Is It OK to Wait for Motivation to Strike? Sometimes... Here's Why

This blog post has a loaded title. 

I've said time and time again, and stand strongly behind the fact that you can't wait for motivation to hit you in order to make changes in your life. Why? Because we're humans with emotions, and when we let motivation (an emotion) drive us, instead of discipline and habits, we could be waiting around for a looooong damn time. 

But sometimes we just feel unmotivated, ya dig?

And to put the cherry on top of not feeling up to the challenge, when we're unmotivated, we stress about being unmotivated.

It's like a vicious cycle of: don't feel like doing the thing, so you don't do the thing, but then feel bad about not doing the thing.

Can you relate?

Let's sit down and have a little story time, shall we? Then, don't worry — we'll also get into some practical tips about motivation and how you can light a fire under your bum to get you going again. 

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STORY TIME

First, let me let you in on a little secret: NO ONE feels motivated 100% of the time. Not Beyonce, not the Queen, not the fitness/business/whoever idols you have. 

Every single one of us feels unmotivated at some point — sometimes even on a daily basis. 

That's why it's important to create solid habits that push us THROUGH the times we're not feeling motivated, but more on the logistics/advice/tips later. 

Six-ish weeks ago, I decided to take a break from social media. 

Good for my business? Eh, probably not.
Good for my productivity? Probably.
Good for my sanity? At the time, yes.

I've gone through a lot of fear gremlins in my time away from social media, as this is the longest break I've ever taken since I started my business back in 2014. "Everyone's going to forget about you. You'll become irrelevant. Taking a break? Psh, what kind of leader are you?"

And while some of those things may be true, I know that when I'm ready to return, I will. 

But the funny thing is, I haven't felt a strong pull to return to creating content (on social media, anyway. I'm definitely feeling the writing itch - which is why I'm here with you right now!)

Which has led me to ask the question: "Am I just lazy? Unmotivated? Should I give up on my business/social media/creating content altogether?"

And perhaps the question that I've been thinking about more than anything...

WILL I EVER GET MY MOTIVATION AND DRIVE BACK?

Thankfully, If experience tells me anything, the answer is yes.

There have been a few times in my life when I haven't felt 'motivated' for longer periods of time. (I'm not talking about the daily "I don't feel like going to the gym waaah")... I'm talking about multiple weeks where I'm just like... MEH. I DON'T WANNAAAA.

 ^ Actual footage of me the first 6 months I lived in Canada.

But every single time I've let myself rid the wave of being unmotivated, my motivation ultimately came back and I was ready to go full-force again. 

When I moved to Canada, it took me 6 MONTHS to get back into my groove with working out again. That doesn't mean I stopped altogether — I wasn't really feeling it, but the discipline and habits I created led me to do it anyway.

So, if you're in a period right now where you feel MEH and like you're never going to get back into the groove with whatever used to excite you/motivate you, here are some tips that have been helping me:

Tips for Long Periods of Not Feeling Motivated

1. Don't beat yourself up / celebrate your success in other areas. 

As I mentioned before, NO ONE feels motivated 100% of the time. And that is totally OK. 

Life comes in seasons: some seasons we're laser focused, and others — we're focused on other things. 

Look at the big picture: maybe your motivation for working out has faded, but you're in a really busy season at work. Celebrate your success there instead of looking at what's lacking in your life! Or maybe you're not feeling motivated to create blogs or podcasts, but you've started a new job that you love and just need to find a groove with your new schedule. 

Instead of feeling GUILTY on top of the fact that you're not feeling motivated, take a step back and realize that this too shall pass, my dear grasshoppa. 

2. Evaluate why this thing you're avoiding is meaningful to you. 

Having a strong, convicting WHY behind everything you do in your life makes all the difference.

WHY did you start doing the thing that you're unmotivated to do (right now) in the first place? 

Most people start out with a strong WHY, but when hardships come up and life gets crazy, we forget the meaning behind why we're doing what we're doing. 

If you're lacking motivation to work out: WHY do you work out in the first place? Is it to help you feel strong and confident? Does it help you get rid of your anxiety and depression? Do you want to be healthier for your kids, friends, family, etc.? Think back to why you started in the first place, and channel your energy into that.

I recommend even writing a quick mission statement that you can silently (or verbally) repeat to yourself when you're tempted to skip another workout. For example: "Every time I move my body, it brings me one step closer to who I want to become: a stronger, happier person for myself and my family." Then get your booty movin. BOOM.

