Talking about your motivation…
Michael Fassbender has nothing to do with this post. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this photo. I’m just saying…. By Tony Shek (Michael Fassbender) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Right now my weight loss journey is going extremely well. I’m not eating over points (in fact, I’m eating so healthily that some days it’s hard to make the minimum), I’m exercising, I’m motivated. Which has been making me think a lot about motivation and the fact that it’s not really a straight black line relentlessly pushing forward. It actually ebbs and flows. Or maybe even that’s not quite right and it’s more erratic than that.
We all have different sectors in our life. For example, there’s my work writing life, my creative writing life,, my relationship with God, my health, the well-being of my family and friends, and probably some more areas that are maybe not as explicit but are still places toward which I have to expend some energy. I tend to see things as black and white—I’m either motivated or I’m not. But I wonder if it’s more complicated in the sense that being unmotivated in one particular area doesn’t mean you’re unmotivated across the board, it just means that your resources are rallied elsewhere. I’m focused right now on my health and on my relationship with God and on being open in terms of relationships, which means I may not be as focused on thinking about my long-term career strategy or working on my next manuscript. It doesn’t mean there’s no activity in those areas at all—I am planning to write as many poems as I can in August and I do still show up for work every day—but it’s perhaps not quite as focused as in the other areas.
So perhaps instead of beating ourselves up about being “unmotivated,” that thinking needs to be reshaped into the question—well, where am I motivated right now? And if we can answer that question, then we can embrace making giant steps forward in that area while trusting that there’s a reason—whether or not we’re conscious of it—why another area or areas are lying fallow.
I think that it’s also important to remember that areas need to lie fallow for a while especially if great changes have taken place, so there’s time for that change to sink in, to nourish that work that’s been seeded so it can start to bear fruit, and then the cycle of motivation in the fallow area begins again. (There’s a reason why Ecclesiastes says there’s a time for everything.)
Which is all to say that instead of fretting about if I’ll become unmotivated again about exercising, etc. at some time in the near future, I’m instead going to use that energy to discover new recipes, explore new exercise options, and build those habits that will get me through when my forward momentum in my health area is not as present.