Motivation. The best long-term solution to get results? Maybe not.

What can I do to be more motivated or to stay motivated? The question itself points to a common misconception and misunderstanding about what motivation is and how it works. As Dr. Jade explains in this Instagram post, motivation is like happiness – or any other emotion really. It isn’t constant, and we don’t have complete control over it.

Most of us experience a range of emotions throughout the day. Like happiness or sadness, levels of motivation can wax and wane. Motivation can feel like a fleeting thing. High some days, and low others. That’s normal. Sometime we feel happy. Sometime we don’t, right? Why should motivation be any different.

Motivation is not a choice, but consistency is.

Dr. Jade Teta

There is no guarantee that you can keep yourself motivated. Meaning, motivation does not deliver results. So what does then? Consistency is a much better thing to be thinking about. Why? Because, unlike motivation, consistency is a choice.

You can choose to show up whether or not you feel motivated. If we focus on consistency – regardless of how we feel or perform, we will show up. If we focus on a feeling, like motivation, then we won’t always show up. We can’t rely on a feeling. That doesn’t mean that feelings don’t matter. They do, of course! But when it comes to consistency, the natural fleeting nature of feelings is not so reliable.

Showing up for yourself – no matter what, is a powerful mindset tool. It’s the best long-term approach to get results.

Mindset shift: “I don’t always have to feel good [to take action]. I just need to show up.”

That type of consistency day in and day out builds motivation. It also builds confidence, and competency in what we’re doing and who we’re trying to become. After all, most of us reading this are likely in the process of building a healthier version of ourselves.

For that reason, consistency will always beat motivation.

Three tips to support consistency for long-term results

Adapted from this Instagram post @metabolicliving

1️⃣ Set clear, REALISTIC, short-term goals

Setting short-term goals that are easily achievable can lead to a feeling of success. That success leads to confidence and the belief that you can achieve your goals. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a long-term goal or vision. It just means that focusing on what you can achieve day to day and week to week can help with the consistency piece!

2️⃣ Focus on the things that you love to do

When it comes to health and wellness, there are so many habits and actions that we feel like we “should” do because it will help us reach our goals. But, what do you LIKE to do? What keeps you engaged during the journey? Dance, explore new recipes, try a new meditation app, or spend your lunch breaks outside walking rather than sitting at the break room table.

3️⃣ Choose habits and action steps that are EASY for you to do

Focus on what’s doable for your lifestyle right now – regardless of your mood or motivation levels. Keystone habits like drinking all of your water daily, getting in your target number of daily steps, and eating your body weight in grams of protein are just a few examples.

Now, it’s your turn. What will you incorporate to stay CONSISTENT?

Remember, motivation is not a choice, but consistency is. You can choose to show up today. Over time, motivation comes from consistently aligning your actions with the version of you that you want to be!

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash