‘It’s only Tuesday’ I groan inside my head as I shush my alarm and get out of bed for my workout. On Friday I am so happy when my alarm rings because I don’t have to work out for the next two days. Working out became a regular part of my life 7 years ago and yet, it is still not like brushing my teeth where I am on auto mode or I look forward to it like eating a slice of blueberry cheesecake. It is something I do because I know it is good for me. Like drinking that ‘Kashayam’ that mom gives you when you have a cold- tastes like crap, but you know it has to be done.
But once I am dressed for a workout, the game face comes on and I am so ready to give it my all until I am worn out. Maybe that is why they recommend that people who work from home should get out of their pajamas and get fully dressed because something just turns on in your brain that it’s work time. Even though it is a piece of garment that you throw around you superficially, still it has the power to alter your mood.
This leads us to the next thing that ‘motivation’ doesn’t come most of the time. Inspiration – sure. I am inspired sometimes to write a book, do a podcast, why not be a stand-up comic, be a home decorating diva, ah.. what about baking that Crème Brulee.. I would really love to play tennis….inspiration is cheap as we all know. But for the inspiration to transform into motivation … that takes a long time and sometimes those myriad inspirations die slowly waiting for motivation to follow in their footsteps.
So experts are recommending a simple thing. Skip the motivation part and move to action. That means, that if you are inspired after seeing Milind Soman in his 50s kicking butt ( if I resurrected any images in your head, it’s on you ) and decide that running a half marathon is going to be your goal or reducing 5 kgs or reducing that cholesterol number, skip waiting for the motivation. Just set the alarm. Wake up grumpy and cursing. Wear those shoes with a frown. Strap on those headphones with your favourite playlist ready to go and start running, grumpy. Don’t expect to wake up glowing with motivation. Instead accept that you hate it. It sucks. You would rather sleep. But.. you are going to do it anyway. And when you finish it, you do feel like a million bucks! Because it sucked and you did it anyway ! Anybody can do something that comes easy or is enjoyable – but to do something that is unpalatable, now that is extra special !
So next time inspiration hits you and you decide you WANT TO DO SOMETHING, think about the next action step towards achieving that goal. And set an alarm for it. And just do it. Grudging, crying, groaning… doesn’t matter. You would be surprised how much an ‘unmotivated you’ can accomplish!