I have been posting quite a bit about my weight loss journey on my personal Facebook, because I want to document this time in my life, since I know it is such a crucial turning point for me. If I have these things on Facebook, I can look back and go, “Wow. Look at how much you’ve done in 3 months, 6 months… a year.”
Basically, it’s just like this blog for me. It is giving me that opportunity to look back and go, “Oh my God. Look at what you were saying, doing, and thinking.” Powerful, indifferent… longing. I want to see it all and understand that this is who I was at that particular moment in time. This is what went through my mind.
Connection to the self is important. You cannot learn from yourself if you remain ignorant to your past.
On the other hand, I do believe in living in the present, because I think that the Eastern theological and cognitive theories have a ton of merit with this concept. However, I don’t think this teaches you to completely forget the past. It is more about acceptance.
Anyway, back to the Facebook story. I took a selfie of me mid-walk through my neighborhood. A former coworker commented, noting that he could see my weight loss and that he wished he had my kind of motivation. It was that comment that got me thinking and made me realize I had an excellent blog topic for today. Hence, the title of today’s entry.
Motivation is fucking hard. Seriously. People have complimented me about the strength I have to keep myself so motivated, and the secret is that I respect the fact that motivation isn’t easy to come by. There are days I don’t want to go to the gym after work. Maybe I try to tell myself it’s too late in the day, or I am “too tired.”
This is my secret in action, yesterday.
“Kelsey, I really don’t want to go to the gym, today.”
“Because I want to enjoy my day off and not have to go anywhere.”
“Ok, I get that. How does that fit with your goal of going to the gym at least 4 times a week this month?”
“I can still get the 4 in if I go every day after work Wednesday through Saturday.”
“That’s true. But you could make it 5 times if you go today. You’ll get closer to your 310,000 step goal for the month of May. You also need to go out to the store, anyway, so you can go in before.”
“Yeah, maybe I will go. But only for 30 minutes.”
Yeah, I ended up staying for over an hour. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and about 40 minutes of machine lifting. And you know what? I was glad I did it.
This kind of exchange is what works for my motivation. I embraced the fact that I did not want to go, instead of insulting myself or making myself feel bad about it. But I always like to establish the answers to three questions:
- How does each option fit in with your goals?
- What option best fits your physical and mental state today?
- What are you going to do about it?
Question two is always sort of an internal thing. In yesterday’s scenario, I took inventory of my mental and physical state. I’m not sick, nor was I exceptionally sore or tired. In fact, I had slept rather well the night before. Also, I was doing a great job tracking my macros and getting plenty of water.
Therefore, my motivation block was mental. Was it a mental thing that was so bad that I couldn’t function? Definitely not. I was not so depressed I couldn’t handle the thought of getting out of bed… and I’ve been there, so I know how that feels.
Some days, you are going to have to convince yourself that your goals are important. That the hard things you have to do need to be done in order to get what you want out of life. Motivation is gentle coercion, if we are honest with ourselves. You just have to decide whether or not that coercion is going to benefit or hurt you.
Simply put, you are your own boss. Hence, the other part of my title. Motivation is managing yourself to achieve your goals. You have to establish your goals and priorities. Then, once you establish these, you have to make decisions that work best for these goals and priorities. Sometimes, your “workers” (i.e. your internal mental state or physical state of being) may not be able to work as hard as you need them to, so you figure out how to meet their needs while working towards these bigger goals. You have control to be whatever kind of “employer” you choose on the pathway to success.
I’m clearly into being the really fucking benevolent type, and I am more than happy with that.
That might be the best part of my weight loss journey. A side effect is that I am generating mindfulness. The mind-body connection is super powerful, and when you take care of one, you sort of take care of both.
Having a blog with actual people reading also helps… 🙂