So, in the midst of our current 6 Week Lifestyle Challenge I thought it’d be a good time to discuss motivation and the huge impact just beginning a task can have on us, whether we feel like it or not.

It doesn’t matter what the job is at hand. It could be the struggle (is real!) of getting out of bed, psyching ourselves up to pick up the barbell for the next set or getting started on the mundane task of prepping bulk meals to get us through the week. If our hearts aren’t in it we often just won’t do it. We will procrastinate and palm it off until the last second. We see motivation as the necessary starting point for all action to begin and feel we need emotional inspiration in order to find that motivation otherwise our engine won’t start. It looks something like this:

Emotional Inspiration -> Motivation -> Desirable Action

At the moment our mornings are a little crisp and dark? The thought of hitting the snooze is more of a compelling emotional response that causes the motivation for us reach for our alarm in order to stay in bed longer and hopefully get to the night class.

What’s important to note however is those steps aren’t just part of a chain but an endless circle and just like a carousel it doesn’t matter where you get on, you’re going to experience the whole ride regardless. Now I wish I had been smart enough to discover this epiphany for myself but it was actually the much smarter author Mark Manson whose nugget of truth I’m sharing.

It means that even if I don’t feel like starting something at first, the very act of beginning it will set me up for the next stage of the loop and I will start to feel a little more inspired to keep going. That gets me to the next step where I feel the motivation to keep that momentum and before I know it I’m acting on the next stage. And around we go and go.

It’s how books get written. Small pockets of 200 words of action, building every single day whether they’re good or bad or are fed by inspiration and motivation or not. The loop however only works when we find ourselves at one of the three stages. If we can’t will the first two into existence then we certainly can choose to do some form of action even if we feel some resistance towards it. Soon enough that carries us to finding our emotional inspiration if we just stick to our action long enough. When that happens, all that resistance fades away. Even small tasks like our 10 minute mobility or meditation practice can feel like the biggest imposition to our daily routines but if we just consistently get them started before we know it they get absorbed into those daily habits and we no longer struggle to find our motivation to do them.

So as we look upon our challenge this week, even if one of the tasks seems overwhelming just start on something small. Even just for 5 minutes at a time. Who knows, soon enough you may get sucked in and those 5 minutes become 3 hours.