Why motivation is keeping you stuck

August 10th


This story will help you understand why only relying on your motivation to do things will keep you stuck and you’ll never actually reach the goals you want!

When I first started training in the gym it’s was to stop being the scrawny kid. Something I felt was becoming more of an issue for me. This became such a mental game for me as some of the people I’d rely on most would make fun of me for my body shape, and the more I tried to rise above the more it happened. It was like they were mocking me for something I was trying to change. 

A big thing I have noticed when people undertake a transformation of any kind is that it’s sometimes the people closest to you that will bring you back down, “what you doing that for?” “You’ve gone so boring now” and many more things

Now this happens for a couple of reasons but normally it’s the other person projecting their frustrations with THEMSELVES on to you. They feel they couldn’t do it so seeing you make the changes gets their back up so they knowingly or not try to stop you moving forward.

Anyway that was a bit of tangent, back to the story.

It wasn’t that I hated my body I just wanted to be better feel stronger and have some shape rather than looking like an ironing board and new I wasn’t living up to my full potential in terms of athletic performance.

Walking into the gym was a bit of minefield but luckily I worked in a leisure centre that had one so I just asked friends in there what I needed to do. At this point I was excited and I felt like I could take on the world and was motivated beyond belief, I didn’t think id ever go off track.

I’d make little changes like going to the gym in the first place, started drinking protein shakes, stop eating microwave pizzas for lunch every day and they would make a big difference.

Fast forward a couple of months and  the results slowed and it felt like a chore no matter what I did I wouldn’t see change. I’d change my workout, change my diet, but I think I’d just hit a slump I just couldn’t be bothered the initial BUZZ of doing something new wore off and my motivation was gone!

I had lost focus and I guess my goal had become a bit fuzzy again.

And this cycle repeated itself for quite a while.

Wait for motivation > take action > results > result slow > lose motivation > stop

You know the feeling get to Wednesday you can’t be bothered so you wait until Monday to start again, or you use the weekend as a complete escape from your reality so you just forget about your goals and commitments until Monday.

I knew I needed to break this cycle somehow I just wasn’t sure where to start looking.
Google was my first choice only to be met by thousands of different GuRuS giving their different opinion. But after a while I managed to make some sense of it.

this podcast is about me sharing these experiences so you don’t have to do all the hard work researching everything. Whatever I share on here I have used myself and have used with my clients too. If it didn’t work I wouldn’t share it!

So to beat the motivation lows you must rely on discipline, no not the cold hard military discipline but the discipline that kept me going when I felt tired, bored and stuck.

Discipline helped me carve out consistency. And this truly is the magic pill of being able to reach your goals!

“It’s not what you do on your best days, but what you make sure you will do on you’re worst”

Which leads me on to the how….

I was always setting goals and reaching them, or not. Always thinking of a specific outcome – lift a weight, lose body fat. And set a time frame 1 week, 8 weeks whatever it was. I followed the SMART goal setting thing but in all honesty things still didn’t go to plan.

Some of the time it worked BUT if I didn’t quite get there or just couldn’t be bothered anymore I always came up with a excuse as to why I didn’t hit the goal.

“Well I had a friends birthday, or well I did have few drinks, I was too busy, I was too tired, I just didn’t have time, I know where I’m going wrong it’s a quick fix from here”

No matter what the goal was, if I didn’t get there, I would find a viable excuse.

The more viable the excuse was, the more I began to believe it and the more I let it become my normal.

Not hitting goals and accepting my excuses. This meant that train of thought gathered momentum, and crossed over into every area of my life health work and relationships

Excuses had become my safety net I was so good at them I believed them and convinced others they were true too.

Until one day the penny dropped and I realised I was doing it. I was setting goal after goal, would get a few weeks in and get bored or disheartened so I’d change the goal and change the plan. I never stuck to things for longer than 4 weeks ish and then I was a case of ah well I’ve change my goal now to the time frame reset to 90 days again. Constantly in this cycle of re-setting the timeframe because I knew I wouldn’t reach my goal.

I had to do something drastic I needed to stop listening to my own stories and take ownership of my excuses was massive and it was hard to do. My ego and my pride took a big whack.

I’m not a big believer in the ‘No excuses’ mindset but sometimes you need to have that mindset for a short period to set the standard with your discipline.

To be successful you need to find away to do what needs to be done despite of any obstacles. You can always get one step closer even if it’s not the ten steps forward you had planned! One step forward is better than 10 back!

This is where process goals came in handy, Focusing on results doesn’t actually get results, if you shift your focus on the process and the results will come

If your outcome goal is to lose body fat for example

What are three important things you need to do everyday to lose weight

  • Exercise for 45 mins 3 times a week
  • Drink 3 litres of water water
  • Eat protein with every meal

Now make one a MUST a non negotiable!

Now tracking these for a month – you’re telling me won’t lead to weight loss?

Weight has so many factors on a daily/weekly basis it easy to become disheartened when they don’t go your way.

By shifting focus onto the process the outcome will happen anyway and you get the benefit of celebrating doing well rather than trying so hard and the scales appearing to tell you you haven’t.

This creates a new cycle of

Action > results > motivation

When your results slow down, and they will you set new processes and the cycle starts all over again!

Because a you’ve now got discipline and focusing on the process you’ve shifted your focus away from relying on motivation!

The last thing I want to talk about is evaluating yourself.

Now I’m not talking about I did this wrong, I should of done this, I didn’t because etc

I’m talking about evaluating your effort and what went well

At the end of each day write down 1-3 things that you did well today. This will help you positively evaluate your day rather than focus on what you couldn’t do and help that new train thought build momentum

Make it simple and 100% percent achievable

Breaking it to tiny steps down this way makes growth and improvement happen faster than trying to split your attention to loads of different things.

Focus on what you can control in the day and not what you can’t.

You can control what you eat, how much you move. You may not be able to move as much as you’d planned but you can move more than sitting still!

One thing to leave you with on would be that there’s always something you can do, it doesn’t have to be a giant leap forward but there is always a tiny step forward you can take you just have to find it!