“Get back on the horse!”
You’ve probably heard this a million times. And you’ve probably heard millions of other interpretations of it too. Things like, “Get up, dust yourself off and try again” or “Quitters never win and winners never quit” or maybe “You only fail if you fail to try again.”
Motivational sayings and quotes are great – I love a good quote – but they can become a bit cliched and cheesy. Then they become the exact opposite of what they’re meant to be which is motivational.
In my household, when my kids were little, we had a few motivational quotes that were more tough love than the ones I used above. Things like, “Would you like some cheese with your whine?” and “Eat some cement and harden up” or my personal favourite, “Pull up your big girl panties and get ‘er done.”
There have been a lot of times in my life when I’ve needed motivation, or maybe affirmation is more the word. I’ve done the whole ‘pin up motivating and affirming quotes around the house so you can see them all the time’ thing. It may have worked for a little while, but after seeing the same quotes every day, you become blind to them.
The truth is, motivation comes from inside you, not from anything external. Sure, you can use quotes and affirmative statements to inspire you, but it isn’t until you actually DO that the motivation kicks in.
Last week I had a bit of a rant because over my holiday I put on weight, despite being super motivated not to. This week I had a win. I lost those extra kilos that I had gained. So I’m back to what I was before my vacation. Yay me!
I very nearly threw in the towel because of that setback and no amount of affirmations or quotes would have saved me. It all came down to me. It came down to me making the decision that I wasn’t going to quit.
It wasn’t easy. I was very unmotivated to get back on the treadmill. I was very unmotivated to get back on the diet. But it came down to this. I am the boss of my own life and I am the one who has to champion it. If I want to change then I’m the one who has to do the changing.
If motivational quotes help you DO, then great. Use them. Use whatever you can, but don’t rely on them to do the work for you. You’re still the one who has to get up an hour earlier to go for a walk or stay up an hour later to work out on the treadmill. You’re still the one who has to say no to the cake or the pastry or the donut.
I find it interesting that the word ‘motivation’ comes from the word ‘motive’ which in turn comes from the latin word ‘movere‘ which means ‘to move.’ Motivation comes from motion. If we move forward, then motivation will follow.
“That’s easy for you to say!” I can hear you yelling. But it’s not, actually. I struggled with writing these words because I didn’t want to come off as flippant. I know how damn hard it is to get up when you don’t want to. I know exactly how much it hurts to say no to a sweet treat when all you really want to do is say yes. These words that I’m writing, I’m living them right now. It took me an entire week to get back to the gym. Every day I had an excuse. It has been really, really hard to stick to my diet. So as I’m writing these words, I’m preaching them to myself as well.
I am not saying this from a place of victory but from the midst of the fight. You are not alone in your struggle, I am in the trenches right along side of you fighting for my life as well. Together we can do it. There is no I in team (but there is a me 😉)