**If you would like to listen to this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the audio version.
I get a little fired up after hearing this. Usually, people say this phrase to me like it is something they can’t change.
Motivation doesn’t magically drop in your lap. Motivation isn’t a gift that can be given.
Motivation comes through hard work. The hard work of sticking to what you planned and reminding yourself why you started in the first place.
The hard work of managing your brain.
Here is a little secret. I am personally writing this blog for me. My goal is to get myself fired up again.
The other day, I heard myself say, “I lost my motivation.”
I know it’s not really “lost”. I know how to find it.
But finding it and bringing it back takes HARD WORK (you know, what I said above…).
Lately, I have been falling into bad habits. The plans that I make, I have not been following through on. I’m getting REALLY good at making excuses as to why I have to change my plans or what prevented me from following through with them.
The real reason….
I’m not taking the TIME to focus on the reason I started, and I’m not creating the desire I need to follow through.
You know I love me some Google definitions. The word motivation has two definitions:
I want to blend these two together. Motivation to me is, the reason that creates a desire to do something.
Let’s look at a real-life example: Most people are overweight because they consume more fuel than their body needs. If you want to lose weight you need to stop over eating so your body uses fat for fuel and not food.
My first suggestion is writing down everything you are going to eat 24 hours in advance. Why? Because we never PLAN to over eat. So, if we have a plan AND follow through on that plan, it shouldn’t be a problem to lose weight and use fat for fuel.
You decide that this is the course of action you plan on taking. Unfortunately, you don’t feel motivated to take action. What do you do next?
First things first, you need a compelling reason.
Answer these questions to find YOUR compelling reason.
Here are some possible answers:
Now that is a compelling reason to follow your plan.
The next step in motivation is to create the desire to follow through.
Here is the deal. I believe we have a limited amount of desire. We get to choose where we put that desire, but we need to choose wisely. Are you going to use your limited amount of desire on food or on your connection with your family? Are you going to use it on watching Netflix or studying God’s word?
Where do you want to put that desire?
All of those examples above create pleasure in some form. God wants us to experience joy and fullness in this life, but we need to be careful what kind of pleasure we are seeking most.
I suggest that you look at the net consequence (good or bad).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
See, you get a large hit of dopamine (the pleasure hormone) when you eat a bowl of ice cream. It creates a response in your brain that wants you to seek out more. The more ice cream you have, the more fat you will accumulate on your body. The fat accumulation leads to a whole host of health problems. This would create a net NEGATIVE consequence.
On the other hand, you get a smaller, more subtle dopamine hit when you take the time to spend with your family. The response will be more drawn out, but last longer. From this pleasure you will create deeper connections and lasting relationships. This would create a net POSITIVE consequence.
God wants us to live a full life. A life full of joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23).
“Everything is permissible for me” –but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” –but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6: 12
Let me bring this back around. You figured out your compelling reason to get you started. Now you have to create the desire to follow through. At first creating the desire is hard. You have to be intentional. You have stay focused on the net consequence. You have to make a commitment that doesn’t allow you any excuses or justifications.
You have to learn to desire God’s way more than your own.
Well, the only way I know how to do that is through the study of His word, prayer and taking the time to manage your brain so that you can create consistency in your day in and day out decisions.
How does this look in my everyday life? First it starts with Him. Then it is making a plan. Next it is sticking to my plan. When I don’t want to stick to my plan, it is telling myself that the evil one is just trying to destroy me and I’m not letting that happen today.
Remember, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” He’s really good at stealing, killing and destroying motivation if you let him.
Don’t let him.
Go work for that motivation. Get it back and show him.
“I will do what I can when I can, so that when I cannot, I will not wish I would have when I could have.” – Dabo Swinney
Motivation is tricky. It is here one day and gone tomorrow. Let me help you learn to not rely on motivation. Instead, learn how to trust God and manage your brain. Sign-up for a FREE 45-minute coaching session with me here to learn how.