And sometimes, the reason you started isn't the same reason you keep going — so keep that in mind, too. 

For example, if you originally started working out to lose 100 pounds and you've lost it, it's time to set a new WHY that's meaningful to you to re-gain that sense of purpose and motivation in your workouts. 

3. When you commit, you're signing up to eat a sh*t sandwich.

BEAR WITH ME HERE. 

I learned about the concept of the shit sandwich, I'm pretty sure through The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, but most vividly remember it through Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic (both highly recommended!)

Here's what a shit sandwich is: when you commit to doing something (starting a business, getting in shape, getting married, starting a family), they all start off fun and exciting and new and fresh. But inevitably, hardships will come up that will make you question whether or not this is right for you. That's why, when you sign up for *said thing*, you're committing to the good AND bad (in sickness and in health, amen), and you're willing to eat the shit sandwich every day for the things you love the most.

I'll let Liz Gilbert explain it more eloquently: 

“What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?” What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.” 

CAN I JUST SCREAM THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS?!?!?!? Ugh. Such gold. 

So, what's the 'shit sandwich' in what you committed to doing?

For getting in shape, the shit sandwich may be making it to the gym, prepping your food, going to bed earlier instead of partying, etc. (although social media would have you believe you can be ripped and shredded in 3 easy minutes with THIS SPECIAL UNICORN DIET!!!!)

For starting a business, it can be creating content (sitting down to write a blog ain't easy, y'all), running social media, being a responsible human and managing your finances, filling taxes, the 'unsexy' side of running a business (although social media wants you to think it's all about drinking mai tais on the beach)

4. DISCIPLINE EQUALS FREEDOM.

I stole this quote from my boy Jocko Willink, an ex Navy Seal (he has a podcast if you're interested). He says that the more discipline you create in your life, the more freedom you ultimately have.

I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out:

There are probably some things in your life that you know will help you reach your goals, that you don't necessarily *want* to do (hello, shit sandwich). That could be working out, writing a blog, spending time with someone, making a phone call, having a meeting, anything you've been putting off. 

Now let's say that instead of writing it on your to-do list for the 925398th day in a row, you actually scheduled it in for tomorrow:

Work out: 7 am
Blog post: 8 am

And low and behold, the two things that have been on your to-do list for weeks now are DONE.

Now you actually have FREE time tomorrow that you can enjoy without guilt.

Or let's say you want to get better control of your finances, so you decide to create a budget (this is a big one!!!). Sure, at first it may feel restricting when you realize you can't get your Mocha Frappa Latte Cappuccino at Starbucks today, but it will feel damn good when you've saved $5/day, $35/week, $140/month, and in 6 months, you're lying on the beach sipping a margarita thanks to all the money you've saved from your budget.

So while it may seem restrictive to schedule out your daily activities, create a budget, track your workouts — these are the disciplined habits that actually create freedom in our lives. It's just a matter of delaying the instant gratification that we all know and love, in favor of a longer-term, more favorable outcome (hello, hot bod & vacation!)

You got this, boo.

Motivation will come and go. You can't rely on motivation to keep you going through the tough parts of your life — you must create strong, disciplined habits for that. 

But if you're in a stage of feeling unmotivated, understand that it's NORMAL, you are HUMAN and by using the tips above, you'll be back on your A-game in no time, sista!

And most importantly, everything you do (even the things you love the most) come along with a nice, hearty, shit sandwich. 

What are you willing to eat a shit sandwich for?  :)

Let me know in the comments below: have you ever felt unmotivated for longer periods of time? How'd you come out of it? Share your tips so we can all be inspired to get the ball rollin' again!

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How to Start LOVING Mondays Again

Hey, gorgeous!

IT'S MONDAY — which means it's my favorite day of the week!

I know that's quite the opposite of most people, and to be honest, it used to be the same for me.

I used to HATE Mondays.

Some mornings before work, my alarm would go off and I'd snooze it 15 times and just lay there and cry. Partly because my work environment was toxic (aka my boss was nuts), but also because I wondered:

"Is this it? Is this all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?"

Thankfully, the answer was NO

Once I decided that I wanted to create a life of my dreams, I slowly but surely started taking steps in that direction.
 

Photo by   Katelynn Carlson   

Photo by Katelynn Carlson 

I got my personal training certification and started training clients & teaching group exercise. I made a 6-month 'plan of action' to save up and leave my job. I left my job, then took an internship at one of the best gyms in the world (where I met my husband — added bonus hehe). I took my business all online, and did freelance work to help support me. 

