My problem with motivation

How often have you started a new project but not finished it?

You have an idea. You are full of motivation, enthusiasm and passion. You are putting plans into action and it feels exciting. But slowly that initial motivation wains and that project that only recently filled you with excitement and drive, now feels like a chore.

You probably give up all together. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

The problem is that motivation is a state of mind. And relying on motivation to do something implies that you have to be in a particular emotional state to be productive.

If we wait to feel motivated before tacking action, it gives us a great excuse to do nothing now.

Relying solely on motivation is a terrible way to get shit done. It’s important to separate your actions from your emotions so that you can still be productive, even when you don’t feel like it.

I often battle with a lack of motivation in my training. I write my own training plans and commit myself to at least 10 hours a week on my bike. But if I only trained when I felt motivated to, I doubt I would spend more than a couple hours riding a week. Motivation alone is only good for abut 20% of my total training time.

The other 80% of the time I rely on systems I have created to ensure that I stick to my plans even when I am not motivated.

Humans crave routine, so I train at the same time everyday. My body expects hits dopamine, serotonin and endorphins at certain times every day which is crucial to me when my mind starts creating excuses. I set process goals which I know only I am accountable for and I track my progress to visualise how my fitness is improving over time.

Are you only productive when you feel motivated or do you have similar techniques that help you take action, whatever your emotional state?