I don’t really believe in motivation. I don’t. I think that on any given day all of us do things that are necessary that we would probably rather not do, but the end result is a required one. Things like making lunches and going to work or any manner of other things that have to get done. Like washing dishes. Apparently they have to be done every day. We don’t require motivation for any of those things, they just get done. Ok, maybe sometimes the dishes don’t get done every day. But eventually, they get done.

The thing is that things that are good for us, aren’t going to feel good all the time.

So I might not be particularly keen on doing the dishes but I am pretty keen on not living in squalor. So I do the dishes. I might not be keen on making dinner for fussy eaters, but I do and whenever they try something new I do a little victory dance. Motivation doesn’t come into any of that.

One day I might be really motivated and think I am going to have an awesome week with my diet and then a few hours later I find myself on my third helping of cookie ice cream deliciousness. Motivation is fickle. It comes and it goes. I don’t need motivation to eat a good diet during the week. I need planning and meals ready to go in the fridge so that when I come home ravenous I have options that are immediately available.

I don’t need motivation to exercise either. I just go. I don’t give it space in my head. I have a plan, I write it down and if it says that I am running/crossfitting that day, well that’s what I’m doing. I do it when I feel like it. I do it when I don’t feel like it. I do it when I’m looking forward to it. And I do it when I’m dreading it. Because it all leads me to exactly the same place. The place where I say, wow I am so glad I did that today.

I do believe in inspiration though. That first spark that says even though I’m completely out of shape I could do that. Inspiration becomes a goal. A goal will put fire in your belly when you are doing hard workouts. A goal will help you make decisions easily. For example is this cookie ice cream deliciousness congruent with my goal? (Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.) If my goal is to run 5 kilometres in under 25 minutes then I don’t hesitate when it comes to running gruelling intervals. Because that is what is going to get me from Point A to Point B. I believe great inspiration will push you to believe that you can. And if you can see it, you can do it.

I believe in inspiration. I believe in a community of expectation. I believe in being part of a team. But motivation? It’s a waste of your time. Because you already have everything you need.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Thanks for giving me a different perspective on motivation. I had never thought of it like that. Have the most wonderful day ! Me xox

    • Zoey Dowling

      I think when I stopped giving head space to the inner dialogue of will I or won't I - that was a huge mental shift for me!

  2. Hmmmm. But..... isn't your motivation for doing the dishes the fact that you don't want to live in squalor? For dinner planning knowing that you will have something reasonable to eat when starving? And your motivation for exercising knowing that you will feel good at the end? I am choosing to disagree with your motivation definition on this one ;)

    • Zoey Dowling

      I guess the point is that sometimes I don't care if I will feel good at the end, if left up to my own thoughts about whether I feel like going at that particular time, I wouldn't go. So on those mornings when I don't care if I get those endorphins at the end and I don't care if I don't improve in any way because I just want to stay in bed, I get up anyway because I'm not letting how motivated I feel at that particular time make my decisions for me.

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