Something I hear often – as I’m sure a lot of trainers do in the industry – is “I have no motivation”, or “I’ve lost my motivation”. I don’t think many things bother me more to hear than this statement, and I actually feel most people don’t even know what they actually mean when they say it. So what exactly does motivation mean to you? If you were asked to define motivation, what would you say?
Motivation can be defined as “Internal and External factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to do a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal”. The most basic definition I’ve found is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way”.
Now this is purely just my personal opinion, and people can agree or disagree, but I feel “I have no motivation” is just a big cop-out. Along with “I can’t afford it”, it’s the most commonly used reason I tend to hear why people either don’t achieve results or they just simply stop training, and that comes down to priorities. When I hear “I’m not motivated”, a few other things run through my head instantly. “I’m lazy”; “I’m not bothered”; “I don’t know what I want”; “I haven’t set any goals”; “The goal I set myself isn’t actually that important to me” or “I’ve hit a plateau and don’t know how to move forward”. This is what I believe people ACTUALLY mean when they say they aren’t motivated. The two main sort of ‘statements’ I have come to base my coaching around is “If you quit now, how much closer will that get you to your goal?”, and “If you haven’t achieved your goal, how can you possibly not be motivated, when you aren’t where you want to be?”. That’s the biggest thing I don’t understand, and that’s why I think people don’t know what they actually mean when they use the word motivation. If your goal was to lose 10kg in 3 months and you’ve only lost 2, how can you possibly have no motivation? Your motivation should be to lose those extra 8kg right? I feel like motivation is the excuse we give ourselves for not achieving anything or not taking action, and I think people mistake “motivation” for fear of failure or self-doubt. More than likely if you find yourself in a position where you are unmotivated, it’s because you don’t have any inspiration or a positive circle of influence; also more than likely you haven’t sat done and thought hard about what exactly it is that you want and you don’t have any clarity around your goals. You lack the WHY that drives us forward. There is a quote that you’ll see in a lot of fitness memes which goes along the lines of “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse”. It’s such a simple but true statement and I’m sure everyone can recall a time in their lives where they have come up with an excuse not to do something coz it just wasn’t that important to them (like a lot of kids and homework haha). The next time you are feeling ‘un-motivated’ I want you to stop and take a second and think the following; A) Have I set myself a goal(s)? If so, what is it specifically? How long have you given yourself to achieve it? Is it measureable? Is it realistic? Why is it important to you? If it’s not important to you then you need to find a new goal. B) I have a goal but I’m not achieving results – first refer back to A). Then ask yourself are you doing everything you can to achieve your goal? Are you managing your time well enough? Could you put more effort in? Could you be better prepared? Do you have the information/knowledge required and if not what are you doing about it? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research. If you have given something a long enough try and it’s not working for you, mix it up. There is no one size fits all. Find what is going to ultimately work for you. C) Do I have a positive circle of influence and support network? Are your friend group / family supportive of your goals? Do they push you up or do they pull you down? Are they the type of people that you can count on when times are tough, or do they just mock and criticise and hold you back? It’s extremely hard to achieve anything if you have no self-belief and then no one there to help give you that self-belief. Find and surround yourself with the type of people you want to be and