I'm sharing this with you today because I want to remind you that YOU are in control of your life.

There will never be a 'perfect' time or opportunity. You'll never have enough money, enough time, or enough balls to do the thing you want to do. 

Heck, if I waited until I had enough money or 'was ready enough' to leave my full-time job in 2015, I would still be there. 

But I decided that I didn't want to look back at my 20s when I'm in my rocking chair, sipping coffee with almond milk on my patio when I'm 80 #habits lol, and think to myself, 

"What if I would've tried that? How would my life be different?"

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SO MANY PEOPLE ask me how I left my job, or how I'm able to work from home and move around all the time. People assume that I'm just 'lucky' or that I have some sugar daddy supporting me so that I can write blogs and drink kombucha and do Instagram stories all day. 

It's the opposite, actually.

I've had to work hard for EVERY single thing I want. 

And here's the thing: YOU CAN TOO.

Even if it seems all the odds are stacked against you, even if your family thinks you're nuts, even if you have highs so high and lows so low that it makes you question your own sanity.

You have to decide that you WANT to live a life beyond your wildest dreams, and then take steps to make that happen.

They can be the babiest of baby steps, or you can jump ship and create the net to catch you on the way down.

Whatever you choose, I beg you to realize that you only have ONE LIFE and that life is so. short. 

Don't waste anymore time & procrastinate the things you really want to be doing right now.

And whatever you need, I'm always here to support you on your journey.

Decide. Believe. Commit. << that's all you need. 

NOW START LOVING YOUR MONDAYS, DANGIT.

Oh and if you want inspo like this sent straight to your inbox (plus healthy tips and tricks I don't share anywhere else!) sign up for my VIP email list

Sending you lots of love this week!xo,

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[VIDEO] How to Achieve ANY Goal in 100 Days | 100 Day Consistency Challenge

Hey lovelies!

As you can probably tell from my Instagram stories lately, I AM MOTIVATED AF.

I don't know if it's the weather, the double shot espresso I had this morning, the fact that humans like Beyonce exist on this planet so I am determined to #NEVERSETTLE.... I don't know what it is, but I'm ridin' this wave of motivation hard right now. 

I truly believe life comes in seasons — remember 6 months ago when I was making posts about moving to Canada, trying to find my groove again with my workouts? 

WELL LOOK AT ME NOW, FOLKS. I'm back in action. 

LOL, but really. Just as there are different seasons — spring, summer, winter, fall — there are different seasons of our lives.

And during certain seasons, there will be certain priorities. 

For example: when you're super busy at work, fitness may take a back seat. When your kids are back in school after a summer off, maybe you can kick it up a notch and spend more time in the gym. 

Whether you're in a season of motivation or not, it's super helpful to have some accountability in your life — which is why I decided to do this 100 day challenge. 

I explain all the details in the video, but essentially I'm tracking my food & cardio every day for 100 days using this 100 day calendar. I'm highlighting my successfully completed days in yellow, and unsuccessful days in red — because the goal is not PERFECTION, the goal is to see how consistent I was over 100 days. 

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. 

That's why I live and die by. 

So even if I have an imperfect day, I will autocorrect and get right back on track the next day.

In this vid (originally posted in my private Facebook Group as a Live chat — if you're not in there WUT R U REALLY DOIN WITH UR LIFE. Jk, I'd love to have you!),

I talk about the details of my challenge, how you can create your own challenge, the mindset shifts you need to make BEFORE you try to be 'consistent' and more... CHECK IT OUT:

If you decide to do the Challenge, comment below or hit me up on social media to let me know!

LOTS OF HEALTH & HAPPINESS, xo

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It's totally free! Get it here

STOP Bargaining with Yourself & Choose the Hard Thing

If you'd rather listen to this post, check it out in this podcast episode!

Hey love!

Today I want to offer you a challenge. A little kick in the pants. A little nudge of tough love. A little butt slap that says, "GET OUT THERE AND PLAY THE GAME SISTA!!!"

Throughout our day, most of the things are do are on autopilot. We drive the same ways to work. We do the same exercises in the gym. We do what's necessary to get by at work. Take an inventory of the things you do every day, and you'll probably realize that you're doing most of those out of comfortability and convenience. 

But what if you took the initiative to DO THE HARD THING instead?

The choice that's uncomfortable, the one that doesn't necessary produce immediate results?

