Friday, December 12, 2014

The Elusive Motivation

I would consider myself a pretty motivated person. I've always worked hard to do well in school, work, athletics, etc. Which is why it's so interesting to me that motivation can be something so hard to maintain. When it comes to fitness and health, my motivation seems to come and go in waves. Almost daily.

I admire those people who have, for years, been waking up, lacing up their shoes, and hitting the pavement or the gym. Like it's nothing. Like it's brushing their teeth or getting dressed.

Why does it come so easily to some but yet it's a constant struggle for (many) others?

The daily swing is what blows my mind the most. At 2pm I can be sitting at my desk feeling completely motivated. I'm ready to work out! I'm going over gym plans or running routes in my head. I'm cooking up a healthy meal in my mind and determined to skip anything sweet!

Then 5:00 hits. I drive home for 20 minutes. I walk in the door and the motivation is gone. Just disappeared. It might as well have been a unicorn riding a flying pig.

And then I realize I need to vacuum, and do laundry, and go through all those boxes sitting out in the living room. Oh and when was the last time the toilets were cleaned?

And instead of working out, or doing any chores around the house, or cooking a healthy meal, we drive through Chipotle (they need a drive thru) and plop our asses on the couch for the remainder of the evening watching Vanderpump Rules.

And in my mind is a promise of a better day tomorrow.

I'm not saying all days are like this. Obviously I'm not a complete hot mess. But I just don't get it. How can I go from riding the fitness train one minute to total couch potato the next? How does one hold on to the elusive quality that is motivation? How do you get to consistency?

I'm reading The Power of Habit (have been for a while - pick it up here and there). It's helping me understand how habits form and how you can develop the ones you want. But we all know it's not that simple. Even if I understand how to make fitness part of my habits, that doesn't mean I'll be able to do it successfully.

I don't know if I really have a point to this post. It's more of a stream of conscious. But I do know I will always continue with trial and error. Last year running worked for me for a while. This year I'm trying to hit the gym in the morning and it seems to be working. As my former boss would say, I'm just going to keep throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks.

Instead of eating the entire bowl of spaghetti.

On the couch..


  1. I struggle with motivation. The only way I've been able to go the gym lately is to pack my clothes and change at work and then go straight to the gym (which is luckily on the way home). If I go home first, I don't go to the gym.

  2. I have so many things to say about motivation but I'll keep it brief. Nobody always has motivation. Nobody. Elite athletes don't wake up everyday and hop out of bed motivated to do their best, but fitness is their job and a lot of times they wake up dreading the work day just like us. Over time for some people it can just become part of their day but it doesn't mean it's a part they are always excited about. Please don't think it's "easy" for anyone. It's easier when you're doing something you like but everybody has days they'd rather stay in bed or do anything or be anywhere else. Going home is the worst thing you can do. When I have a big race coming my house stays in shambles because I put my training first and I'm only home to relax, sleep and eat. You hit the nail on the head with your last question. Consistency is what you need to find, not necessarily motivation.

  3. I also struggle with motivation. I've been told before that maybe I just don't want my goal enough, which is frustrating. Of course I want to reach my weight loss goal, but I still struggle with the motivation to get there. We can always find something else to do. I think, for me, it doesn't help that I still haven't found that one form of exercise that I truly love that keeps me interested in going back. During the summer I'll go for super long walks, but I live in Wisconsin so that's not happening in mid-December.

  4. i struggle with this so so much. it's so hard, and I really think it is for all of us.

  5. I feel you! I get on the fitness train for a good 3 months, and then fall off again. It doesn't help that RHOBH and Pump Rules are just SO good that I can't pull away from the TV to actually work out...and then there is Chipotle, my bff.

  6. Well if you ever figure it out, DO let me know because I have been on and off the fitness wagon about 45 times in my life



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