What’s Better Than Motivation?
Written by: Brandon Epstein
Have you ever decided to skip the gym after a long day?
How about eating some fast food instead of going home and cooking a healthy meal?
The majority of us can relate to these experiences and in the past, I would attribute these things to a lack of motivation.
If I had a nickel for every time I said, “I’m just not motivated enough to do that,” I would be a man with a big jar full of nickels!
Over the years, I have realized something that has changed the game for me that I believe could be incredibly powerful for you as well.
It’s not about motivation (even though this video does get me pretty fired up).
Feeling motivated is an experience that you can have that temporarily lights your fire, but that fire will eventually fizzle out… because guess what?
All experiences – even motivation – come to an end.
And that’s okay.
In fact, this is wonderfully empowering because, when you realize your ability to make healthy decisions is not about motivation, you realize that you can now take back your power.
You don’t need to watch a motivational video to get fired up to go to the gym or prepare some healthy meals for the week.
All you need to do is develop the habit of consistency.
You don’t need to be motivated to brush your teeth in the morning, do you?
No, of course not! It’s just something habitual that is an autopilot decision.
So, the secret to living a healthy life is to turn all of your healthy habits into autopilot decisions.
Before your mind starts racing with all the habits you want to implement, take a deep breath and think about what is going to give you the greatest return on your energy invested and just pick ONE thing.
Only one thing that you are going to try to habitualize.
The reason so many people struggle with living a healthy lifestyle is because they try to do too much and lose motivation.
It takes 66 days or so to create a habit, so if you can just pick one thing every 66 days, then in a year you could have 5-6 new habits that can stick with you for a lifetime. (Some say 21 days and for some, that can absolutely be true! But don’t beat yourself up if that’s not you… keep going, no matter what.)
Think of the possibilities…
In one year you can habitually prepare your meals in advance and always have healthy food ready for you.
In one year you can habitually exercise daily and have it be a normal part of your routine.
In one year you can be juicing daily.
You get the point.
So, your homework now is to pick one thing. No matter how small – one thing done daily is a win.
Maybe you can start by saying that every day you are going to do 10 push ups (or push ups from your knees). This may evolve into 50 push ups a day and then in the future this may evolve into you going to the gym daily for a full on high-intensity workout.
The important part is that you start building the habit.
Stop trying to motivate yourself to do something new today. Instead, grab your calendar and mark a day 66 days from now and commit to an action that you will take every day for the next 66 days.
It’s going to take discipline now, but if you do it for the full 66 days, you may never need to rely on the fleeting experience of motivation again.
So, what does your next 66 days look like?
Let me know in the comments below and make sure to SHARE this article with someone who you know wants to commit to living a healthier and happier life, but in the past has struggled with motivation. Doing this with a friend or partner helps keep you on track too, so see if you can get someone to join you and create healthy habits together!
Brandon Epstein is a former college football player, turned professional fitness model and serial entrepreneur. These days he spends his time helping people look great and feel awesome over at ZenDudeFitness.com. He can also be found hosting the Zen Dude Fitness Podcast where he’s always looking for new ways to make fat loss fun, simple and efficient for everybody.
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