I've been trying to live by this in my life every. single. day. Whenever I find myself trying to rationalize out of the 'harder' choice, I challenge myself to do the hard thing instead.

I hate ab roll outs because they hurt and suck, but here's me.... DOIN IT ANYWAY.

I hate ab roll outs because they hurt and suck, but here's me.... DOIN IT ANYWAY.

For example: 

When I'm laying in bed in the morning, I have the choice to snooze my alarm or get up and go to the gym. The rationalizing thoughts start to run through my mind, "You could sleep in! You've already been to the gym 4 days this week, this can be a rest day. Getting more sleep will help me make better food choices later."

Here's the tricky thing about the way we bargain with ourselves: our excuses are actually valid sometimes. 

I had already gone to the gym 4 times that week. I could've used a rest day. More sleep does help me make better food choices.

But I committed to myself the night before that I was going to go to the gym in the morning, so I did the hard thing: I chose the gym despite all of my powerfully convincing and convenient excuses. 

That means opting for LONG term results versus fleeting, temporary satisfaction.

Because what makes you comfortable right now probably won't change your life much. 

You're USED to sleeping in. You're USED to eating the same foods that aren't getting you the body you want. You're USED to settling for less than you know, deep down in your heart, you deserve. You're USED to doing all the things that you've always done, which have led you exactly to where you are right now.

So why not do something different?

Why not choose the HARD thing for a while, and watch how drastically changed your life is a month, 6 months and a year from now?

Choose the workout that pushes you out of your comfort zone. 

Choose to go on the date, even though "you're not ready to date yet. you'd rather stay in your PJs and watch someone else find love on the Bachelor."

Choose to start that blog TODAY, instead of bargaining with yourself that "you'll start when you're ready."

Choose to ask for a raise.

Choose to stand up for yourself when you're being treated unfairly. 

You've got nothin' to lose... and everything to gain

QUIT bargaining with yourself. Quit playing small. Start showing up, start making the hard choice. And report back to me with how freakin' awesome your life is after you start doing this consistently.

xo

Julie

P.S. One of the best quotes I've EVER heard about making progress in the gym,

"Keep doing things you suck at. Once you're good at them, add more things you suck at. Rinse and repeat."

BOOM. GENIUS. 

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If you liked this post, you'll love my the BRAND NEW e-book I just created: Fitness Is An Inside Job (5 Mindset & Habit Shifts You Need to Make RIGHT NOW to Radically Change Your Life.) It teaches you how to go from KNOWING what to do, to ACTUALLY doing it.

It's totally free! Get it here

How to Stop SELF SABOTAGING & Finally Get What You Want

If you'd rather listen to this post, check out my podcast episode about this topic!

Y'ALL. 

I had the biggest mindset shift this morning, and I had to share it with you. 

Do you ever say you want to do something, yet you don't follow through -- despite your BEST intentions?

For example, you SAY you want to lose weight (and you probably really do!), but you end up sabotaging your efforts by 1. not taking the time to prep food ahead of time 2. choosing the unhealthy option because that's what feels good in the moment, or 3. skip out on your workouts more often than not. 

I've been reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and it's one of those books that has changed my whole world. Seriously. It's that groundbreaking. Stop what you're doing, go to Amazon, and order it NOW.

*Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for your support!

But he talks all about how we each have an Upper Limit to which we allow ourselves to feel good.

Most of us, Hendricks says, spend our lives operating in our Zone of Excellence, but never take the initiative to operate in our Zone of Genius -- which is the only place where we can truly THRIVE. 

So why is it, in spite of our best intentions to (lose weight, meet new friends, meet the love of our life) -- we feel like we're always an arm's reach away from what we really want?

Long story short (I will do a whole recap of this book because I am that obsessed with it), it's this: we sabotage ourselves when we feel TOO good, mostly due to an underlying belief that we don't deserve to feel that good. So, we 'upper limit' ourselves to bring us back to our comfort zones.

For example, let's say things are going really well with your partner for a while, but then you find yourself randomly picking a fight for no reason. *UPPER LIMITING* Or, you're on a roll with prepping your food, choosing healthy options at restaurants, working out, and then you blow it at a friend's birthday party and eat a whole cake because 'you feel like it,' only to feel guilty later. *UPPER LIMITING*

MIND BLOWING, right? So simple, yet if we actually take this information and do the work to find out where we're *upper limiting* ourselves, we can really make some major shifts here!

