"Action Precedes Motivation"
Understanding these words are the absolute most powerful tool in your health toolbox. You can say this or think of this however you'd like;
Action spawns motivation...
Action creates motivation...
Action causes motivation...
Regardless of how you say it, the key is to understand that motivation doesn't just appear. It follows ACTION. By taking ACTION we create/find/discover motivation.
The ACTION, doesn't even need to be big. Most often very small actions yield wonderful amounts of motivation for us. Here's two quick client stories to reiterate that fact:
Client Story #1: "Taking the Stairs"
I've shared this story before. My client was having issues with stairs; not feeling strong going up stairs, not feeling balanced or even
capable for that matter. "I do stairs like an old lady" she'd say. The bigger issue wasn't that she "couldn't" do stairs, it was the fact that she would AVOID stairs and simply NOT do them. If she did stairs, she would just consistently feed that negative thought of "I can't do this well".
We went to the stairs here in town by the bridge and we practiced stairs. Seems simple doesn't it? It was. By the time we
did a handful of flights of stairs (taking our time in between), she suddenly realized she CAN do them. She understood the fact that because she doesn't do them often, THAT is the biggest factor in her lack of confidence with stairs, not her strength or the fact that "she can't".
I love those "Ah-ha" moments.
Client Story #2: "FORE!"
This client has a solid habit in place (as TOO MANY of us do currently) where SHE and her health come last. She's overworked, low on self-confidence and low on practicing things that make her feel good inside and out. Things for her!
She's had some health issues in the past, and they've come back into the picture for various reasons. This naturally has created a whole host of feelings/emotions in her such as fear, guilt, stress, decreased self confidence in her own abilities etc... One thing we chatted about recently was the fact that she hadn't even been out golfing recently, and now (due to her health concerns) she didn't even feel she could! It wasn't a fear of something bad happening on the course, but simply the fatigue factor; "Can I even make it through 9-holes without being exhausted?" she said.
We created a plan where we would get her walking (just 10-15min) a few times per week over the next 5 weeks or so. Following those 5-weeks of some consistent walking and time focused on her (even just small bouts of time are good!) her and I plan to play 9-holes at our local Par-3 course. I told her, even if she takes a cart her first time (if she's still concerned about fatigue), at least she's out doing something she enjoys, moving and getting some sunshine.
On Day 1 of our plan, she cancelled!! Why?? Because she had the opportunity to go golf (at that same course) with her friends; And she took it!! She sent me an update afterwards as promised, with pictures included. Not only did she clearly enjoy herself but she walked the 9-holes, got a couple pars and even only lost 2 golf balls!! Afterwards she enjoyed a drink with her friends.
And better yet, she's only a little stiff the following morning!
These two stories have something in common; Fear, lack of confidence in ourselves and lack of ACTION which created this inner dialogue of talking themselves out of the actual thing that would help - which is DOING something.
If we can understand that, we can use it to our advantage. By just DOING, by taking ACTION we can create change, motivation and positive emotions. We don't need to set expectations or do anything to any particular amazing extreme. We just need to DO IT!