Why Motivation Is A Crock of Shit and WTF To Do About It
Warning: Adult language
Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language. There are F-Bombs ahead.
We hear all this hoopla about motivation when we have goals. Motivation like this, motivation like that, motivation with a Wiffle ball bat (sorry, Beastie Boys reference). So listen up, here's the real deal when it comes to motivating yourself... DON'T.
Motivation is a crock of shit.
This doesn't just apply to losing weight, this applies to everything.
You know how it takes you an eternity to finally come to a place where you're ready to take that first step? Ever wonder why it takes your ass so long? Because you've been waiting for that life-affirming motivation to kick in. That's why.
You know how when you get all gung-ho and start implementing your plan like a boss? And then all that piss and vinegar in your fiery veins starts to die down and you hit that asshole wall of reality and your fire starts going out? Ever wonder how something you were so excited about is now not only not exciting you, but depressing and discouraging you? Because that initial burst of motivation gave you a false hope and now it's waning and frustration is settling in. That's why.
You know how you have good intentions at the start of most days to make healthy choices? Ever wonder why by the end of a long day you find yourself saying, 'fuck it'? Because motivation in the morning is just that, morning motivation. It's not strong enough to stick with us through most days, through all the stuff that goes wrong in one day. That's why.
Stop relying on motivation to get you up off your ass. To feel motivated, we somehow think we need to have those excited butterflies to reach our goal and the super-charged energy to carry it out. Let's get serious for two seconds here. This shit does NOT happen long term. Yes, we may get excited about our goals and yes, we may have an initial burst of manic energy while we envision our hot little bodies traipsing around. But fast forward a week when work sucks balls and you're hungry af and you haven't slept more than four hours all week and the kids are throwing Little Debbie snacks in the goddamned grocery cart. Where is that explosive energy and excitement now, huh? I'll tell you where, right down the shitter. Motivation comes in bursts and it can disappear before you know it.
Motivation is fleeting and it's a fair-weathered friend.
Motivation stems from our short-term wants and our desires. As much as you might want to lose 40 pounds, losing 40 pounds isn't a short-term plan of action. Motivation is something we tell ourselves we need in order to get what we want. And then when our motivation starts to lose momentum, we have a built-in excuse to abort mission and go back to not trying. Convenient, isn't it? Losing weight, as well as almost any other goal you can work towards, is not short-term. Losing weight requires a long-term plan of action in succeeding... and then it requires a lifetime plan of maintaining. If motivation couldn't get you through to your evening workout after it fooled you into hopes of it this morning, how in the bloody hell is it going to get you through a lifetime?? I'll tell you how.
Motivation sounds good, but it's not sound.
Motivation will NEVER be a true friend to you. It's only gonna be one of those bitches that tells you they'll be there for you, but then when shit hits the fan they're nowhere to be found. It'll whisper sweet nothings in your ear and make you think you're stepping into a bikini by summer, but when you've been battling period cramps all day and feel like hell, it'll be the first one to change it's tune and tell you to skip the gym and wash your Midol down with a Starbuck's frap and Snickers bar. Motivation levels change on a dime and are never sustained. Why though?
Because we're human, that's why. Because life is hard and there's always new bullshit showing up in our lives that takes precedent and we have no choice but to deal with it. Because motivation is really born from desire and we have a lot of desires vying for our attention. This morning you may have been motivated to workout after work because you're dreaming of that new dress you want, but by evening you're exhausted and hungry and the desire to finally stop moving and relax for five goddamned minutes is, at that moment, the overriding desire. Because we have countless thoughts running through our brains at any given moment, our motivation for losing weight gets buried under heaps of other shit. Speaking of thoughts running amok, did you know that the average person thinks 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day? Yup, this includes all conscious and unconscious thoughts. I mean, that's a shit-ton of thoughts! So yeah... your one thought of maybe working out 12 hours after you originally thought the thought in the first place has a good chance of getting downgraded by the time the sun is getting ready to set.
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It's important to realize here that there's nothing wrong with you if you can't find any motivation. Motivation is hard to come by and even harder to sustain for any length of time. Don't get me wrong, if you have motivation that's wonderful! Go ahead and milk it for all it's worth. Hold onto it for as long as you can because I promise you at some point it will go away. It's a great kick in the ass that heaves you out of the nest. But you better learn how to fly on your own because your amped up, adrenaline-fueled gusto will peter out once your initial goal high wears off. Motivation at best will only get you started, it doesn't stick around for the long haul. Now before you get upset and nervous about this motivation-being-a-crock-of-shit thing, let me stop that cute little face of yours from scrunching up with worry by telling you this...
You don't need motivation to reach your goals. Not even a lick of it. Ever.
So I know you're probably wondering what the hell I've been smoking and that I've completely lost my damn mind. Of course we need motivation, right? I mean we need to be motivated or we'd never get anything done, right? WRONG.
Let me tell you this right now. If you're waiting for enough motivation to kick you into gear to get shit done, you're gonna be waiting for a very long time. And by very long time, I mean for eternity. In order to get shit done, you actually have to DO something. Motivation is merely a mental state. Yes, it's a state which can in turn propel you to do something but it's not actually doing something. Motivation is not an action, it's the intention of action. I might be motivated to get all my laundry done and I may have intentions to get all my laundry done, but if I don't actually fucking DO IT, we'll all still be wearing our underwear inside out. Motivation is all well and good, but it doesn't get the job done. Ever.
Okay, so if motivation doesn't get the job done, what does? How do we reach our goals? How will we lose our weight? Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Sooo, how the hell do we muster up the goods to nail this shit down? This is what you do...
