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Motivation is Not What You Need

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As a personal trainer I am constantly hearing the question “how do I stay motivated?” Or I am told that “I’m just not motivated to get started, or to keep going.” This used to be a very difficult question to answer until I realized the truth about motivation.

Motivation is defined as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Everyone desires different things. Maybe your desire is to get a Masters or a Doctorate degree. Maybe your desire, like many of my clients is to get in shape. The initial inspiration and enthusiasm for that desire is what we are referring to as motivation. Motivation is looking ahead to the destination.

The trouble with motivation, is that it is fleeting. It is more of an emotion or feeling than something rational or logical. It’s surface. You might get the motivation on New Year’s Eve to read one book a month for the year. On January 1 you enthusiastically choose your first book. By the time March or April rolls around life has happened, you don’t have time, you’re not even halfway through last month’s book and you can’t find the motivation to pick it up. The excitement is gone.

Motivation is looking ahead to the destination.

So, if not motivation, then what do we need to create these good habits which will put us on the road to owning that company or playing the guitar?

Commitment

Commitment is defined as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity. Commitment is making the decision right here, right now to take action, regardless of outside circumstances. It means that all of your life decisions revolve around your devotion to the thing you desire to accomplish.

If you want to complete a book every month for a year, you make time for it. You wake up early to read for 30 minutes, or you read on your lunch break. That book goes everywhere you go. If you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle, you have to plan more activity into your day and potentially make time and room in the budget to join a gym depending on what your goals may be. If you want to own a company you have to work on your craft before and after your day job, or maybe even quit your day job and take the plunge. Only you know the type of commitment required to accomplish your mission.

Understanding that motivation will come and go like any other emotion and channeling that commitment to devote yourself to your purpose will keep you charging after your goals. The key is to enjoy the process, not just the destination.