I’ve got some good stuff for you today.
Of course you want the MOTIVATION to go after your goals, but do you know how to find it? I mean, some days it just feels so elusive and out of reach, right?
My friend, when you understand what motivation is (and what it’s not), you’ll have both feet on the path to success!
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re all about MOTIVATION – finding it, keeping it, having it and using it. I’m sharing a couple of simple secrets, so YOU can have all the motivation you want, whenever you want it!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
👉 WHAT motivation actually is (it’s probably not what you think!)
👉 WHERE motivation comes from, and
👉 HOW to access it any time, day or night
Ready to get MOTIVATED? Listen now, and LET’S GO!
Follow the Pahla B Wellness over 50 Book Club at http://chirpbooks.com/pahla and get 50% off your first purchase with the code PAHLA50. Register for our LIVE conversation about this month’s pick – The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi – on Tuesday, June 14th at 3 pm PDT here: https://bit.ly/JUNEBookClub
Wanna give the gift of MOTIVATION to somebody you love? SHARE the podcast with your friends and family! 💛
How (And Where!) To Find Motivation (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B, and this is Episode Number 238, “How and Where to Find Motivation.”
Welcome to the Fitness Matters podcast, where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon-to-be author, and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me too. Let’s go!
This month’s book club book is “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. Join me to chat about it live on Tuesday, June 14th, at 3:00 P.M. Pacific. There is a link in the description box or show notes to register for the Zoom event. You can download and listen to “The Kindness Method” or thousands of other great titles, from Chirp Audiobooks at steep limited-time discounts with no monthly subscription fees. And first-time users can get 50% off their purchase with the code PAHLA50. That’s P-A-H-L-A and the number 50. Be sure to follow the Pahla B Wellness Over 50 Book Club at chirpbooks.com/Pahla and grab your copy today. I’ll see you live in June.
Hello, hello. My friends, it is so good to be with you! You guys, I am recording from a new location today. It is so hot right now, so hot. So I have the whole house fan on in my house so that it can cool down at least a little bit, but it’s actually just boiling hot even though it’s 5:00 in the morning. I am out in my car right now, which, by the way, is not cooler. It’s not cooler at all. But the house is so loud with the whole house fan. I don’t know if you have one. It’s a thing where it sucks in the allegedly cooler air from outside, and then it blows the heat out and up through the attic so that the attic isn’t so hot, because then when your attic isn’t hot, it doesn’t keep the heat in your house.
It’s a whole thing, and it usually works, except for the fact that this morning it is just so hot. Don’t mind me if you hear me sweating while we’re talking about motivation. But I was super motivated – ha ha, this is where my little segue comes in – to talk to you about motivation today. You guys, I love motivation. I love talking about motivation. I love being motivated. I love feeling motivated. I love having motivation. Can you tell? I’m fired up. It’s what happens sometimes when we talk about these topics.
Here’s what I want you to know about motivation. Before I tell you how – and I am. I am going to tell you how to find it; I’m going to tell you where to find it – first, let’s talk about, really quickly, what it is.
What is motivation? Because I think . . . I’m going to say I know, but I don’t. I don’t know what you think. I think I know what you think, and that’s what I’m going to tell you – what I think some of us think. Because I know what I used to think before I understood mindset stuff, which is all the things that we talk about here on the Fitness Matters podcast. Before I understood mindset, I really, truly, 100% believed that motivation came from out in the world, that stars had to align, circumstances had to be certain ways, and that motivation was this thing outside of me that would come to me sometimes or not other times, and/or that it was a quality of the thing that I was doing. I would be motivated to do a certain thing because that thing was motivating.
None of these things are true. In fact, motivation is simply a feeling. A feeling. Which means that it is a chemical reaction that your body has involuntarily. It is a physiological response to a thought. Every single time you feel motivation, it is coming from your own thought. And every time I say something like that – “It’s coming from” – I always want to finish that sentence, “It’s coming from inside the house.” Do you remember that scary story that we would tell when we were kids about the babysitter who was answering the scary phone call and the call was coming from inside the house? I think about that literally every time we talk about feelings because I think so many of us think that feelings come from circumstances in the world or something that somebody said or something that you did or somebody else did or whatever.
