As a life coach, I often hear people say they lack motivation.
They have the best goals: they want to live healthier, get organized at home or at work, start a new business or project.
These goals are things they WANT.
And you would say that if you want something really bad, it should be easy to get motivated right?
So why are we not motivated or driven enough to meet our goals? Are we not determined enough? Strong enough?
The way I see it, motivation is like the sap of a tree: it keeps the tree alive and is essential to it.
But that sap is useless if the tree (our objective) is planted in poor, unhealthy grounds.
It’s not our motivation that makes us reach an objective. It rather works the other way around.
When our seeds (goals) are healthy (rightly defined), when our soil (our life and the way we live) is healthy (we know who we are, what we want and have habits that support us) our drive to take action flows effortlessly.
When our goals are unhealthy (wrong goal, wrong timing, wrong setup etc), we have to push ourselves to succeed and we don’t even feel like celebrating when we get there.
So what is an unhealthy goal?
It’s an objective we set for the wrong reasons, or with the wrong attitude.
Losing weight is a great objective. But if we do it because we don’t really like our body, let alone ourselves and we think that losing weight will fix the problem, we are on the wrong track. It is the wrong reason for this goal and it sets us up for failure because we will for sure lose motivation after a while.
It probably also is the wrong goal. Because if we don’t like ourselves, we should probably start with some therapy or coaching in order to take care of our ground. Only when the ground is fertile can we plant a seed.
So here are the real reasons that kill our motivation:
If you plan on going to the gym 3 times a week but also have 3 children to take care of, chances are the gym will automatically get set to the lower part of your priority list.
A red convertible when you can’t even afford a Renault.
Your partner wants you to stop smoking or your parents want you to get that degree.
Rejection versus Respect:
If your objective is rooted in self-rejection (I don’t like myself so I need to lose weight) it is doomed to fail. It needs to come from a place of self-respect.
Should or Must versus Want:
Visit the in-laws more often when you really, really don’t like them.
Afraid of success. Afraid of failure. Afraid of…? Fear means there is a conflict about our objective. And we need to analyse our mixed motives before we can define a clear goal.
Is your goal aligned with who you really are? Great! If it doesn’t feel right, it needs to be changed.
Sometimes we procrastinate a goal because reaching it means that something else, something we don’t want, needs to be done or experienced.
The To Do List of our goal is so long that we get overwhelmed and don’t do anything.
Past failure or bad experiences can make us feel powerless
So looking at the above, the equation is pretty easy:
Motivation = alignment.
Result = what we think we deserve, what we expect, what we are most confident in.
When we lack motivation, some part of us is saying: ‘I don’t want to reach that goal, it doesn’t serve me.’
It’s then time to look at our intention, at the reasons that are keeping us from achieving our goals (see list above). Once we are aligned again, have clearly defined our objectives, we will see that procrastination is no longer an issue.
And sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, relax, and stop loading too many goals on our plate! 🙂