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BLOG: Why motivation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Leanne Hall is an Integrative Psychologist and Mind and Body Expert – so if anyone knows about motivating our brains and our bodies – it’s her. But is it all it’s cracked up to be, and are we relying on it too much? Here’s Leanne… 

So it’s February. You’ve hit the year head on. Maybe those resolutions are sticking, or maybe you’ve decided to edit them a little. Either way, as the year starts to stretch out before you, that annoying tap on the shoulder starts. “How can I stay motivated?”. It’s the $6-million-dollar question that plagues all of us at times.

Because here’s the thing. When we set an intention or new years resolution it feels exciting, because the prospect of achieving it represents success. For some it can also represent the end of a battle, with the destination being “happiness”. However, while it’s always a good thing to have goals, it’s equally important to consider the journey – and the number one reason so many people fail to stick to resolutions is because they rely way too much on motivation to keep them on it.

The truth about motivation is simple. It’s transient. Like happiness, anger, sadness – it doesn’t stick around. It’s there one minute then disappears the next, and that’s normal. So relying on it to achieve a goal simply doesn’t make sense.

If motivation isn’t the key, then how can you stay on track to achieve goals?

  1. Be realistic. Expect motivation to disappear and make a commitment to keep going when it does. Commitment will get you much further than just motivation
  2. Be accountable. Creating accountability can also pull you through when you don’t feel motivated. This is one reason why training buddies are awesome.
  3. Challenge perfectionism. Accept those down days, they happen to everyone. Instead of judging yourself negatively, try and understand why the bad days are happening. Are you trying to do too much? Do you feel unsupported?
  4. Focus on what’s important, and set boundaries. If your health is important to you, then you need to make it a priority. Don’t wait for the right time to start making healthy choices – start now. Take control instead of waiting for life to happen around you.
  5. Practice SELF CARE. Take time out, relax, listen to your mind and body. Emotions are our brain’s way of communicating. Being in tune with our feelings in a non-judgemental way allows us to learn and grow. To do this we need to give them space by making a point of being still… and listening.

So while motivation is certainly important, just don’t rely on it to get you where you want to go!

Want more motivation tips? Follow @leannemindbody on Instagram