The Highs and Lows of Motivation
We all hear about new years resolutions, especially when it comes to health and fitness. The Idea of a new start, a new beginning, of finally pulling up your boot straps and making those changes you've been promising yourself for the last 5, 10, or even 20 years!
Whether you yourself have made resolutions, or prefer not to, we are all subject to temporary motivation. This is usually a product of our frustrations, discomfort, desire, envy, greed, or any other number of sources of energy that trigger the realization that something needs to CHANGE!
However, the reality is, motivation never really lasts! We're just human, and if we rely only on our motivation to carry us to our goals, well, we're going to fail 99% of those times, and enter right back into the same cycle.
I know what you're thinking, "OK Noah thanks for that, but get on with your point!"
So while I don't believe motivation is enough, it can serve the very useful purpose of being the spark that gets the fire going. This is typically when most people start the diet, join the gym, buy the Peloton. Objectively, those aren't bad things, and start with good intentions, but often times they don't last.
Breaking out of the Pattern
So how do we break out of the cycle of motivation? The only way to cut through the cycle, is to change the pattern by creating habits. Habits don't care about what's happening in our life, the weather, stress at work, or any other external factors. Habits are the second nature muscle memory created through repetition and consistency.
By building GOOD habits, we'll be inclined to make those better decisions even when motivation is at an all time low. Psychology Today contributor, Brian King Ph.D. published an article that concludes it takes about 21 days, or 3 weeks, to build a solid habit.
So, before you think you have to upend your life forever and give up everything you enjoy in order to achieve your goals, don't think so permanently! If you can make a few sacrifices and stick to a routine for just 3 weeks, chances are those things you were so afraid to let go of, won't even be missed. And, your fear of sticking to them will fade away as the habits support your new behavior.
Where do I begin?
It's easier said than done to get started. However, having some accountability and education around the proper habits tends to be the most effective solution. Of course we would love to support you through our Lifestyle Nutrition Plans, but ultimately, you need to find a way to correct your daily activities around your goals, for a sustained period of time until they become habits.
If you're not quite yet ready to commit to a structured plan, consider joining the West Shore Wellness Community on Facebook, which exists as a place of support and motivation for group members, and is 100% free.
Regardless of your path, we're all subject to these human tendencies, and I certainly am no exception myself. Surround yourself with individuals who are already doing the things you wish to do, and before you know it you'll be on your way!