the general desire or willingness of someone to do something
the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
I was just interviewed for a podcast and I was asked to share three fitness tips for the listeners. I had to include a tip about motivation because it’s such a common struggle. I also think it’s misunderstood.
This post will expand on the topic of motivation - or lack thereof - when it comes to fitness. And hopefully help you get more of it.
“I don’t feel motivated.”
Yeah, it does to me too. I catch myself thinking this thought on the regular. For me, it doesn’t cross my mind too often when it comes to working out. But there are pleeeeenty of other things that I just don’t feel motivated to do.
I never feel motivated to pay my quarterly taxes or pick up someone from LAX during rush hour. I never feel motivated to floss or put gas in my car or clean Sheba’s litter box or refill my ice cube trays.
According to the first bulletpoint of the definition, my motivation’s low. I have a low desire and even less willingness to do these things. This part of the definition is all about a feeling - a feeling of desire and a feeling of willingness. So, when we don’t feel motivated, it can be paralyzing. Thankfully, there’s more to the concept of motivation; a second definition that goes beyond feelings.
Remember the movie “Dumb and Dumber” with Jim Carrey playing Lloyd Christmas? There’s a memorable scene in which he professes his love to Mary and wants to know if he has a shot.
Lloyd: “What the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together? … What are my chances?”
Mary: “Not good.”
Lloyd: “You mean not good like 1 out of 100?”
Mary: “I’d say more like 1 out of a million.”
Lloyd: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!”
The chances of me feeling super motivated to do one of the stupid things I hate to do is about 1 in a million. But instead of giving up and seeing a 1 in a million chance as certain defeat, I can look at it like Lloyd does and see that little speck of chance as my opportunity to act.
But the only way I can have hope when the odds are stacked highly against me is if I have - like the second bulletpoint of the definition states - a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Lloyd has an important reason; love.
I have important reasons too, like avoiding root canals, the IRS, and a house full of cat poop, to name a few.
In the entrepreneur world, we refer to it as our WHY.
Our higher purpose.
Our ultimate reason.
There has to be a payoff that's worth it.
It’s the driving force behind everything we do. And it’s what inspires and propels us to do the things we don’t feel like doing.
So, if you’re sitting around waiting to feel motivated to work out, you’ll probably be waiting a while. It’s hard to be willing to do something we don’t really like doing. And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t really like working out, here’s my advice.
Accept that there’s a 1 in a million chance you’ll FEEL motivated to work out, and start focusing on your WHY. Write down a few meaningful reasons.
Maybe you want to have freedom of movement to chase your grandkids. Maybe you want to run your first marathon at age 60 like my mom did. Or maybe you want to have energy to show up in a positive way for your clients. It doesn’t matter what the reason is as long as it resonates with your heart and is important to you.
So, if your chances of feeling fitness motivation are 1 in a million, I’m here to tell you…
There’s a chance.