Getting motivated is not about raw willpower.
Motivation is something we create and we have to take action in order to create motivation.
In this episode, I explain how to get motivated and why we can’t just wait for motivation, especially if we’re living with stress because trying to muster up motivation does not work.
Listen to podcast here (or read down below)
In this episode, you’ll learn…
00:30 A big mistake most people make is that they wait for motivation before trying to get healthy.
01:52 Trying to get motivation by mustering it does not work.
02:11 We gotta take action, even if there’s no motivation.
03:27 When your brain is triggered by stress, whether it’s from internal stress or external stress, you’re going to want to seek pleasure.
05:58 The problem is that if we wait too long, we will be waiting forever and we will never do what we really intended to do.
06:29 You must take action, despite lack of motivation.
08:38 First, we need to invite God into our health journey and ask for his strength.
09:45 The second key ingredient for taking action is that you really need to understand why you’re even going to bother taking that first step to begin with.
13:14 And third, we take small baby steps.
Are you ready to put God at the center of your health journey and to finally achieve your health and wellness goals? Join me every week to learn how!
Links mentioned in this episode:
Get your FREE “What is your Why?” Worksheet in the Healthy Free Life Starter Kit
“I just have no MOTIVATION- no motivation to eat healthy or to work out. I just don’t want to do it.” – a lot of people
“How do I get motivated when I don’t feel like it?”
A big mistake most people make is waiting for motivation before trying to get healthy.
And I get it. Everyone tells you that you just need to motivate yourself, or you just need motivation.
It’s easy to fall into that trap.
Motivation does not come knocking!
Do you think everyone you know or see that is healthy and fit waited for motivation to come knocking on their door before they chose to start eating healthy or working out?
You could actually end up never getting healthy if you hold onto the belief that motivation is required in order to get healthy.
So, how do you start taking steps to get healthy if you have no motivation?
Well, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today because it can be really hard to get motivated when you’re trying to do something that you really don’t want to do.
Lack of motivation is at the top of the reasons why people choose not to get healthy.
So what do we do?
How to get motivated!
Well, here’s what you need to know. I want to give you the truth right up front.
Trying to muster up motivation does not work.
There is no mustering of motivation ever.
So instead, what we need to do is this: (it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow)
You ready for it?
We need to take action.
Yup. Let me say that again. We gotta take action, even if there’s no motivation.
Motivation is created through action.
- It is not something that just happens to you,
- it doesn’t come from the air or sky,
- and it doesn’t come from inside you.
Motivation is created by you. It’s created. It’s an action created by you.
So listen, if you’re struggling with motivation, first, let me tell you why this may be happening. And then we’re going to talk about what actions to take to help overcome this lack of motivation.
We need to first understand what is going on inside of our brain, as it relates to motivation, especially those that have more stress in their lives.
More stress = less motivation.
Lots of things happen inside your body and mind when you are stressed.
Stress ignites the pleasure center of our brain.
It stimulates the reward center of our brain. When our brain is triggered by stress, whether from internal stress or external stress, we’re going to want to seek pleasure.
This is true whether the stress comes from physical, emotional, or mental stressors, or even stressors we may not be aware of like imbalanced hormones or inflammation.
What we reach for in pleasure-seeking moments is something that brings a sense of pleasure to our brain.
If I were to say to you, go find something pleasurable to eat in your kitchen right now. I bet you you’re definitely not going to go look for an apple.
You’re not going to look for a salad and I bet you, you’re not going to look for a drink of water because these things don’t bring instant pleasure.
They bring long-term stress reduction and long-term health and joy and happiness, but not instant pleasure.
When our brain is seeking pleasure, we go for something pleasurable.
- simple carbohydrates like
- bread, chips, cookies, chocolate ice cream.
You get the picture!
Because these are simple carbohydrates, our body quickly gets the sugar into our bloodstream, which then hits our brain, and our brain is like, “Yes, that’s what I was looking for.”
That’s when dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, gets released in our brain and we have the feeling of a high. It feels really good for the moment, but that’s not the end of what’s happening in our brain when it’s under stress.
Our brain also minimizes motivation.
When it’s under stress, it’s like, “Hey, we just need to stop doing anything that’s not critical.”
So if we’re trying to do something that takes some effort, like exercising or making dinner at home after a busy day at work instead of grabbing tasty fast food, we’re going to have decreased motivation to do those healthy things.
Our mind does not see or deem healthy choices as critical.
So now, under stress, we have an increased drive for pleasure, which leads to cravings, and then we have decreased motivation.
Great. So this basically means that we want to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat ice cream- not quite what a healthy Christian would do. So we sit there and we say, “Oh, I just have no motivation.”
And we beat ourselves up.
So then what happens?
We just wait for it. Day after day, week after week, year after year…
We wait for motivation to come and help us do something.
The problem is that if we wait too long, we will be waiting forever and we will never do what we really intended to do.
Years from now, we’re going to look back and regret that we never did that thing, which is to take action, to get healthy.
But there’s hope.
There is a solution.
Motivation does not come to us.
It does not come knocking on our door. We have to create it.
So how do we create it? Well, you must take action, despite lack of motivation.
Let me repeat that.
You must take action, despite lack of motivation.
We have to choose to take action because nothing in and of itself starts with motivation. And when we start taking action with God’s strength, Guess what?
We will wait for the result.
Results get us motivated and keep us there.
It is not the initial motivation that’s going to make us do something.
It’s taking action that leads to a result, which is what’s going to help us want to continue to take action.
And, oh my goodness. It is such a beautiful thing!
When you start working out, it really kind of stinks for the first several days. right? (Okay, really it’s for the first several weeks or maybe even months that it stinks) But then suddenly, at some point, you start feeling stronger. You start having more energy.
You may even start seeing your thighs are smaller and you can see a little bit of muscle forming in your arms.
Then you’re like, “Oh my goodness. It is actually working.”
It’s the day after day of exercising, that eventually leads to the results that you want. And that is what motivates you to stay the course.
You’re motivated because you don’t want to lose the results you have finally gained.
How do we get ourselves to take action, though?
If we don’t have motivation, how in the world do we get ourselves to take that first step?
Here are three key ingredients needed to take action.
>>First, in how to get motivated…
we need to invite God into our health journey and ask for his strength.
I talk about partnering with God in depth in episode two of the Healthy Free Life Show so be sure to go back and dive into that episode if you haven’t already.
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If God has called us to restore his temple, our bodies, (which he has) he’s going to give us the strength to start taking that initial action.
And then he will give us the strength to see it through to completion.
But listen, he’s not going to do the action for us. He’s not going to take that first step for us.
We must take the first action and then we pray.
And then we take the next faithful step and then we pray and then we take the next faithful step.
>>Secondly, how to get motivated…
is to understand WHY we’re even taking that first step, to begin with.
Why is it important to you to take action?
The goal is not to get healthy. The goal is to BE healthy.
That is really what we are after. And why do we want to be healthy? Well, because of all the benefits that being healthy provides, right?
- more energy to do what we love
- have more confidence
- be able to pour out from a place of abundance instead of a place of lack
- fulfill our God-given purpose
- go and do and be all that God created us to be
This is what we are after. This is our prize.
I want to give you a little encouragement out of scripture in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where Paul says,
“Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now, everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
So Paul says, I discipline my body and I bring it under strict control.
It’s encouragement for us because Paul’s motivation is the prize. The prize set before us will fuel our action, too.
And I believe that our prize is our WHY.
Why do we even want to be healthy?
Why does it even matter?
What is your why?
What is the prize that you are after?
Knowing your why is super important, which is why I have included an exercise in the Healthy Free Life Way Starter Kit, to help you to discover your why.
We need to go beyond the outward appearance.
We need to really dig deep and say, “Well, why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want to be free from this disease? Why do I want more energy?”
What will those things help you do?
If you would like me to walk you through, step-by-step, how to get to the root of your why, along with prayers, a seven-day devotional, my Glorious Food List, and so much more, then click here.
You’ve partnered with God. You know your why.
Now it’s time to take the action.
>>>Thirdly, in our how to get motivated efforts…
We need to TAKE ACTION.
Don’t think that you have to start taking some sort of massive action.
We can take small baby steps.
I am totally about baby steps towards health and freedom.
It is the only way that I have ever seen that works long-term.
We need to start by taking one small action and then again, and then another step. We’re going to trust and await the result.
We’ll await that breakthrough, trusting that our action will lead to results.
Our actions are restoring our temple, bringing it back to a place of health and restoration.
Your next step matters.
What is the next step that you need to take today in the right direction towards your motivation- the prize of a healthy free life?
> It could be as simple as eating a glorious food breakfast every morning.
>Or maybe it’s to go drink a glass of water, like right now. You can go pour yourself a glass of water, drink it, and then fill your glass again. Then take continued steps in your day to drink adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated.
You do that today and then you get up tomorrow and you do it again. And then the next day, too.
You trust that as you drink your water day after day, that you’re going to experience all of the positive results of drinking more water, like…
- increased energy
- better bodily functions (I’m a registered nurse. So I can say it. You’re going to have better poops.)
- supple skin
- feeling great
- reduced cravings
Once you have experienced those results, you’re going to become motivated to drink more water.
You will become a water drinker.
No more asking how to get motivated.
Don’t wait for motivation.
Just decide to take one small action.
So, what baby step will you take today towards your healthy free life? Do you see how to get motivated isn’t about raw willpower, but it does take action?
Now it’s time to go and do the thing.
I will leave you with this encouragement from Hebrews 12: 1-2,
“Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Until next time. Bye for now.