Do you lack the motivation to workout? And when it comes to prepping meals do you lack the desire to get your ass in the kitchen? Are you sitting there waiting for motivation to hit you?
If that opening headline described you, then I'm sure you know all too well that the motivation to workout or prep meals rarely materialises out of thin air.
How many times have you sat on the sofa saying to yourself,
"I'll just watch the end of this and THEN I'll go to the gym."
Or maybe it's something like,
"I'm just not in the mood to cook. I don't feel like it today. I'll get up and do it first thing in the morning."
Deep down in your heart of hearts you know you're just kidding yourself. The end of that TV show will come and you won't budge an inch from that warm and comfortable sofa.
And as for the cooking, well tomorrow comes but the meals you promised yourself you'd cook never materialise.
But so what? One day off from the gym is fine isn't it? You even tell yourself it'll do you some good. And you can always pick something up from work for lunch, so no great shakes there either.
Well, the reality isn't that simple. That afternoon spent whiling away a few hours ploughing through the box sets on Amazon Prime isn't an isolated incident is it? And I bet you've skipped that meal prep more than once before.
Where does this all lead?
Ultimately, it leads to you going off track and, in some cases, it leads to you never even getting off the starting blocks. You've false started and got yourself thrown out of the race before the gun sounds.
Those visions you have of that ripped and toned beach body seem a distant dream now.
What's the root cause?
The root cause of the problem is that you think Motivation = Action. You believe that a wave of motivation to workout is going to hit you like a Tsunami, washing all those good vibes over you And making you spring into life and start chasing those goals.
The principle of motivation leading to action is flawed. And in this article I'll tell you why and what you can do about it to put yourself into a different mindset. You'll be moving forward with a new level of motivation to workout that you didn't think was in you.
The Issue with the Motivation = Action concept
You might think that this concept is a sound one. You've probably even experienced it yourself in the past.
Something triggers you into action. Maybe it was that New Years' Resolution in 2017 when you said to yourself that all junk food is out and the health kick starts as soon as the 1st January hits.
And sure enough when you flip over the first page on your new calendar you have the drive and you have the motivation to workout. The junk food that's littered throughout the kitchen cupboards gets cast asunder and replaced with a plethora of healthy foods that would be at home in a rabbit hutch or in a birdcage.
But what happens after a few weeks of that? Do the old habits creep in and start to take you off plan? Is the motivation to workout you had starting wane and wither like a rotten tomato on the vine?
And then what? Well this time you say to yourself that when your birthday comes around in a couple of months you're gonna get started again and get back on the wagon.
And so the cycle continues.
My issue with this approach is that it's passive. You are making a decision to wait for the motivation to workout to strike before doing something. You expect miracles to happen TO you, like you have some divine right and privilege.
When it doesn't come or you go off track, then you wait again. You wait for that spark of desire to come crashing down like a bolt of lightning out of the blue.
I'm sorry to burst your bubble on this one, but there is no divine right and that miracle isn't going to walk up and introduce itself to you. Those doors are not going to open themselves for you to walk through.
Waiting for the turn of the page on the calendar to make a start on chasing your goals is ludicrous. Whether it's the 1st January or the 27th October, the right time to start is right the fuck now!
You're allowing yourself to be guided by feelings and not what you know you SHOULD be doing! You allow yourself to cave in to feeling slightly tired and not wanting to hit the gym. You don't 'feel' like cooking today.
Not much will ever get done if you let yourself slip into the mindset of being governed by your feelings.
Action = Motivation. The mindset shift
This is how you need to start thinking about your dreams, visions, and goals.
They will not happen without you taking action. It's by far the most important thing you can do to progress to where you want to be.
Don't wait for the motivation to workout to consume you, take action.
And I'll be honest with you. Sometimes you're going to have to be doing things that you don't want to do. And certainly things you don't feel like doing. But if they're the right things, then get in the mindset of making them happen. In the long-run this is what will lead to your success.
The choice you need to make is this...
Do you take the short-term pain for long-term happiness? Or do you avoid that short-term pain, allow yourself to be governed by how you feel and prolong (and possibly never achieve) what you truly want?
It's that simple.
Let's imagine for a second that you're sat at work at 4.30pm on a Monday afternoon. You're waiting for 5 o'clock to roll around so you can get the hell outta dodge. But it's been a long day already. You're feeling a bit tired and the thought of hitting the gym for a date with the iron does not seem that appealing to you right now.
The old you would wait for the pull to go to the gym. You'd wait until you 'felt' like it. What usually happens in this scenario is that you drive home, deliberately bypassing the gym. And as you do so there's a million and one excuses running through your head that justify that decision.
