“How do you get motivated every day?” “How do you STAY so motivated??” Two Q’s I’ve been getting the longest in my life – probably thanks to the admittedly-obsessive need to achieve and produce and hustle and create that marked a good 3/4 of my life thus far. HA. Working on it. 😉
As any of you hanging out with me on Instagram Stories know by now, I’ve been battling another bout of pneumonia this month, and it’s been a buzzkill if I’m being honest (as I always am). Beyond the annoyance – and pain – from chronically coughing for nearly two months straight, I’m currently in a last ditch effort to fully heal that includes resting from my workouts that had become so regular. I was talking to J this weekend about how easy it can be to “fall off the wagon” of a regular workout routine when you’re not, you know, regular and routine with it. Even one week off has me feeling full body effect; I’m less energized and just more blah, beyond not feeling as strong or toned as I do on days when I’m intentionally moving those muscles.
But even beyond that, I’m really seeing the domino effect in play.
On workout mornings, I had gotten so accustomed to waking up, changing, getting Olivia off to preschool, then heading into the garage to sweat. The snowball effect impacted the rest of my day after that; after downing a protein smoothie and getting ready, I’d eat better overall, I’d drink more water, I’d feel more focused and alert, making my entire workday more productive and peaceful…the list goes on.
The biggest misconception with motivation is that its the predecessor for anything else productive.
Motivation doesn’t come before you start. It comes FROM starting.
It comes from putting one foot in front of the other and realizing you’re walking – and keeping it up until you can run. Most people don’t just wake up motivated – momentum makes motivation.
You might start with lacing up sneakers and throwing on some Lululemon – but then you take a step. Then another and another, then you’re running – and suddenly, 30 minutes have gone by, your endorphins are pumping, your skin is glowing, your body is sweating, and your entire day, body, and mood has upleveled. You can keep going, not because you woke up feeling something, but because you woke up, chose something, and made it happen.
Outside the workout world, this applies to literally anything + everything.
My favorite to-do list hack is a bit “backwards” according to many so-called productivity experts: but my own reasoning is equally scientific. 😉 Most folks say to start with biggest + hardest thing on your list first – it’s called “eating the frog” and claims to reduce your stress levels for the rest of the day since your most pressing, challenging task will be knocked out first while energy levels or focus may be strongest.
I don’t know about you, but I, for one, like a little warmup. I know that I actually have higher focus AND energy levels if I knock a few smaller, maybe less important tasks out first so that I see a few things crossed off already, get on a roll and in a groove, and feel – wait for it – more motivated.
Because momentum makes motivation.
It’s a lot harder to stop a moving boulder than it is to push it from standstill. It’s been a literal LAW since 1687: “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion.” But even more significantly (+ importantly for us) is the rest of that Law, which says “a body in motion will remain in motion – unless it is acted upon by an external force.” The dudes in Galilean times used to think that if something’s “natural state” was to be at rest, it would simply return to rest after moving. But intuitively, it was easy to soon figure out this whole inertia thing – that something had to actually step into play as force against it to slow it down or stop it altogether, otherwise its momentum could make it keep on keepin’ on.
Once you’re in motion, it’s a helluvah lot harder to stop. So just get going and let the laws of physics take over. 😉