Usually what I hear is some version of apology or embarrassment for what they are eating (especially if we’re at a luncheon), some assumption that I must eat perfectly, or just a general “what the heck is that?”
But far and away one of the most frequent things I hear from the women I talk to is, “I know what I should do, but I just can’t stay motivated.”
I totally get it. For years I struggled with that very thing. I’d make frequent promises to myself to start fresh (especially on a Monday), get motivated, stick to the “healthy eating” plan, work out 5 times a week, etc. etc. But it wasn’t long – like maybe a few days at best – before I gave in to temptation, skipped the gym, ate the cookie (which turned into the whole bag), and deemed myself miserably deficient in willpower.
In order to understand why you can’t stay motivated (as a verb), we need to look at two things:
First, we need to explore your motivation (as a noun). In other words, your reason for doing the thing you are trying to stay motivated to do.
For example, if your motivation for eating healthy is to lose weight, that’s great, but you need to look a little deeper. What is your motivation to lose weight? Is it to prove to others that you are lovable, to earn approval, or because you’re afraid of being rejected or judged? If so, it’s highly likely you’ll self-sabotage.
So why does this happen?
This brings us to the second factor to consider – and that is your inspiration.
As I always tell my clients, there’s a subtle but powerful difference between motivation and inspiration.
Motivation is a pushing energy, it’s willing ourselves to DO something. It’s exerting effort, force, or pressure on a situation in order to GET something.
Inspiration is a pulling energy. It’s that juicy, tingly, buzzy feeling that draws you forward into a new EXPERIENCE, with very little effort required.
And what makes the critical difference between the two is this – your SOUL.
Just think of the definition of “inspired” – meaning “filled or imbued with Spirit.”
Your Soul knows that you are perfect, whole and complete. That you are lovable and valuable with or without that 5 lbs. That your body is perfectly capable of fulfilling its purpose (to be a vehicle for love, service and creativity in the world) right now, today, regardless of your dress size.
If the reason beneath your goal is not aligned with your Soul, motivation can only take you so far before self-sabotage sets in. Think of it as your Soul’s little reality check.
And how do you know if a goal is aligned with your Soul? It would give you the experience of more life. More life for you and more life to all. And example of this when it comes to losing weight might be more freedom to move with ease through the world.
If you really want to make a change in your life, you must be connected with your INSPIRATION.
Lightening up so you can ride a bike with the wind in your hair on a sunny day with pain-free knees… Inspiring.
Shape shifting your body to avoid judgement… Not inspiring.
Feeling strong, vibrant and energized and honoring your body temple through healthy food… Inspiring
Fixing yourself and your sugar addiction… Not inspiring. Implies you’re broken. Which you’re not.
See what I mean?
So before you commit to any goal, I encourage you to ask 3 new questions:
1. Do you really even want this? Is this YOUR deep desire, or just a “should” based on someone else’s opinion? Maybe you’re perfectly happy and healthy eating bread and cheese. (The French do it every day!) Just because the latest diet expert said you should cut it out doesn’t mean it’s true for you. Maybe what your Soul is really hungry for right now is not another restrictive diet, but some freedom to enjoy life as you are.
2. Assuming the answer to #1 is a yes, is the reason for wanting to make this change aligned with your SOUL? Go deep here, what’s the REAL reason you want this goal? In your secret thoughts, what are you imagining it will give you? Is it in alignment with the fundamental truth that your soul knows? Does the reason move you closer to or farther away from this truth?
3. What would INSPIRE you to create this change? How is it that you really want to FEEL and in what ways will that give you the experience of more life for yourself and bring more life to all?
If you can’t find a truly inspiring reason for the goal, be willing to let it go and set a new goal that’s in alignment with what your Soul is really asking for.
Then allow that to pull you forward!