So, now that we understand what the Upper Limit is and how it works, we can dive into something a bit deeper that will really help you go from *saying* you want to do something, to actually doing it. 

Ready?

How to go from SAYING you want it, to actually doing something about it.

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Step 1: Identify which areas of your life you're 'Upper Limiting' yourself.

Here are some common areas we self sabotage our success: career, relationships, body, spirituality, finances.

Identify where you feel stuck: meaning you feel like you genuinely want a desired result, but feel like no matter what you do, you never really get there.

Some examples:

  • You say you want to lose weight, but can't seem to lose the last 10-20 lbs. (or more)
  • You say you want a thriving relationship, but you always end up with the wrong guys or pick fights with the good ones
  • You say you want to save money, but that purse is just "sooooo cute!!!" -- one time doesn't matter, right? 
  • You say you want to feel more fulfilled at work, but you participate in office gossip every day, you haven't gone to your boss to let them know what would make you happier at work, etc.

Step 2: Ask yourself, "Are my thoughts congruent with my actions?"

This is where I had my revelation this morning. I literally made a chart, and on the left side I wrote "thoughts" and on the right I wrote "real actions."

I can't tell you how many times I've really examined an area of my life that I want to change, only to realize that what I SAY I want, is not what I'm actually DOING. 

For example, if your goal is weight loss, your chart may look something like this:

THOUGHTS (left hand side): I want to lose 20 pounds.
ACTIONS (right hand side): I only work out twice a week because I'm so busy. And I find myself always drinking wine and eating chocolate at night.

See how what you SAY you want and what ACTIONS you're taking to get there are actually totally different?

Here's the thing: it's not enough just to think about it, talk about it or even research about changing. You have to actually take the STEPS to change. And before you can take those steps, you have to identify where it is that you're not in integrity with what you say you want -- meaning your actions don't line up with your words. 

Do this exercise for all of the areas you feel like you're Upper Limiting yourself. 

Step 3: Identify your self limiting beliefs, and *HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART* how is what you're currently doing serving you in some way?

This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT step, but often gets overlooked — or never even considered in the first place.

Every habit we have, positive or negative, serves us in SOME WAY. Otherwise, we wouldn't do it!

I know, it's a mind f*ck, because you're probably thinking, "No really, Julie. I do want to lose 20 pounds. I don't feel like myself, it's making me tired and miserable, I can't fit into my clothes, my relationship is suffering because I'm not confident anymore. HELP."

But in some way, some how, that extra 20 pounds is serving you -- otherwise you would've gotten rid of it by now.

So here's what you need to ask yourself and get REALLY REAL (fo real) about: how is what you're currently doing serving you in some way?

This is where I had my current revelation this morning. I've been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for like, 6 months now. *Side note: It's not about the weight, it's just about how I feel and the way my clothes fit. And I decided to journal this morning, as I always do when I feel I'm not in integrity with what I *say* I want. 

TOTAL TRANSPARENCY HERE: I realized that the extra weight has been serving me because it allows me to play small in my business. Deep down, I have this self-limiting belief that I have to show up, physically, in a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Part of that is perpetuated by all the fitness chicks on social media with ripped abs *even though that's not my goal anyway. But I realized that having an extra layer of fluff allows me to say, "I could do a photoshoot, go to more events in the community, find clients in my new city, etc. but only when I lose the 10 pounds so I'm taken seriously." It's serving me because, even though I dream of something BIGGER for myself, it's a lot easier for me to hide behind an excuse that people actually GAF about 10 pounds. It's a lot easier for me to say, "I'll do it when I'm ready, 10 pounds from now" vs. just taking messy action NOW and figuring it out.

Ugh, realizing that was a huge gut check, let me tell ya. 

So this means in spite of my best efforts to lose weight: hiring a trainer, working out religiously, and eating mostly well -- I've been bringing myself right back down to my comfortable Zone of Excellence (because I'm doing just fine in my little bubble, thank you LOL) by reaching for cookies, eating off Mark's plate when I'm full, and frankly just eating TOO MUCH of the good stuff. 

Mind blowing, right?

Maybe it's just me, but this was groundbreaking stuff.

I hope you can find where you're Upper Limiting yourself and start taking steps toward your dreams. I tell you ALL DA TIME, but you are SO WORTHY of everything you want in this world. But it's not enough for me to tell you, it's up to you to believe it.

I believe in you.

Do YOU believe in you?

xo, TONS OF HEALTH & HAPPINESS!

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