The Battle of Motivation vs. Habit

Is motivation the real thing that gets people to change? That’s something I’ve had to think about for a while. I brought it down to real life.

How often do I feel motivated to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, or cook? For me, that answer is, “rarely”. How often do I feel motivated to make healthy choices or exercise. Again, my answer is, “rarely”. Now you might want to just call me lazy, and you might be mostly right :).

The fact is, with the exception of feeling more comfortable in a clean house and not embarrassed when people stop by, or feeling good about my health because of exercise and a good diet, these sorts of things don’t really cause me a lot of joy.

I cook because my family likes to eat LOL (don’t tell them that…although I’ve told my husband on numerous occasions that I could give up cooking forever and it wouldn’t bother me a bit!), yet I continue to do all of these things daily.

The thing I’ve had to do in my life because of the lack of motivation, is to develop good habits.

When you make a good habit into a daily habit, it changes who you are.

“You are the culmination of your habits.”

Exercise, as I mentioned above, is a perfect example of something that I wanted to change.

You see,  when it comes down to it, motivation is a myth. How do I know that? Because even if you’re motivated for a while, it wears off.

It’s not just you or me. Did you know that even after an athlete consistently trains for years and years, most of them only feel motivated to work out half the time?

A habit is something you do automatically,  and that’s what athletes do. They train whether they feel like it or not. It’s just a part of who they are.

You can set goals for yourself, and setting goals will help a lot, but there will never be a permanent change unless you learn how to make them a habit in your life.

The real struggle with changing bad habits into good ones, is to figure out how you can convince your brain to make permanent habits that will bring lasting change to your body and health.

If someone could make you change your habits so that you enjoy making healthy choices and exercise, they would have hit the jackpot!

What are your best tips to change a habit, so that it doesn’t matter whether you’re motivated to accomplish the task or not?

For me, I have to write the task down, and put it somewhere where I can see it constantly. For me, that’s the dining room table at the place where I usually sit. Now that’s not earth shattering, but since I also sit there to work on my computer, I see my list often through the day. Maybe you need to set an alarm on your phone. Maybe you have a certain person that you do things with on a regular basis, so seeing them reminds you of that goal you need to accomplish every day.

Whatever it is, you need to have something that makes you do what you set out to accomplish every day, until it becomes a part of your life, and you need to do it to feel accomplished.

To good habits for life!
Deborah Leaverton

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