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The Truth about Motivation

Photo by @anniespratt

One of my intentions for the New Year is to build the habit of meditation. I have had phases in my life where I’ve been more consistent with a practice of meditation, and so I appreciate the benefits – I sleep better and feel more present, balanced, and less harried when I am more mindful. Thus far (6 days in!) I’ve had resounding success in sticking with my new habit – I’ve completed a short, guided meditation each morning. But, given my understanding of the human brain (and my 44 years of lived experience with said human brain), I am quite certain that the novelty will wane and I’ll feel less motivated as time goes on.

I am similarly quite certain that your brain will experience the same trend as you work on your goals and habits – your motivation will inevitably wane.

But here’s the secret.

You don’t need motivation to take action.

In fact, oftentimes it's the opposite - you take action first and your motivation grows as a result.

Think about it this way: motivation is exceedingly unlikely to strike when you’re sitting around feeling uninspired. Waiting for motivation is a fool’s errand.

Instead, start by taking action. With even just a small first step you’ll begin to see progress – and that progress is a powerful motivator. Whether it's making a plan, setting up a schedule or a routine, researching a topic, or simply completing the first step of a larger a project, getting started is the hardest part. But once you begin seeing progress, you'll find that your motivation builds and keeps you going.

I have a plan to help me keep taking action towards building my habit of daily meditation, even when I’m not feeling motivated; I’ve set a reminder on my phone, downloaded an app that provides a new guided meditation each day, and convinced my hubby to meditate with me so we can keep each other accountable.

How will you create systems or structures that allow you to keep taking action towards your goals, even when you’re not feeling motivated?

Don’t wait for motivation to strike – instead, create motivation with action.


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