Staying motivated

Whether you have read the 7 Keys of Confidence or heard my Truth About Confidence talk, you will know that there is one word (other than confidence) that I talk about….A LOT!

It’s a word many don’t like.
Mainly, I think, because it goes against a part of the brain.
The word is effort and that part of the brain that dislikes this word prefers instant gratification. It wants whatever it wants NOW!

Bit like a toddler.

I’m hungry – what’s the quickest solution?
I’m nervous – what’s the quickest solution?
I’m lonely – what’s the quickest solution?
I’m unhappy – what’s the quickest solution?
I’m uncomfortable – what’s the quickest solution?

and so on and so on!

I get it.
I have that part in my brain too. I know that it is easy to let it take over. It ruled my life for decades.
But now, I have evidence of the power of effort. And well, to do effort takes effort!

Often what we want doesn’t give us instant results. So that part of the brain is unhappy.
Think about getting healthy.
Whatever way you look at it, to get healthy takes effort, and rarely produces instant results.

It takes effort to get to the gym/go for a run/exercise at home.
It takes effort to cook different foods/make different choices.
It takes effort, not only physically to do these things, but mentally too!
Have you ever heard those internal conversations?

‘I want to get healthy’
‘Yeah I know, but it’s cold out.’
‘I know but if we don’t move this body it’s going to get stiffer.’
‘Well going out in the cold won’t help will it!’
‘It will do us good to get out.’
‘It’s meant to be better weather tomorrow, let’s start tomorrow.’
‘Oh OK. Maybe you’re right’

Ever had one of those conversations? I know I certainly have.

Have you ever realised that those conversations take effort too?
Because they are automated and have been happening for some time, we don’t notice the effort and energy we expend on them! Effort and energy that we could be using on something else. Something that could be more helpful in the long term!

A practise that I have found helps me calm my ‘inner toddler’ is to ask myself…
‘What will I gain in the short and what will I gain in the long term?’
‘I’m going to put the TV on’
Short term gain = relax and switch off.
Long term gain = more tiredness and less healthy body.

‘I’m going to do 15 mins of exercise now’
Short term gain = Cold. Feel bit better once body moving.
Long term gain = Develop my fitness levels. Feel happy and healthier body.

This helps that ‘toddler’ part of my brain get on board with the rest of me. She may still linger and kick off and fuss for a while, but having the long term gain as the focus, reminder and guidance is key. It is a key to putting that effort in. To being bothered.
Being bothered for you. Being bothered about you.
Because being bothered about you, for you, also helps that toddler feel loved and cared for. Believe it or not it also helps you build your self confidence too as you start to trust yourself even more.

I wonder what your long term gains are for putting effort in for you this?
Taking those small steps to make the difference for you—the difference that you want to make?
Making the effort to acknowledge what you have got in your life?
I do wonder. Do you?

Keep motivated 2