplishing and are willing to make lifestyle changes around we can start to make this shift away from motivation and into choices.


Choices instead of motivation.

On a daily basis, if we can simplify daily choices to either helping us achieve our goals or not it becomes very clear what we should be doing. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds and you have a workout planned for the day, the choice to do that work (and help you lose the weight) or not workout (and not help you lose the weight) becomes a very clear. The goal is well defined and something this person truly cares about. It is no longer even a hard choice to make. Simple decisions.

The bonus of this approach, motivation is never a factor.

Whether you’re brand new to training or a seasoned vet it’s all about choices. I challenge you to make as many choices on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that will lead you to achieving your goals. Order in or cook, water or pop, sleep in or get up, tv or workout. We are always presented with choices, let's work on making the choices that will get your goals accomplished.

Time to switch the mindset from motivation to choices and see how far you can take your health, fitness and strength.

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