Stop Relying on Motivation (Do This Instead)
It’s fleeting. It comes and goes. It’s unreliable.
It isn’t your friend and I’m telling you that you rely on it too much.
You likely think that to do something you must be motivated. This is a poisonous mindset and it’s holding you back.
Some days you will naturally have more motivation than others. This is life. So what happens on the days you aren’t motivated to do anything? If you are like most people (you are) then nothing happens.
You’ll wait to get started again when you feel motivated. Maybe that takes an hour. Maybe it takes a day. Shit, maybe it takes a week. Can you see why waiting to be motivated is a problem?
In most people’s heads the motivational flow chart looks like this: Motivation -> Action -> Goal
Yet to be successful it can’t work like that. You won’t get far with that mindset.
Motivation in Action
Let’s look at a common example.
It’s likely that at some point in your life you’ve wanted to get in better shape. You probably want that right now – which is a good thing.
You tell yourself that on Monday you’ll get started on your new journey. You are pumped. This is the start of the new you and your motivation is at an all-time high.
Monday rolls around and your kit is already laid out waiting for you when you wake up. You’ve prepped food to eat and you make it to the gym. Result. One point for motivation.
It’s Wednesday and you manage to get your second gym session in as planned. Naturally you’re pleased with your efforts and motivation gains another point.
Next up, Friday. You had a late night on Thursday and didn’t get your kit out for the morning. You snooze through your alarm because you just can’t be bothered with the gym that morning. You’re so annoyed with yourself that your motivation to go during lunch or after work just isn’t there.
You don’t go. You feel de-motivated. You tell yourself you’ll get started AGAIN on Monday after another weekend blowout.
The above example is common place. The problem as previously discussed is that motivation comes and goes.
You can’t continually wait to feel motivated to work towards your goals. You will fail in the long run if you do this.
An Alternative To Motivation
The people you look up to as motivated aren’t always that motivated at all. They’re disciplined.
Over the years they have developed a set of disciplined habits that mean they don’t need to rely on motivation to chase their goals.
The great man Einstein once said: “Nothing happens until something moves”.
In other words, have the self-discipline to take action regardless. Your motivation will grow…..which will lead to more goals being accomplished. This is how you win.
Think of it this way:
Action -> Motivation -> Goal
9 times out of 10 just doing something will lead to more motivation. In this way, progress in one direction is progress in all directions.
The more you take action the more your motivation will increase.
Develop Your Self- Discipline With Routines
Let me share my morning routine with you….Every morning I ask myself a specific question. This is my morning power habit.
“What one thing can I do today to get me closer to my goals?”
I have developed my self-discipline to the point where this is a habit. It’s the most powerful question I can ask myself. It works.
To develop your self-discipline you need to build yourself routines that trigger certain actions.
Take my morning routine for example:
· Wake Up
· Wash/brush teeth
· Make the bed
· Drink green tea
· Play a game of chess
Then I’m ready. I sit down and ask myself the above question. Without that routine the question wouldn’t happen. The routine creates discipline in my morning and sets up my day.
You can develop your own routines to build disciplined habits that stop you relying on motivation. This is a game changer.
Let’s take the example of wanting to get in better shape from earlier.
What kind of routines can we develop to make sure you aren’t relying on motivation to go the gym?
· The night before get your gym bag ready. Lay out the clothes you are going to wear and place your shoes by the front door.
· Set one alarm and place it as far away from your bed as possible. This will make you get out of bed to turn it off.
· As soon as you wake, remind yourself of your goal and why you want to achieve it. If the “why” is powerful enough it will be a priority.
· Go wash. Throw some cold water on your face and wake yourself up.
· Get changed into the kit you laid out. This requires zero effort as it’s there waiting for you.
· Grab a cold glass of water, fire up the coffee machine and make some breakfast if you like to eat before you train.
· Your shoes are by the front door. Slip them on and leave.
The above is now your morning routine on days you train. Practice it. Be consistent with it. Make it a habit. Become disciplined with it. Motivation has nothing to do with it. You’ll do it because it’s a priority. Even when you aren’t feeling motivated. Once you start the motivation will come. That’s the progression.
You can read all the motivational quotes you want. You can watch inspiring and motivational videos. And they may help. Sometimes. But motivation isn’t your friend. The sooner you get away from relying on it the better your life will be.
Build better habits. Develop your self-discipline. Use routines.
The beauty of building your discipline with routines is that they can be applied to anything in life. The principle remains the same.
Your habits define who you are. Your actions dictate your priorities. Taking action will lead to motivation. Stop waiting for the perfect time and just do it.
It’s that simple.