We think it’s coming from outside, but it’s always coming from inside the house. It’s coming from you, which means you can feel the feeling of motivation anytime you want to. Because you can think – meaning you can, you are capable and you have permission – to think anything you want, anytime you want to.
My friends, let’s start with this one because I’m going to tell you where to find motivation. You find motivation in your body, and I know that sounds really funny. Even when I told you it was a feeling, and even when I told you that you could create this for yourself from a thought, some of us still just have this disconnect. In fact, I did until I was thinking about this topic today. I was like, “Oh yeah, all I have to do to feel motivated is to literally feel it inside my body.” That’s where motivation doesn’t live. Well, technically I guess it does live there. Does it just lie dormant, waiting for you? That’s a question. And I’m actually asking myself, and I’m going to think about that because I don’t have an answer off the top of my head.
I do wonder about that, though. Your body has the chemicals available to it at any point in time, but now I’m really curious about this. Does your body have a warehouse of chemicals just waiting to be released, or do they get made and produced in the moment? I’m actually going to look this up. I’m completely fascinated by this now. In any event, your body is capable, let’s just put it that way, through whatever mechanism. I don’t know if the chemicals are waiting for you or if they get produced instantaneously when necessary.
Oh my gosh. If they do, do you know how miraculous that is? You guys, I tell you this all the time. You are a walking, talking, thinking, blinking miracle, but I want you to think about that for a quick second. Your body is ready at any moment to produce any mix of chemicals that it needs to, based on any thought you have. You have 60,000 thoughts a day, and it is ready for all of them, any of them, anytime. So amazing. So fascinating. So cool. You. You’re cool.
Anyway, motivation lives inside your body. That’s where you’re going to access it, and I want you to know that if you think about it right now, all you have to do is remember the last time you felt really motivated. This is not difficult for me. Yesterday, I felt incredibly motivated to clean my house, which is rare for me. Trust me, I have tried really hard to pass off that motivated feeling as though it is my house’s problem, as though it is the dust’s problem, that I do not feel motivated to clean it up. It’s just that I have thoughts like, “Ugh, if I dust it now, it’ll just get dirty again.”
I’m going to tell you more about this in just a moment, but here’s the thing. Here’s what happened. Yesterday, I felt super motivated to clean. I actually got the screens off of a couple of windows. Not the whole house. Don’t think I was going crazy here with the cleaning. But we’ve had renovations going on so my house is super, super dusty, and it is not the dust’s fault that I don’t always feel motivated, but I have actually felt very motivated to clean up now that the renovations are done for the time being. We’re done with the bathrooms, but the kitchen is coming next in a couple more weeks.
So I felt super motivated. All you personally have to do is think about a time that you felt motivated, and you can conjure up what that feeling feels like in your body right now. Let’s do that together really quickly. When you think about motivation, when you remember feeling motivated, what does that actually feel like in your body?
For me, it feels like my stomach is very light, and by stomach, I actually mean abdomen because your stomach is actually a lot higher. That’s why we call it heartburn even though it’s not heartburn, it’s actually stomach burn. Your stomach is much higher in your body than any of us give it credit for being, so it’s actually my abdomen. My abdominal area feels very light, very floaty.
I feel a little bit tingly, but not too much. It’s that just-right caffeinated feeling – if you drink coffee – where you have a buzzing energy in your arms and your legs, but your heart isn’t beating too fast where you get a little bit sick to your stomach and your head feels dizzy. My head feels a little bit light. My arms and legs feel a little bit buzzy. My abdominal area feels very light. I feel very energetic, which, again, is a buzzing, kinetic feeling without being too much.
There’s just that right balance where too little feels like doing nothing. Too much feels a little scary, a little bit more like anxiety than motivation. They’re very similar. There’s a thin line between them. That feeling of motivation, once I have conjured it up, I can look back in my imagination and think to myself, “What was the thought that I thought to create that feeling of motivation?”
Honestly, I’m thinking about it right now for me, personally, and the thought was really simple. It was, “I want to get this cleaned up.” “I want to get this cleaned up” is really one of those thoughts where if you’re not listening for it, it could just skim right past you. And even listening to it now, I’m like, “Oh, that’s not a big enough thought to create motivation.” And yet thinking “I want to clean this up” totally feels motivating right now, too.
