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Let’s Forget About Motivation…

Last night I spoke at a panel event in London hosted by Marie Claire magazine and Fabled Beauty. The discussion was all about wellness for both mind and body, specifically how to maximise your energy. I joined life coach, Nikki Armytage – Foy, & Co- Founder of Balanced Me Beauty, Rebecca Hopkins. The discussion was lead by Editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, Trish Halpin.

One of the questions that Trish asked me was;

‘Do you ever have days when you can’t face hitting the gym or going for a run?
How do we motivate ourselves on those kind of days, and also when we’re
just too busy to do it?’

So, of course I started off by saying ‘Yes, we all have those day.’ but then I started to think about this idea that we need to feel motivation in order to take action.
Often, I talk about motivation, how to initially find it and then how to keep it. Essentially I do my best to consistently encourage and to motivate others. Ironically, I’ve realised that motivation isn’t very useful at all. Motivation comes and goes. Motivation is never there when you need it the most. Motivation alone is not enough. But that’s okay because you don’t need to feel motivated in order to take action.

Personally, if I waited until I felt motivated to go for a run, I would probably run once each week. Right now I’m training for a marathon, so I need to run four times each week.  I know that I won’t always feel super motivated, so instead I accept that I will need to be disciplined. Once you frame that expectation for yourself, it’s much easier to stick to your workout plan.

I hear a lot of people use the phrase ‘Listen to your body’. It’s easy for us to use this as an excuse when we’re not really feeling up to it. Of course I am not suggesting that you train if you are either ill or injured, but I believe that ‘listening to your body’ has become a bandaid.
If you truly want to listen to your body, it cannot just be when it suits you. For example, if you are tired and lethargic in the afternoon, the you may need to go to bed earlier, ditch the caffeine and focus on prioritising sleep for a few days. Listening to your body is really quite simple, but we ignore it again and again until the time comes to going out for a run. Suddenly we are so tuned in to how we feel and what our body has to say.

Have you ever thought that actually your mind is the master of your body. We know that our minds are incredibly powerful, yet often we let our bodies take the steering wheel. My personal struggle is sugar! I love all things sweet. Literally, the sweeter the better! I will say things like ‘I crave sweet things’ or ‘I’m addicted to sugar’. So, I recently started training myself to remember that my mind is the master of this body. I don’t have to give in to my feelings, cravings and my excuses. Sugar is bad for my teeth, it gives me spots and it effects the quality of my sleep. Bottom line is, it’s not good for you. (*shock & surprise) The same goes for anything that requires discipline. We already know what we should / shouldn’t do but there is a small step between knowledge and action.

I guess it would have been easy for to answer Trish’s question by saying, ‘We all have those days when we don’t feel motivated, it’s okay to skip your workout when you don’t feel like doing it, don’t worry about it.’ but I had to be honest, as I wanted the ladies listening to know that, motivation is kind of irrelevant. It may help to get you started but pretty soon you’re going to need a lot more than that to help you tackle your goals and achieve success.

So, let’s forget about finding motivation and let’s make the decision to take action.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, as always you can hit me up on social media @adrienne_ldn 

Thanks for having me @MarieClaireUK & @FabledBeautyCo

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