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Motivation Doesn’t Work!

Four things you can do to make a life change when motivation fails you.

by Sandy Wade

If you’re waiting to start that new healthy lifestyle for when you feel truly motivated, the bad news is you may never feel like it. Motivation doesn’t work.  It’s never there when you need it and it clearly can’t be trusted.  What can we do when we want to make a true life change? Here are four things you can do when motivation fails you.  These key steps helped me shed 45 pounds and these same steps are helping me fight to keep them off. 

White knuckling through another failed diet attempt painfully proves relying on willpower is not the answer.  I speak from experience, years and years of experience.  How many nights did I fall asleep after exclaiming that tomorrow morning everything will change?  I was the queen of starting new diets and new workout plans.  I likely hold the longest record with over three decades of diet do-overs.  I was ready to launch a new perfect plan every two days!  I’m not exaggerating.  I would wake up ready to start this great day of this new healthy life, only to end the day in complete failure.  Broken and disappointed I would begin the cycle again and again. 

According to health.usnews.com, 95% of diets we start fail, and 80% of people with gym membership don’t even use them.  The motivation and personal development business has grown to a $9.9 million industry in 2019, per marketresearch.com.  The truth is motivation doesn’t work!  Just think back to the last ten years of failed New Year’s resololutions! 

Zig Ziglar says, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  Here are four things you can do today to transform your life, especially when you don’t feel like it.

1. Be The Parent

It’s time to be your own parent!  What does that look like?  Parents love you unconditionally and know what’s best for you.  They also make you do things for your own good and often they make you do those things you don’t want to do.  It’s time to dish out some good old fashioned tough love on ourselves!  Loving self-parenting is kind and respectful self-talk.  You expect progress, not perfection.  You encourage yourself by being supportive, rather than by beating yourself up, in an attempt to self-motivate.  You also don’t just let things slide.  You get things done because you feel encouraged and authentically motivated from the inside out.  You shift to problem-solving mode when you get stuck instead of criticizing yourself.  You treat yourself with compassion rather than criticism.  You don’t let yourself off the hook, but you hold yourself accountable.

2. Remember Your Success

Focus on the successes of your past accomplishments.  You’re capable of doing so much more than you give yourself credit for.  We have a tendency to focus on the bad stuff.  If you only think of your failures, you’ll get stuck in a trap of inaction.  Remember how you’ll feel after you’ve done the thing you don’t want to do, such as workout! Focus on the benefits and upsides of doing what you should be doing.  Perhaps you will be in better shape, you will make more money or you will be able to spend more time with loved ones.

3. Failure Is Not Permanent

Life is a journey.  The road to change and transformation is paved with ups and downs.  Success is not a straight upward line but more of a squiggle.  There will be failures along the way.  Remember failure is an event and failure is not a person.  It’s easy to think about failures as permanent things, they are you, but you are not a failure.  You are not a loser.  Things in life go up and down.  Often, the answer to a successful journey is learned from your failures in the past.  The truth is, if you learn from it, it’s not a failure.  Learn what you can and keep moving forward.  Ask yourself what did I learn?  What can I do differently?  What is the hidden opportunity here? 

4. Give What You Need

The best way to get what you want in life is to help others get what they want.  You get back what you give.  If you need motivation, then help encourage someone else.  You’ll ultimately end up helping yourself. Help others with what you want in life and it’ll come back to you.  Lift someone else up and it’ll lift you up.  The golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated, became the golden rule for a reason! 

Life is a result of our choices.  We are all one choice away from a completely different situation, body, relationship, career or life!  You just need to take action.  Get the ball rolling today. If you’re waiting for the stars to align and for all things to be “perfect”, you’ll be waiting for a very long time.  If you wait for all of the stoplights to turn green, you’ll never leave home and start that trip. If you wait until you feel like it, you may never feel like it. Everything will never be perfect.  Waiting for a situation to be perfect leads to years of never starting. 

Make the choice to start and make a choice to focus.  Focus on one day at a time.  Focus on one thing at a time.  You deserve the tough love of a strong parent who only wants what’s best for you.   It’s time to be the parent.  You know what’s best.  Do that thing.  Go to that place.  Apply for that job.  Get out of the relationship that’s not working for you.  Reach out to repair a relationship that is good for you.  Get off the couch.  Go for a walk.  Drink the water.  Eat the salad.  It’s all within your power.  It’s your choice.  We are all one choice away from a completely different life.  Be the adult.  Be the parent.  You deserve some tough love!  Your new life is waiting.

Sandy Wade is an Inspirational Speaker and Mindset Coach.  She’s the author of “The Healing is in the R.A.I.N.,” voted number one new release for Women’s Spiritual Growth on Amazon. Visit her website at Sandywade.net to follow her blog.  Sandy can also be found on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/TheHealingIsInTheRAIN], and on Instagram @Sandy_Wade_writer.

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