It's that time again. The time of year where motivation is at its highest. We are so ramped up!
The reality is that we're probably at the bottom of a motivation downswing that started midsummer (shocking, I know...), and we're now craving an upswing.
Last summer, the get-aways were crammed in, school was just about to start, and we were giving it our last hurrah. Fun food, fun drinks, vacation mindset.
But then school started. Schedules stacked up, the mom-taxi-service resumed and spare time was unheard of.
This carried into Halloween (candy!!), then holiday fever, comfort food, comfy clothes, short and dark days, and finally Christmas.
And here we are. What just happened?!
Summer was just yesterday and now we're looking at a brand new year. We never had the time to catch our breath, let alone eat healthy, follow a real workout program or follow through with whatever goals we may have set for ourselves this time last year. We're just trying to survive!
Motivation was low...very low...during this last season, but now it's high again.
"Alright, let's get this health thing in gear! I'm ready now!"
Before you set a bunch of New Years resolutions, sign up for a gym membership, and launch into a new "21 or 31 day program", you must realize something first. And this one thing needs to be your mental underpinning for all of 2017...
Motivation is an emotion. It ebbs and flows like any other emotion. Like happiness, anger, frustration, love. You canNOT depend on it to stay high.
Right now your motivation emotion is probably at its peak for a number of reasons:
So you're feeling motivated. Great!
However, pay attention to reality. Your motivation will ebb. People will start to drop off around you as their motivation dwindles, too. By the end of January, you will be further removed from these December indulgent-yucky feelings. You won't care quite as much. You'll have to look hard for your mojo.
Sure, your motivation will shrink (it's inevitable!), but don't shove aside these feelings now because you realize they might be fleeting. It's ok to act now!
Right now is probably the best time for you to start. You feel supported and ready.
Take advantage of your high levels of motivation.
Doomed to fail? Since motivation is fleeting, is pursuing fitness and nutrition a lost cause? No, it's not. It just may have felt like a failure in the past because your relied upon your feelings.
Well, then what's the trick? What's the key to hanging in there and finally seeing results?
The key is remembering that motivation is an emotion, and your behaviors must be independent of your emotions. Do not rely on motivation to dictate your actions.
On days when you don't "feel like it", you do your workout anyway. When you're not in the mood to eat protein and produce, you choose it anyway. During bad weeks, emotionally tough weeks and weeks that happen to be "that time of the month", you do it anyway. You might whine, throw a fit, and cry while you're doing it, but you do it.
It's not all bad. Your motivation will not only ebb, but it will also flow throughout the year. You'll still have moments of high motivation, periodically. But it's what you choose to do during the low points that matters. Those are the moments that lead to progress.
Ok, now what? "Yeah, yeah Megan, but what should I do? My motivation is high and I want to do something! I want to start something now!"
Stay tuned, more is coming...we'll get to that. In my next few posts I plan on breaking down "automatic workouts", teaching you what workouts are best for busy moms, simplifying nutrition so you can sustain it forever, and why details can be distracting and lead to low motivation.
But for now, drill it into your brain that your healthy behaviors are your responsibility, and they MUST be independent of your motivation level.
So, how will you stay motivated in 2017? The short answer is you won't. It's just not going to happen.
The better question is what will you do when you lack motivation?
If you are totally ready to get started exercising and eating healthier, look no further than the Strong Mommas Membership. It's more than a gym membership, more than a workout DVD, and a million times better than the latest "system".
I teach you a lifestyle. I teach you balance and moderation. I teach you how to be strong, more fit than you ever imagined, and fully capable on your own. Are you ready? Register now for only $20 per month for your first two months! This holiday special only lasts until January 15, so hurry!