Now, there’s a larger conversation to be had here because sometimes when we think a thought that starts with “I want,” the wanting part isn’t motivating. In fact, it can be de-motivating because it can feel like “I want that, but I’ll never have it.” Listen carefully, and really spend a moment in that brain-body connection to decide: Is this a motivating thought? Is this a de-motivating thought? Is this the thought that’s actually creating that feeling, or is it coming from something else?
This, my friends, is something to which I cannot give you a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all answer. I can tell you there are certain types of thoughts that might feel motivating for you, something in the genre of “I want to” or “That sounds like fun” or “Let’s go do X, Y, Z.” It depends on what it is you’re trying to get motivated for, whether or not you have any sense of pleasure or enjoyment from the thing that you would like to be motivated for. There are definitely factors which will inform exactly what kind of sentence feels motivating in a certain circumstance. There’s not a one-size-fits-all sentence that works for everybody every time. And boy, do I wish there was. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
This is actually why motivation can feel so elusive. It is different every time for every thing. Here’s how I’m going to tell you how to find motivation. One of the easiest ways to find it is to actually figure out what makes you feel UNmotivated. My friends, here is the point in the podcast where I’m going to point you to how I journal for success. I actually have a podcast on this. (Ep. 045 How I Journal for Success https://pahlabfitness.com/how-i-journal-for-success/)
This is a tool that you can use for anything. When you find yourself feeling unmotivated, find your thoughts. Find your thoughts and recognize them for what they are. They are thoughts that are creating a feeling, and that feeling is unmotivated. You can find your thoughts, your unmotivated thoughts with the two-step tool. Find your thoughts and decide which ones of them are unhelpful. Keep in mind that not all unhelpful thoughts are going to be unmotivated. There are all kinds of other feelings that your thoughts might create. It’s worth it to take your time.
The two-step tool actually only asks you to decide if they’re helpful. What you might like to do, though, is decide exactly what the feeling is that you feel from your unhelpful thoughts. Some of them are going to be unmotivating. Some of them are going to be defeating. Some of them are going to be sad. Some of them are going to be angry. Some of them are going to be listless or tired. There are all kinds of thoughts you might be having regarding whatever it is that you want to do that you’re going to want to explore.
This is actually bringing up a really important point, too, that your feelings of being unmotivated are different for different things. So therefore your feeling of motivation for different things will be different. Which means that you’re not just going to have one thought that will motivate you to, for example, count your calories, or motivate you to, for example, go for a walk. Those will be different thoughts that create a slightly different nuance of motivation because they are different. It’s a different thought creating a slightly different feeling. It still has the same name and gets you a slightly different result, too. One time it has you counting calories; one time it has you going for a walk. Recognize that motivation is a big umbrella feeling, but it will have specificity to the thing that you want to do.
Here’s the other thing that I’m going to tell you about finding motivation. And this is, I think, the other thing that gets lots of us really, really, really frustrated. Because it’s a feeling, it is supposed to be fleeting. It is supposed to come up, fill your body with that chemical sensation, and then dissipate on its own like all feelings do. This is actually really good information for feelings that you don’t want to feel, but it’s really good to remind yourself of this for feelings that you do want to feel. They’re going to go away, too. That is the nature of all feelings. All of them.
In order to quote unquote stay motivated – there’s literally no such thing – but what you can do is think the thought again. Whatever thought you found that created motivation for you, think it again. Think it again and again. And recognize that over time, that exact same thought probably won’t produce the same feeling of motivation. It’s supposed to dissipate. It’s supposed to.
This actually brings up something that I find really interesting. It’s a little bit of a left turn, and this is just one of those theory things that I love to turn over in my mind. You can use the 30-second skip button if this does not interest you, but I was thinking about how, when we feel feelings, we use them to describe ourselves as human beings. We say, “I am motivated.” We’ve talked about this before in my podcast called Goal Language (Ep. 008 Goal Language https://pahlabfitness.com/goal-language/).This is where I talk about how the two words “I am” are the most critical and important words in any language. I’ve mentioned it other times, but that’s the episode where I talk about that and other interesting things. Actually, I talk about “I want” in that episode, too, and it’s a very theoretical episode. You might find it interesting.
