Motivation vs Determination

Standing Mat Series: The Saw

I think that it is fairly safe to say we would all love to wake up feeling bright and bubbly at 5am, take ourselves to the gym, carry on our merry way to work to have an amazing day, then when we get home take the dogs for a walk and cook an amazing meal for ourselves before chilling out for a while, then tucking ourselves in for the land of nod. Yah?

WELL – that may happen quite easily for some, but that person ain’t me. I would love nothing more than for that to be me (except I’d like to swap the 9-5 out in the next year so I can follow my calling in this realm instead of corporate – maybe you would like that too – don’t you worry, we will get there). Don’t get me wrong, my alarm does go off at 5am, but then I snooze for 9 minutes, then maybe I snooze for another 9 minutes, and then SOMETIMES I even snooze again. Leaving me with a measly half an hour to fit in my session along with everything else I so enthusiastically added to my morning the night before (need to wash your hair, anyone?), before having to get ready for work. I’m an awesome procrastinator when I want to be… it’s really an unwanted talent and I’d happily offload it to the lowest bidder.

What frustrates me about this, is that I used to be extremely committed to my training. I would go before or after work, rain, hail, or shine. I got my results and I maintained, I felt great when I saw my reflection and felt good sticking to my plan. I do remember the day it got thrown off kilter I think; it was when we were living in Wodonga. It was winter. We got up early every day to go to the gym together, it was pitch black. And I just said to Isaac in one particular day, ‘I am so sick of this routine’. He agreed, it was pretty monotonous. But being in the jobs that I have been (office-dwelling), I haven’t had too much choice in the matter because I don’t get to move around much during the day, and a strict 60-minute lunchbreak wasn’t quite enough to drive to the gym, train, shower, and drive back to work.

Here comes the lesson in this madness – sometimes being motivated just doesn’t cut it. Sure, in the peak of motivation you can commit to all you like, but when the motivation wains are you really going to see it through? If you want it enough, you will. THAT is determination, my friend, commitment. Not motivation. Motivation is great for kicking things off, but if you want those results you’ve got to stay committed to the plan, long term.

My motivation comes in ebbs and flows, mostly thanks to a new daily routine which I’m still getting used to, so sometimes it leaves me tired and with less ‘spare’ time than I’d like. But I am committed. On the days where I don’t haul ass out of bed at 5am, I do what I can in the morning, then add an extra walk in at lunchtime, then do a full session of Pilates or HIIT when I get home. Just yesterday when I got home I didn’t feel energised, but I also didn’t feel like sitting inside all evening after being inside all day, so I went for a quick 5km bike ride. It’s honestly that easy (though it totally sounds sucky when you’re not feeling motivated, I know…).

Here are my tips for sticking to your goals;

  • Write it down! (We have a little whiteboard in our kitchen with our wedding date written on it, then each day I’ve got written out what movement I’d like to commit to)
  • Reach out to your besties and ask them to help keep you accountable (I had friends who used to literally message me multiples times at 5am and tell me to get the eff up)
  • Remember that just because you FEEL like you HAVE to do something, you don’t actually HAVE to do anything. Sometimes a break is just what the doctor ordered. And sometimes just knowing that you’re no obligated, makes you feel more inclined to do it (like when you were younger and you were going to help with the dishes, but then your Dad tells you ‘you HAVE to do the dishes tonight’, so then you purposely don’t do them until the next day… anybody else? No? Just me? Ok I guess I was a b*tch… sorry Dad)
  • Keep the self-love pumping! Just because you’re working on improving a certain aspect of yourself doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love as you are!

Long story short, motivation is great, but commitment and determination will get you where you need to go. This is relevant for pretty much everything in life, not just your fitness, but your other goals too. For example if I wasn’t determined to live an amazing life full of adventure, then I would let my fears stop me from getting on the plane every dang time (this did happen once, it was horrible, I had a panic attack on the tarmac and went & cried in the airport toilets for about an hour). I’ll never forget how sad I felt for missing out on my planned surprise visit to see my family, and I’ll never let myself wimp out again.

And ps. once you get your fitness routine sorted you’re 110% likely to find your mental health improves tenfold too, which will make it that much easier to keep it going. Why not start with 20-minutes of Pilates a day? You can take me with you wherever you go; the spare office at work, the park, the gym, I’m all yours!

Physical fitness is the first prerequisite of happiness.

Joseph Pilates

A xo

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