Motivation Comes From Within

“Wash out this tired notion that the best is yet to come.”

– Dave Matthews

I had to remind myself this week that motivation comes from within. It certainly does not come from the expensive, fancy bike I ordered and have been waiting for the past 7 weeks. It was supposed to be delivered next week. I cancelled the order.

I got to thinking, and asked myself this question…if I have two perfectly good feet, a pair of sneakers and a road, why aren’t I currently doing any aerobic activity? Seriously, it’s free! I kept putting off starting a regular habit of exercising, because when the fancy bike arrived I was really going to crush it and work out EVERY DAY. I could imagine it in my mind’s eye. I knew where I was going to put the bike. I had downloaded the app, and started planning out which rides I wanted to take. You get the idea. Everything was going to start as soon as that bike arrived. But what, you may ask, was I doing in the meantime to get myself in better shape? Nothing.

And still I imagined that all of a sudden I was going to change my current behaviors overnight…because of a bike.

This isn’t the only time I have put off doing something or making a change until “just the right moment,” or until “just the right circumstance.” I do it all the time. And frankly, this kind of thinking is stealing my life moment by missed moment. I know I am not alone in this, otherwise why would New Year’s Resolutions be a thing? How many of us gear up for the New Year promising ourselves that as soon as January 1st comes we are going to eat better, exercise more, drink less…fill in the blank with whatever. We start off so determined, but then too often fall right back into our old patterns of behavior.

I had ordered the bike based on this utterly nonsensical reasoning. Then the thought popped into my head, thankfully, that if I want to start a better habit or make a lifestyle change, then I am going to do it right now. Today. I am not going to wait until Monday or until the weather gets warmer/cooler. So, I cancelled the bike order. Instead, I am going to put on my sneakers and my headphones and just start walking. I am going to do that for the next several months at least 5 times a week and then, only then, will I look at that bike again. I may not even want it at that point. Who knows? But if I do get it, it will be to compliment my life, not to change it (or become a very expensive clothes rack). I am responsible for my life and the choices I make every day whether to do something or to not do something, and I am accountable for the results of those decisions.

I have been talking about exercising thus far in this post, but I also have been guilty of putting off things like leaving a bad job/boss until it was so bad that I felt compelled to leave quickly and under less than ideal conditions. I have stayed in a bad relationship out of fear of being alone. I have waited to start eating better until the holidays were over…until vacation is over…until after the party next week. The fact is there is always a reason to stay exactly where I am. I can self-sabotage my life with the best of them. Keeping myself tied to this bad situation or that bad habit because it seems easier to do.

Growth is uncomfortable and difficult. Many of us, me included, avoid or rationalize away the need for change. Except we all know the secret: once we get to the other side of a change, one of the first things we think to ourselves is, “this is so much better! I wish I had done it sooner.” It’s all good though, we all grow in our own way and on our own schedule. We will be ready when we are ready…except maybe it is OK to push ourselves to take the first step right now. And then the next step. And the next, until we are well on our way.

I am curious if there is anything you, dear reader, have been putting off. Let me know in the comments, if you are inclined to share, and maybe we can help each other find that motivation, that drive to make the changes we know we deserve on our journey to the best life we can imagine.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

– Chinese proverb

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it! My personal blog can be accessed here.

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