"It would've been a rubbish work out anyway."
"I'm tired and I want to give it my all, so I'll just go tomorrow."
"One day off won't kill me. In fact rest days are just important as training days."
If anything even remotely akin to those 3 sentences has gone through your head in recent weeks, then you need to listen up right now.
What you should do...
What you SHOULD have done is taken a 'push' approach rather than a 'pull'. Instead of waiting for that mystical gravitational pull of the gym to steer your car in the right direction, you should just force yourself to pull up in the car park. Force yourself to set foot through the door. Sit down on that bench and force your ass to work.
And guess what will happen? Those endorphins will start rushing through you and you'll wonder what all the doubt was for. In fact, when you finish in the gym you feel on a high and super-psyched about being one step closer to your goals.
Low and behold that motivation is now back and the fire is burning stronger than ever.
The action caused that spark of motivation. And when that ball started rolling it just wouldn't stop. Your motivation to workout will be like the rolling stone in the Temple of Doom gathering pace.
Now let's look at that example of you planning your meals and making the effort to cook them. You didn't feel like slaving away in the kitchen for a couple of hours, so you chose the easy option and opted to veg out in front of the TV.
But this is the new you. And the new you takes action. So what do you do differently?
Well this time the first step is to get in the kitchen. Then JUST START! Prep the onions, peel the vegetables, whatever it maybe, just get that ball moving as soon as possible. Before you know it you'll have 10 Tupperware containers filled with delicious food, ready to keep you on track with your plan for the whole of the week.
Motivation to Workout - What's the big takeaway?
Execute. Execute. And Execute Again.
That's what matters. Heck, that's ALL that matters.
Action is the catalyst for all things. It's not only applicable to going to the gym and prepping food. It's a concept that will work throughout every aspect of your life.
When you don't feel like doing something that you know you should, start small and get the momentum and motivation going. It's guaranteed to lead to great things.
As the old Chinese proverb goes,
"The journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step," Lao Tzu.
Motivation to Workout - The inspiration for this article
Everyone has those epiphany moments in their life. The moments where things just start to click in to place. That penny drops from on high, zig zags its way down the shoot until it hits the jackpot.
I've had a few of them over the years, but the reason why I'm writing this blog right now is because I had another one of those moments a few months ago.
Sitting at home flicking through some YouTube videos, I stumbled across a keynote speech by a charismatic New Yorker, named Gary Vaynerchuk. Within seconds the words coming out of his mouth hit me like a Mike Tyson right hook to the jaw!
His address was about social media and business and how to grow your presence online. I found it so engaging that I proceeded to spend far too many hours of that day devouring as much of his content that I could. You can check it out on his YouTube channel right here...
I went straight to Amazon and bought his books and audiobooks immediately.
Check them out here...
Since that day, I've followed him on Instagram where his advice and motivational quotes continue to strike a chord deep within me.
If I had to describe the one thing about what he says that resonates with me the most I would say it's the notion of execution.
Plans are great, but they're worth nothing if you don't execute them. It's important to have dreams and goals, but unless you put in the work that's all they'll ever be.
I've taken that advice to heart and Gary's influence now crops up throughout most things I do. Whether that's business related, fitness related, or something related to my personal life.
My productivity with Iron Paradise Fitness is hitting new heights as I execute more and more each week.
And ultimately I hope this article inspires you to take action too. Because I want you to take ownership and control of your fitness goals. After all your goals will not come to you. You need to go to them!
Using the Approach in Your Training and Nutrition Programme
I hope the concept in the article has struck a chord with you and inspired you to start taking action and control your journey to your goals.
Action = Motivation is a concept that I look to incorporate with my 1:1 training clients. When there is a dip in motivation, which happens to us all every once in awhile, it's a technique I use to get things back on track. The beauty of it is in its simplicity and the fact you can break down a complex task or problem into little baby steps.
It works incredibly well with other two aspects of my Lean Life Blueprint Online Coaching Programme, training and nutrition. Married together, the three elements of the programme provide an effective, proven, simple to apply and understand training methodology.
As Hannah talks about in the video below, the programme has transformed her life. And it can do the same for you.
The LEAN LIFE BLUEPRINT is my personalised, uniquely tailored complete fitness programme that is built on the foundation of strength-based training. I personally create every training and nutrition programme from scratch, based on your circumstances, likes and dislikes.
If you want to find out more about the programme, me, and how online coaching can accelerate your progress to a leaner, healthier, badass body then click the button below for more information. Because it's time to get in the best shape of your life.