How many times have you heard this before, “He/She just didn’t want it enough” when someone fails? Or how many times have you said, “If I were just more motivated…”?
I get it. We look at those people that have achieved our goals and it seems like they have crazy amounts of motivation but motivation is a myth. It does not drive success. I’ve worked with many clients and I can tell you that those that are successful are not successful because they’re more motivated than you are. Likewise, when clients struggle to get fitter and heathier, it’s rarely because they don’t want it enough.
Your success or failure has nothing to do with your motivation but everything to do with your habits and systems.
The myth of motivation is a very dangerous one because it discourages many people from even trying. The reality is that people succeed because they have good habits and a strong system in place so that they don’t have to rely on willpower.
Every fit and healthy person has a strong wellness system in place. They do not just wake up every day full of fitness motivation. I know I don’t. I don’t want to eat healthy every day. I don’t want to always train and many times I don’t want to meditate but I have habits in place to make sure I do all of those things. My success doesn’t depend on me “wanting it enough” and yours doesn’t have to either.
Good systems support you. They make it easier for you to do what you need to do by taking the thinking and motivation out of the mix. Build a strong system and you will keep progressing towards your goals even on low motivation days.
This was an exercise the ladies did for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Reset Challenge. It's a helpful practice because it will give you a deeper purpose for your goals beyond just looking fitter or losing weight. Start by imagining what wellness identity you would like. Do you want to be a bodybuilder? Marathon runner? Energized person? Yogi? How do you WANT to define yourself?
Now think about this....what habits would that kind of person have? For example, if your goal is to be a fit person. What would a fit person do each day? What would their habits be?
COMPARE & IMPROVE
You've just imagined the identity you'd like to have so the first step in getting there will be looking at where you are now. What are your habits now? Do you have good habits that overlap with this new identity that you should keep? Do you have bad ones that get in the way? What are you doing that supports this new identity? What are you not doing?
Be very explicit here because the more specific you are, the more likely you are to identify future obstacles and how to overcome them.
RESTRUCTURE YOUR DAYS
Once you've determined the habits you need to get rid of and the ones you need to develop, look at how to build them into your daily routine. Try to do this in a REALISTIC WAY. Sure, it would be great to cook every single meal and exercise x6 days a week but that is not always possible. Instead, figure out what you CAN do for the LONG term.
Be as thorough as you can; go through every action you perform/don’t perform regularly from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. No habit or action is too small! Remember that small gains make change not big drastic measures!
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOURSELF
The less resistance you have to overcome, the more likely you are to succeed. So go back over your daily healthy habits and determine where you could link them to actions you already perform each day. This is called BINDING. It's a very effective strategy to link habits and actions together. For example, if you want to meditate daily, tie that meditation to brushing your teeth. This creates less resistance and more momentum.
REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS
Make the comitment to review your day every evening for at least two weeks. This is ESSENTIAL. You can mentally review your day but physically writing down your analysis will be much more powerful and allow you to check back in later and see how far you've come or where you've struggled. That data is priceless when it comes to meaningful, change that sticks.
Using these strategies you will be able to create a system that does what motivation cannot – keep you moving indefinitely towards your goals. Sure you will have days where the system crumbles a bit but as long as you come back to it, you will find success.
Most of us don’t realize we already have a system or systems in place. Unfortunately those systems often support unhealthy habits not healthy ones. The way to success is clear – tear down the weak system and build a stronger one in it’s place.
What system will you put in place?
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