Doing the Best I Can, Every Day

26 Jun

Motivation.

What a tricky word.  I think a lot of people wait until they have the right “motivation” before they start to change their lives and their habits.  It’s been my experience that I get to a place where I am unhappy, in emotional pain, and I know I need to change.  Once I get to that place, my motivation for changing ebbs and flows.  Within the last 11 months on Weight Watchers, I’ve lost a lot and felt really great and happy, and I’ve plateaued and done basically nothing, feeling totally unmotivated and content with what I have accomplished. 

I guess what I’m saying is that for me, there is no magic amount of motivation that I need.  If I waited to be consistently motivated, nothing would ever change for me. 

What I try to do is ride whatever motivation I have, whenever I have it (case in point: the first few days of doing ANY sort of diet for me, I’m always super gung-ho!).  Then, when that motivation and enthusiasm starts to fade, I try to rely on a few things:

  • Remembering the end goal.
  • Remembering that habits form after several weeks of repeated activity, and striving to create new habits (ie: now abstaining from drinking/eating artificial sweeteners is a habit, and not something I ever struggle with).
  • Telling myself to just get through this ONE DAY of eating well/doing the right things. Breaking it up day by day and only focusing on today is super helpful for me.
  • Trying not to hold myself to too high of standards (this can be very difficult for me).  If my week is truly crazy and I can only get to the gym once or twice, then I let it go and I don’t beat myself up or use it as ammunition to de-motivate myself.
  • I also pray for God to help me be loving and kind to my body today and to act in good health.

For me, it’s not about doing the work when I’m motivated.  The real struggle comes with doing the work when I’m not motivated, and I’d rather eat ice cream and watch movies and go on dates to fancy dinners than cook one more vegetable in the kitchen.  I cannot wait for a magical motivation fairy to sprinkle me with pixie dust — I have to do what I need to, even when I don’t want to.  After all, isn’t that one of the greatest lessons you learn as an adult?  Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.

(That being said, tonight I will make it to the gym for the first time in over a week — motivation or not, you will see me there by 6pm.)

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One Response to “Doing the Best I Can, Every Day”

  1. Seth Cohen June 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Great post. Don’t forget to make action a habit and stay motivated – SDC http://www.sethdcohen.com

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