Stop relying on intentions and hire yourself to do the damn job. This isn't a game of I Think I Can. You can't depend on fleeting bullshit like motivation and good intentions. You must become the CEO of your mission. Concrete objectives and distinct ACTIONS must be carried out. In order to lose weight, you have to go to work. Just as with any position in any field, you have duties and responsibilities and if you want to keep getting paid (or keep losing weight), you have to continue to show up and do your job. Aaaaand, just like with most other jobs...
YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT! In fact, a lot of the time you're gonna fucking hate it.
I think that's what trips us up. We feel like we need to be ready. We need to enjoy the journey. We need to feel pumped up and excited to get started. We want to feel mentally prepared. Listen, there are some of you who actually will feel those things and if you happen to be in that .02% of people, consider yourself the luckiest bitch on the planet. But for the rest of us, it doesn't happen.
We feel overwhelmed and frustrated and sad and depressed and anxious and a ton of other shitty emotions. Waiting for motivation will most likely only leave you a year down the road in the same exact place you are right now. You don't have to like eating healthy or working out. You don't have to like it even one little bit. You can hate it and be pissed about it, but you still gotta show up for work. You are the CEO of this Operation: Sexy Bitch and you have to DO the work.
Getting healthy and saving your life is your job. You don't have to like it. You just have to do it.
Okay, so if we can't rely on motivation, what the hell do we rely on then? Well, my little pretties... the answer is actually very simple.
You replace it with determination.
You see, determination is completely different than motivation AND it isn't a fair-weathered friend. In fact, it sticks around in the worst of times, always pushing you to move forward, always reminding you of your goals. Determination is resolve. Determination is non-discriminant. It doesn't care what you're going through or who you think you are, it demands that you keep going. People often interchange the words motivation and determination as if they mean the same thing. They don't. Motivation is based on what we want and focuses on emotions whereas determination is based on what we need to do and focuses on actions.
Stop relying on motivation to get you up off your ass and make a pledge of determination to get this shit done.
Determination is when you say, "I don't care what's happening around me, I don't care how I feel, I don't care how many things go wrong, I WILL fucking do this!" You will do the right thing no matter where your motivation levels fall because this goal of yours, this journey, is your JOB. So whether you want to exercise or want to meal prep, you'll friggin do it anyway. Be stubborn, be adamant, be determined.
Everyone always says anger is a bad thing. It's not if you use it the right way. Being angry doesn't mean you're a bad person, being angry means you're a hurt person. Anger is a reactive emotion that emerges as a direct result from being hurt, from being in emotional pain. It's a normal emotion and it has been vilified for too long. Put that shit to use!
Are you angry at yourself because you got fat? Are you angry because you've had to start over dozens of times? Are you angry because you lost 30 pounds but then gained it all back? Are you pissed off at the world for how unfair it is? How can some people eat anything they want and you can't even sniff a donut without gaining weight? IT'S OKAY TO BE ANGRY. What's not okay is to let it fester and grow. Instead of pushing that anger down, let it come up. Let it come up and use it. Anger is powerful, it contains an enormous amount of energy. USE IT!
Take that anger you have and harness it into the fiercest determination anyone has ever fucking seen. Let it light you up and turn you into a warrior. USE IT!
Here's another article that teaches you how to use your pain and anger to help you lose weight! If you have issues with either one of those emotions, definitely check this article out!
You have to learn how to use everything you have to your advantage. Even the 'bad' shit.
During my entire weight loss journey (and still to this day), I would especially channel my anger when I was working out. I would let all of that powerful energy well up to the surface and then burn it off with exercise. It fueled me like nothing else. As I would have sweat pouring down my face and into my bra, I would imagine my fat melting off and my muscles growing strong. I would visualize my body as being lean and fit and defined. When I tell you that I did this, I don't mean I did this some of the time. I did this every single time I worked out! I can tell you with all of my heart and soul that it did more for me than anything else. It was a deep and penetrating therapy for me and I found after a while that I actually craved my workouts. Not because I wanted to exercise but because I wanted the release, that anger release.
Once you set sail on your weight loss journey (or any type of journey), something pretty amazing starts to happen after a while. You find that once you establish a routine, motivation actually starts to show up on its own. It's not something you try to make happen, it just does. I know I've talked shit about motivation behind its back this whole time and that actually wasn't my intention. My intention was to make you understand that motivation is a good thing, but it's only good while it lasts, which isn't that long... or reliable. However, although motivation is a disastrous thing to depend on to get you through your journey, you should in fact take advantage of it when it shows up! Just don't get used to it. If you know and expect that one day when you wake up it'll be gone, then you won't be thrown for a loop and let it sidetrack you.
You don't need to be motivated to do amazing things, you just have to do them.
You don't have to feel good about doing good things. You don't have to feel bad about thinking bad things. The ONLY thing you need to concern yourself with is doing your damn job and that job is to lose weight and get healthy. Hate it or love it, just fucking do it.
Stop telling yourself you're weak-willed or unable to do this because you can't 'find' the motivation. Nobody can just go find motivation. NOBODY. Stop telling yourself you can't do this because you haven't done it before. There is absolutely no logic in that thinking. We must try many times before we perfect something. This is true in all things. Stop telling yourself you are not worthy of a great life. I don't give a shit what you have done up to this point, what mistakes you've made, you deserve joy in your life and peace in your heart. Stop living in the past and make a vow of determination to change your life.
There's a full-time position open for the CEO of Happiness with Full Health Benefits. Fill out your application (*write down your plan*) and hire yourself for the job. And then show up for work. Every damn day.
If you are serious about losing that weight once and for all, check out my most popular article where I share every weight loss tip I used to lose over 120 pounds!
*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.
NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.