Why I PEE ON Motivation
I’ve shared with you before that motivation is overrated. In my mind it’s a finite resource, and instead of blaming ourselves for not having enough of it or constantly rallying pep talks, we should take it out of the equation entirely. What if we just said “Piss on you, Motivation. Who needs you?!”
Anything worth calling on your motivation has to have some value to you, amiright? And anything of value comes with a cost. For many of us, our goals are going to cost time, energy, money, sleep, and a whole host of other precious resources. It’s all enough to make even the most noble of goals shrivel up and die, which is why I call on the PEE method when it comes to watering some life into dying devotion.
In other words, “why does this goal even matter?” Here’s a tip. If you come into my office and tell me that you want to lose five pounds to look better in your bikini, I’m probably going to say, “B’bye now”. This may no doubt be a totally legit and authentic burn for you, but you don’t need me in this case. You can pick up a much less expensive SELF magazine at your local grocery store and save yourself a chunk of change and time. I am here for those who know that they have a greater purpose in this world and understand that the vitality of their health and self-confidence is a key ingredient in being their best and giving their best. Most times, individuals don’t exactly know what that purpose is, and that’s just fine. However, when we can make the connection with our health to our values, that’s when the magic happens. No matter what your pursuit, the “why” of your prize has to be bigger than the piece of pie that lies in front of you. There’s a reason I always have a box of tissues in my office. Connecting our goals to an emotional level springs us and our success to life.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years whose first words are “but I hate running” when I mention exercise. You can imagine their confusion when I suggest to them that they should perhaps never, ever consider running. How much more “motivation” does it takes to do an activity that you detest rather than pick from the hundreds of others that are available to help make us fit?!
I remember talking with a friend about a year ago about this very topic, and her retort to me was, “But, Erin, nothing related to exercise sounds fun.” I get it. Then the trick is to make whatever it is that you’ve chosen a little more inviting. For instance, some of you out there plan workouts for yourself that are so 10 years ago (as it relates to your fitness level). It’s not exactly motivating to question whether or not you can finish a workout before you even start. So in this case, maybe dial it down a notch, Turbo. Maybe you don’t particularly love an activity, but you do it with someone you love. Similarly, maybe you make your environment more lovely. For instance, I’ve got lots of clients who DVR their favorite shows and only watch them when they’re working out. Others make special playlists of their fave songs that they save for sweat sessions. And for all of you out there who think you’re going to use that treadmill in the corner of your basement with nothing to look at but the blank cement wall....stop kidding and torturing yourself. It’s not going to happen, nor should it! You’d be better off in this case actually shortening your life with a lack of exercise. Seriously, people.
On the same notion, you should also enjoy your food. I actually enjoy cabbage soup, but I’m not going to eat it every day for the rest of my life! Are you? Similarly, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find this dietitian eating a plain grilled chicken breast. Cue gasp. That notion is about as appealing to me as it is to the chicken. Your food shouldn’t suck. You shouldn’t eat powder if you don’t want to eat powder. Please your plate and your palette with color and texture and flavor. If you don’t, you’re going to feel deprived. And when you’re deprived you’re going to start scavenging for treats because you feel cheated by your eating experience.
Another reason we have to call on willpower and motivation so much is because change is so damn hard. So, duh, let’s make it easier. Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Pack your running shoes. Put your alarm at the other side of the room. Grocery shop and meal prep on the weekend so you’ve got good choices hanging around when you’re tired and hungry during the week. Make it easy to make changes so you’re not calling on willpower.
Again, same thing goes for your food. We need healthy options that are easy. So in light of that, I’m always sharing with readers out of the box ideas to make the whole process of easy eating a little less Jack in the Box. Sign up for my newsletter or check me out on Instagram to stay connected!