But when we say “I am,” we are creating a reality for ourselves and using it to describe who we think we are at our core. I find this fascinating. And it’s probably why we feel so disappointed when we can’t find motivation. We are not the essence of motivation. We feel motivation. Using that sentence, “I am motivated,” is actually really misleading to ourselves. We feel motivation. We feel happy. We feel sad. We feel angry. Those feelings are supposed to go away, but when we say, “I am,” and try to create that as part of who we are as a human being, it can feel really disappointing when we don’t feel it anymore. But it’s completely normal, completely natural, and completely the way your body is supposed to work. You’re supposed to feel it temporarily.
How can you find motivation anytime you want to? We already talked about this. First of all, find your unmotivating thoughts; find your unhelpful thoughts. Sometimes, you’ll be able to simply think the opposite of it and find motivation, but what I will tell you, even more reliably than that . . .
What, what? There’s something more reliable than the two-step tool? No, but also sometimes yes. The two-step tool is always reliable. It really is a very reliable compass to know which thoughts are going to move you forward and which thoughts are going to slow you down. It’s reliable in that sense. But if you are trying to find a specific feeling at a specific time for a specific purpose, my friend, you can simply decide to feel that thing. You know where it lives. It lives in your body. All you have to do is remember another time that you felt that feeling to conjure it up inside of you right this minute. You can decide to feel a feeling even without knowing the exact thought. It helps to find the thought, but you just realized that you can create that feeling for yourself any time you want to. Decide to feel motivated.
What? And let me tell you a little trick here because this is the thing that I think is so cool. You don’t actually need to feel motivated to do the thing that you want to do. If you make a decision, you will create for yourself the feeling of decisiveness, which also propels you into action. All feelings do, just so you know. That’s why we have them. You have a feeling so that you will do a thing.
Now, sometimes this is frankly unreliable. Sometimes we have feelings that we don’t like, that we don’t want to feel. So we end up trying to avoid them. That’s when we find ourselves in front of the snack bin. That’s when we find ourselves endlessly scrolling on our phones. That’s when we find ourselves suddenly watching hours of TV or shopping online or doing something to avoid a specific feeling. Creating your feelings isn’t always going to reliably get you doing the thing that you want to do, but when you know what feeling will produce a specific action, you can simply decide to feel that feeling. And in the case of motivation, really specifically, feeling decisive might get you to do that thing.
Anyway, test this out for yourself. For me, feeling decisive – I’m going to say always and I struggle with that word because really, Pahla, 100% of the time? I’ll go ahead and say almost always, just because I have not experimented with every single thing every single time. But for me, feeling decisive almost always, 99.9% of the time, propels me into doing the action that I thought I wanted to be motivated for.
Making a decision can feel like motivation. Now, for those of us who struggle with decision making . . . and I’m actually not even putting myself in that category anymore. I used to put myself in that category all the time. I used to describe myself as being indecisive rather than feeling indecisive. “I am indecisive,” rather than, “I feel indecisive.” But I have learned how to make decisions, and I’m going to leave this as basically a cliffhanger because it really is a whole episode in itself. Creating decisions for yourself is a process that you can practice and get good at, and I will tell you that it really is basically as simple as making a decision. Step one to making decisions: make a decision.
We have a whole episode about that coming up. I don’t know exactly when. It’s on the calendar. We will talk about it, but that’s what I’m going to leave you with for right now. My friends, you can decide to feel motivated, and that is where it is. I told you how, I told you where, and I told you what. But did I tell you why? No. Didn’t we talk about why? Didn’t we talk about why you would feel motivated? We kind of just did. I did, but I didn’t spell it out for you. So let me tell you why you want to feel motivated: so that you can do stuff. When we feel things, we do things.
My friends, whew, this was fun. This was fun, and it was motivating, right? No. This conversation does not motivate you to do anything. This conversation might have helped you think thoughts that created motivation for yourself. You always have the power to create the feelings you want. My friends, thank you so much for listening. I will talk to you again soon.
If you are getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get your Goal coaching and accountability group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands on, it’s fun, and it works. Find out more at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal, and let’s get your goal.