Actually, You're ALREADY Motivated.

Don’t worry: you’re not suffering from a lack of motivation.
You WANT to be active, I’m sure. Your reasons are your own.
And so are your distractions. You WANT to exercise…but you also want other things.
Your motivation isn’t missing; it’s just being spent on other things.
You have a motivational bank account. We all do. It refills every day, and you draw on it every time you have to make a decision. You use it up.
If you’re in a stressful job, you’ll use up your motivation pretty quickly.
If you’re in a stressful relationship at home, you’ll burn up your motivation FAST–probably before you even get to work.
This is why it’s hard to start exercising when your life is stressful. You’re NOT just making excuses: it really IS hard. You can’t just “get motivated”.
But you CAN aim your motivation differently. You can replace your motivation to do something ELSE with the motivation to exercise, or eat well, or meditate.
For example, you might be pretty motivated to watch Game of Thrones. If you’ve sunk your energy into keeping up with the series, it might be tough to trade that motivation for a better motivation.
BUT…can you DELAY that desire?
Can you say, “I’ll record this episode, because I can watch it tomorrow, and go do a 30-minute jog right now”?
Yesterday, I wrote about “Addition by Subtraction”. Today, I’m talking about replacement: what’s one negative habit you can afford to cut out–even temporarily–and replace it with movement right NOW?
(If you’re trying to quit smoking or quit eating chips or quit watching so much TV, you NEED to replace that bad habit with another habit anyway. Nature abhors a vacuum.)
Another example: you’re tempted to go and get an ice cream cone. Do you have to say, “Ice cream is bad! I’m never eating it again!”
Or can you say, “I’ll go in half an hour, after I take the dog out”?
Now, let me recap:
You only have so much motivation. You can use the little motivation you have left at 7pm to get up off the couch and drive to the ice cream shop…or get up off the couch and move around. Just go for a walk. Heck, WALK TO THE ICE CREAM SHOP.
(Next time, don’t take any money.)
If you want to find the money to pay for fitness coaching, you’ll have to replace something else in your budget (I recommend the chips). And it’s the same with your time and attention. So here’s the trick:
Like yesterday’s little thought assignment, identify where you’re spending your time.
Is it at work? On your couch? In your bed?
Now, what MOTIVATES you to spend time doing those things?
Job: you need money. Got it. Can you delay going to work? Probably not.
Couch: uh, celebrity game night? Can you delay that one? Yep.
Bed: covers are warm. Yep. Can you get warm any other way? Yes.
Now, how can we DEFLECT motivation from a passive habit (you’re just basically letting life happen to you) to an active habit (you’re taking that sucker out for a ride)?
You give yourself an emotional reason to succeed. Emotion trumps logic. And it’s the root of motivation.
The final trick to switching motivations is finding a strong emotional anchor to do so. I’ll write about that more tomorrow.
An object in motion stays in motion. But it can change path! Even though your life is full, and you’re traveling at top speed, you can still take the onramp to a better life.