Lost your motivation? 3 Steps to regain it.
Lost your motivation? 3 Steps to regain it.
Ever said "I'll start again Monday"? Then it's likely that procrastination is silently killing your dreams. Life's too damn short to wait for motivation to strike. If you're ready to GET SH*T DONE, then read on, as this one's for you. A foolproof guide to show how to regain motivation and quit procrastinating, for good.
Before we get started I’m going to share an unpopular but necessary truth. Pain is a part of life. Spend your life avoiding it and you’ll live with the consequences that follow. Or you can embrace that it’s part of the process and enjoy the fruits of your labour on the other side.
Whether it’s getting out of bed early, staying on track with your nutrition or pushing a little further in the gym, pain is a part of the process to greatness. This principle applies to all areas of life. Work, relationships, studies, mindset, health, fitness or anything you’ve ever wanted. There will be pain in order to reach pleasure, and the same is true when it comes to regaining lost motivation. It won’t be an easy ride, but it will be worth it when you consistently achieve your goals.
The difference between feeling motivated and not, is your relationship with pleasure and pain. The fact is pain is unavoidable, but the level of pain or pleasure we experience throughout our lives is completely up to us.
Waiting for motivation to strike is like waiting for the wind to change, but once you understand the Pleasure Pain Principle and the 3 steps that follow, you’ll be ready to regain your motivation by harnessing the storm built from within.
Pleasure Pain Principle
The Pleasure Pain Principle saved my life. I used it to lose 40 kilos, overcome mental and physical adversity and coach thousands with roaring success.
The idea itself isn’t mine and dates back to around 300 B.C by both Aristotle and also Epicurus stated. In 1789, Jeremy Bentham stated “nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure”. Later in 1895 the creator of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud made reference and is often credited for the principle.
With that said, I’ll save you the time as you’re not here for a history lesson. The take away I uncovered is that there will always be pain in our lives and once understood, the leverage needed to achieve any goal becomes possible.
When I decided to lose weight I saw more pain in staying the same then the pain in taking action. When I looked in the mirror, there was pain. When I imagined the future if I didn’t change, I saw pain. When I saw the action required to change, I saw pain. But when I imagined the future if I did change, I saw pleasure and that’s where I regained my motivation, quit procrastinating and finally achieved my goals.
STEP 1. SET A GOAL.
“You cannot hit a target you cannot see” - Zig Ziggler
Setting goals and becoming focused is the first step to finding your motivation. It needs to be something you can visualise doing or achieving and must be worth being motivated for. You need to ensure your goals are focused on the pleasure you want the goal for and not just the pain of the journey to achieve it.
For someone who’s a smoker, is quitting smoking exciting or for someone who loves fried chicken, is chicken and broccoli appetising? They may be goals but they’re focused in the wrong direction. It’s like trying to move forward while staring in your rear view mirror.
You must be able to visualise the pleasurable future. Consider what you want the goal for, why you want the goal and the pleasure you’ll experience in achieving it.
When setting a goal, consider the following questions:
What do I want? (What is my goal specifically).
Why do I want to achieve it? (Why is it important, what’s the positive intent).
How will I know I’ve achieved it? (Visualise it - what will you see, hear and feel).Now we know the pleasurable future on the other side of pain.
STEP 2. CREATE A PLAN TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL.
How many book a holiday and plan every detail, whether it’s the accommodation, the restaurants, bars or even the finer details like the airport transfer. Yet, how many plan their life goals like this?
A goal without a plan is simply a wish and each goal will need a plan of actions. With each action there will be some short pain or sacrifice. Whether it’s getting out of bed early, staying on track with your nutrition or pushing a little further in the gym, pain is a part of the process and combating procrastination is an essential step. The faster we accept and overcome it, the faster we can enjoy the pleasure on the other side.
To create a plan, consider the following questions:
What do I need to do more of to achieve my goal?
What do I need to do less to achieve my goal?
What do I need to stop doing to achieve my goal?
Now we know the pain we’ll have to endure for the pleasurable future on the other side.
STEP 3. GET LEVERAGE.
When I learned to ride a motorbike, the first thing we were taught was to look in the direction I wanted to go. Don’t look at the asphalt or you’ll end up on it, instead look where you want to go and that’s where you’ll go.
To get leverage and take action, you must know the pleasurable direction you want to go (Step 1) and the pain you’ll have to overcome to get there (Step 2). Now, getting leverage on the pleasure and pain at any moment will be the very difference that makes the difference in your success.
To get leverage, consider the following questions:
What is the long term pleasure of my goals? (Reflect on Step 1).
What is the short term pain of my goals? (Reflect on Step 2).
What is the long term pain if I don’t achieve my goal? (Create Leverage).
Is the goal worth it? (Compare the short pain of Step 2 vs long term pleasure of Step 1.)
Each sacrifice of short term pain is critical to your success in achieving the goal. If you didn’t practise discipline and endure the pain, you wouldn’t experience the long term meaningful pleasure on the other side.
THE NEXT STEP.
If you’re reading this, I want you to be honest with yourself.
Are you delaying some sort of pain by procrastinating? You already get a gold star for coming this far, you’ve set a goal, you’ve created a plan and you’re ready for action.
At any moment you can choose to move towards your goal and with it there will be short term pain on your journey. The choice lay in the preference to endure short term pain so you can continue to experience more pleasure in your life beyond the temporary moment.
The question is now, would you rather avoid pain and therefore experience less pleasure throughout your life or commit to the discipline of short term pain in order to experience more lasting meaningful pleasure?
Knowing exactly what you want is crucial to regaining your motivation and your ongoing success, as experiencing both pleasure and pain in life is unavoidable. Enduring short term pain is the key to a high quality of life and the long term meaningful pleasure that awaits.
So, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to GET SH*T DONE!
This article was written by our Grenade Ambassador, Chris Cannon. Chris is Founder & Head Coach of Life Hub gyms based in Melbourne, Australia. Chris has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom after working within the health and fitness industry for over 15 years.