Motivation. The oh so sweet variable that propels us to our goals or the not so sweet scapegoat for why we don’t have what we want.

We often rely so heavily on motivation to reach our goals in life, that we often attribute our success or lack of success to our level of motivation.

What do you think of when you hear the term “motivation?”

When I think of motivation, these are the things that come to mind…




These always work…trust me 😉

The above examples can definitely be motivating for many people.

But, What is Motivation Really?


So, technically, we’re always motivated. Meaning…

  • You’re motivated to workout.
  • You’re motivated to not workout.
  • You’re motivated to eat healthy.
  • You’re motivated to eat those Cheetos.
  • You’re motivated to swipe left and right on tinder for hours on end.

Motivation isn’t just something that moves you forward in a positive direction. It is also something that we dread, the things we wish were different.

Everything in life, both good and bad is heavily influenced by our motivations.


Ask yourself, in what direction are your motivations taking you?

Be honest. You may say you want to finally take control of your health and lose that extra 20lbs.

Are you motivations propelling you towards better eating and consistent workouts?

Or are you waiting for motivation to be the kick in the ass you need to get started?

For the sake of this article, let’s talk about “positive” motivation, or the type of motivation that propels us closer to our goals (or so we think).

Why “Positive” Motivation Doesn’t Really Work


Well, “positive” motivation does work, but it’s short-lived. It doesn’t last long enough. Just like…


  • Your birthday.
  • Money.
  • Your phone battery.
  • Sleep.
  • Vacation.
  • Life.


“Positive” motivation feels good.


It makes us believe that we can sustain our efforts indefinitely.

But, soon, we are sadly let down and find ourselves back in old habits.

“Positive” motivation, like all the examples above, runs out.

You can recharge your battery, have more energy by sleeping every night, make more money, and put on more deodorant.

But, “positive” motivation seems to be more elusive. It never seems to be there when we need it.

We wait on “positive” motivation. Where will it show up next? Why isn’t it here right now?

So, how do we create “positive” motivation on demand?

By taking “positive” action.


You see, what happens for most people, is that they wait for “positive” motivation to strike before they take a “positive” action.

They have it backwards.

“Positive” Actions Build “Positive” Motivation



Remember the definition of motivation?

As you can see, motivation and action are two sides of the same coin.

By taking action first, you are creating reasons for acting and behaving in a particular way.


By taking action, you are creating the desire and willingness to do something.


Think of action as the spark to start the fire, and motivation as the gasoline to keep that fire blazing.

Action will get you started whether you are positively motivated or not, then that builds momentum and your motivation will become aligned with your actions.

How to Build Long-Term “Positive” Motivation



In my experience this is done in two ways…

1)  Build structured systems.

A goal is just a wish without a plan.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Make it easy on yourself by creating structured systems. Putting together a plan and acting on it will create new actions that may be hard at first, but over time, they’ll become habits and eventually those habits will become second nature.

2)  Take consistent action over time.

Taking consistent action overcomes the short-lived inertia of “positive” motivation. Soon, your consistent actions will be motivating in and of themselves.

Right now, you may be habituated to watching Netflix and eating pizza.


But, imagine the progress you would make if your habit was to workout three times per week and to eat at a slight caloric deficit.

The biggest issue for most people is they aren’t taking “positive” action consistently.

Show me you can be consistent and I’ll show you that you can make progress.

Let’s See What This Looks Like in Reality…


Motivation to Workout

Structured Systems

  • Hire a coach and/or join a gym
  • Pick a workout program
  • Schedule your workouts at least a month in advance
  • Pack your workout clothes the night before
  • Have a go-to pre-workout and post-workout meal
  • Build accountability by telling your family and friends
  • Find a great workout partner

Consistent Actions

Once the systems are in place it’s time to follow through on them. It’s simple, you…

Motivation to Eat Healthy

Structured Systems

  • Create your “yes/no” food list
  • Don’t keep your “no” foods in your house
  • Start small and keep it simple
  • Spend a few hours one day a week prepping your meals
  • Learn to track, count, and adjust macronutrient intake
  • Meal Prep – spend a few hours 1 day a week cooking and portioning your meals
  • Learn and cook one new healthy recipe per week

Consistent Actions


Give it a shot. See how taking “positive” action precedes “positive” motivation. Then, watch as the motivation arrives later and you feel more inspired to act! It’s a feedback loop.

Act first. Act consistently. Then, the motivation will come and it’s “game on!”




What are you motivated to do after reading this article?

And what’s one SPECIFIC ACTION you’ll take to move you closer to your goals?

Let me know in the comments below.