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Building Your Motivation Toolbox

We are almost one month into 2020. If you are still riding the hardcore motivation train, you are probably the minority. Motivation is hard to maintain, it's a feeling. Like all other feelings, it comes and goes. I just started listening to "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins for the second time. I wanted to relisten to it for motivation because I have some personal goals myself that I want to achieve in the upcoming months.

If you look up David Goggins you will see he is one bad a** dude. Former Navy Seal and now ultra-marathon runner; a lot of his content seems to come off as motivational. In the intro of his audiobook, he says, "I hope this doesn't motivate you." as he proceeds to dish out some true wisdom. He talks about how a person needs to change their mindset and "create a toolbox" to utilize when the going gets tough. What are the tools you can use to help guarantee your success? A quick example would be adapting your mindset to better understand when you truly want. Possibly the most relatable situation may be whether you are craving or wanting a certain food. If you truly want to be successful in this challenge you need to know that it’s okay to have a craving for ice cream, pizza, cookies, etc. but it is inaccurate to say that you really "want" any of those foods. Let me explain, think about all the consequences of eating those types of foods. The immediate/ short term consequences (hedonistic satisfaction, pleasure, excitement, happiness) and the delayed/ potentially long-term consequences (inflammation i.e. bloating, weight/ fat gain, guilt or shame). When you weigh out the pro's and con's like this, you come to realize that you don't necessarily "want" those kinds of foods.

There is a lot more to wanting certain foods than just taste. The flavor of black coffee, for example, most can agree, is an acquired taste. Nevertheless, you drink it for the energizing effect you receive from the caffeine. The same can be said about fruits and vegetables. I myself struggle to get what I know and have experienced to be beneficial amounts of fruits and veggies in my daily diet. When I do, I notice a night and day difference in my digestion quality and overall energy levels. I feel awesome- sharper mentally and I perform better in the gym- when I give my body the proper fuel it needs. So, even though I don't find Brussel sprouts to be tastier than French fries when I go out to a fancy restaurant, I'm choosing the Brussel sprouts because I know I'm going to feel way better in a couple of hours or even the next day. Being aware of what my body “wants” vs what it’s “craving” and making the conscious decision to do what is best motivates me to stay on track in the long run.