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How to “get motivated”

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How to "get motivated"

One of my favorite quotes that is true for life, but especially in the wellness industry is: 

 

“Success breeds motivation; motivation does not breed success.” 

 

Something has to trigger the feeling of success, though, right? Listening to a podcast, hearing an impactful sermon (ahem, or reading this blog post), sparks something in you and you want to take action. 

 

Maybe it’s a new feeling, or maybe it’s the recollection of a time in the past when you felt great

 

So let’s talk more about that. 

 

Think of a season when you felt your best. You had energy, you felt successful at your job, maybe like you were growing in your own mental health, you felt great about your body. 

 

What were you doing in those times? What were your daily habits?

 

Did you go to bed early, so you could wake up early and get in a workout? Were you in therapy? Did you cut up a bunch of vegetables every weekend so you would grab and eat them during the week? 

 

I can tell you what you probably were not doing: spending 2 hours a day on social media, binge watching reality TV for several hours every night, and/or eating fast food for every meal. 

 

But know this isn’t an indictment; I have bad habits, too! It’s just science. If you want to know more about what each of those things do to your brain, I’d love nothing more than to go into great detail about it, but that’s another post for another day. 

 

So let’s go back to your reflection. If you can think of a time when you felt great and something you did within your own power to make that happy, you already found your success (HA – tricked you into it)! Now, after identifying that happy habit, maybe you have the teeniest tiniest bit of motivation to take action. Don’t delay! Take that step now, or in an hour, or tonight. You’ve got to capitalize on it while it’s there.

 

If you can pick back up something you’ve already done that propelled you to success, that’s awesome. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got some ideas. 

 

1. Learn/try something new

Our brains LOVE novelty. And we’ve got so many things at our fingertips to put new information into our brain. Where’s an area you’re struggling with when it comes to your fitness and wellness? Is it sleep? Eating enough vegetables? Managing (not numbing) your stress? Find a resource for it! Listen to a podcast, download an audiobook, or watch a YouTube video. 

 

Or maybe it’s not learning for you but the doing that needs to take place. If that’s the case, go to a new workout class, walk a new trail, or try a new recipe! 

 

Giving your brain the gift of something new can spark the desire to keep things like that going. 


2. Make the time

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who don’t feel like they have the time in the day to accomplish what they want for themselves. And sometimes life is THAT crazy and there’s little to no wiggle room, I won’t deny that. But sometimes we let time get away from us doing things that are less helpful.   

 

Let’s go back to TV and social media. It’s a seemingly unavoidable pastime, so let’s put some rules in place to set limits on those things. Not because you should just pull yourself up by your bootstraps or buckle down or whatever odd country western saying you could insert here. But because sometimes making a rule, or setting a limit on something, frees us up for something better. 

 

Decide how many hours per week you’re going to watch TV. Put a limit on your social media, and maybe not the time limit Apple allows you to set on your apps, because in my experience, that’s never worked. But instead set an alarm for a specific time of day – and follow through with it. Maybe it’s 15 minutes at lunch, or 15 minutes after work. But when that alarm goes off – you’re done! Find a daily cadence that works for you, and then tell someone about it. 

 

Maybe you say you do those things at the end of the day because you’re too tired to do anything else. If you’re tired, I hear you. But you can be tired and not be on your phone or computer or TV. Heck, just sit on your couch and stare into the void! Or my personal favorite – go to bed early! 


3. Move your body


It’s possible that if you spend less time on devices, you’ll start wanting to find other ways to fill that time. Puzzles and books are great for your brain, but we could all use more movement in our lives! Go on a walk, ride a bike, or do some yoga (okay you may need an app for this but I would argue that’s a beneficial use of a screen). It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – just something to get your body moving. 

 

Exercise, even if gentle, can release dopamine in your brain. Dopamine exists as an “internal reward system,” meaning, you do something your brain likes, it releases dopamine, which feels good (like a reward), to get you to do it again. 

 

Wait… what does that sound like? SOUND LIKE SUCCESS BREEDS MOTIVATION! 

So use the time you’re not spending on social media to move your body. Just that small activity will make your brain crave more, and you will be motivated to take more steps, do more downward facing dogs, to care for yourself.

 

If this sparks something in you, and you want to make some changes but also want someone cheering you on along the way, email me at [email protected] and let’s build a plan that works for you. Or get in touch with any of our staff! We’re here to help. 

Who wrote this post...

Becky Wickes

Becky Wickes

Becky has been an athlete at Renew since 2013 and a coach since 2015! Becky began her career in child welfare, working with foster and adoptive families but as the gym has grown, so has her role and she became the General Manager of Renew Fitness in 2020! If she had to change her career entirely, she would become a marine biologist. Becky lives with her husband, Jon, who has also lived in Austin for over a decade. She loves Jesus and believes He offers hope in this sometimes hard world. Her favorite benchmark workout is Nancy — though she hates running she loooves her some overhead squats!

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