‘Keep Going’: This Girl’s Epic Struggle to Stay Motivated

Keep Going: Thoughts on the Struggle to Stay Motivated

Last week, my Fitbit tells me, was my best week ever, walking-wise. Technically the Fitbit’s only been with me for about a year so “ever” might be a bit strong, but I topped personal milestones (literally) for the number of steps and the number of miles I tackled within a seven-day period.

And then there’s this week.

I keep expecting my Fitbit to shake and shake to see if I’ve died.

My step count spirals downward as my feet feel stuck in the mud. I know I’d feel better if I walked. I know the walking path is there for me, waiting.

But it’s gotten hotter.

And I really do need to get to x, y, or z so I don’t have time to walk.

I can’t walk at the river; there’s an escaped prisoner on the loose.

I wish I were as good as sticking with a plan as I am with coming up for excuses. While some of them may be true — a hectic schedule or an escapee on the loose for crying out loud, there’s always a way around challenges…if we’re willing to look for it and then take it.

Yes, Dawn, that guy was hiding in the area at the river. I’m pretty sure no one saw him near the elliptical at the gym.

But living a more active lifestyle isn’t the only area where I struggle with motivation. And I imagine I’m not alone.

Healthy food choices fall by the wayside because it’s too hard to find time to grocery shop or cook or…let’s be real here…we’d rather have that cheeseburger.

Writing a blog post to share with you becomes a challenge because, well, I start wondering who I am to offer advice when I don’t have my act together any better than I do.

And don’t get me started talking about writing. In April, Dana and I started a challenge to write an average of 500 words a day. I finished April just a tick or two over that goal. And then there’s May. Before today’s post, my word count for the month rang in at 608.

Six. Hundred. and Eight.

In nine days.

That’s a whopping 67.55555… words a day.

Which is a long way from my 500 words-a-day goal.

And so I feel even more frustrated with myself for not following through.

But I have good news.

This is a new day. We get to start again.

Yesterday is over, and we can’t change the things we did (cheeseburger) or didn’t do (walking, writing). But, today? Today we can make choices. We can begin again.

Sometimes we just need a pep talk to get ourselves moving in the right direction. So, I offer the following wisdom found in a quick Google search to help us all reclaim our “want to.”

“Why are you going to choose failure when success is an option?” – Jillian Michaels

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Anthony Robbins

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – JK Rowling

I have a very good friend that I whine to when things aren’t going my way or when I’m frustrated with something I’ve done or haven’t done. I can count on my friend to offer pretty steady…I mean consistent advice. He tells me:

“Just keep going.”

Sometimes I really don’t want to hear that advice. But it’s always true. Even when things seem dark and hard, keep going. It may be at a snail’s pace, but keep going.

Thankfully, as a Christian, I don’t have to face challenges alone. I don’t have to do that fighting in my own power. I know that God offers His strength, but more than that, He offers His presence. My prayer is today that I will “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

I hope this message was designed to help someone besides just me. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

2 thoughts on “‘Keep Going’: This Girl’s Epic Struggle to Stay Motivated

  1. Kathy Smith

    Dawn, I’ve read this three times now and I like what you are saying. I like it perhaps because not only is it well expressed but it is familiar to most women I know, myself included. Yet each time I read it I am left with the same thought. What would you think about giving yourself the gift of the luxury of one week of no expectations? No unrealistic ones anyway or those that produce stress and pressure and anxiety. No trying to stay motivated! Just allow your day to evolve naturally and see what happens. As in life, some days are better than others. They can’t all be exceptional.

    But neither were our days meant to be pressured into being motivated to do stuff on a daily basis. Motivation for me has to come naturally. I gotta want whatever “it” is really badly and be able to visualize myself at the end of the work it takes to get there. If I don’t have that clear image and want it more than anything else, it’s simply not gonna happen. So I adjust and do my best to fill my day and mind with things that are positive and good and sometimes healthy and sometimes not. And that’s ok. There’s a balance in there somewhere!

    Women put so much pressure on themselves when they’re already so amazing! And working women have so few hours to themselves in the 24 we are allotted. Filing those precious few hours up with ought to, could have, should be doing this that or the other creates a constant irritation and dissatisfaction with the day. At least that is my experience. Even though I am retired now I stay very busy. Sadly my exceptional organizational skills retired as well! So finding the discipline I need to structure my day and check those things off my daily list can be frustrating at times. So I wake up each day thanking God for it and asking that I make the most of it. Then I go to bed each night grateful for what that day brought whether it was what I hoped it would be or not. I traded a day of my life for it and I let it be enough. Like you said you have another chance tomorrow. Facing the day as it evolves and not trying to control it so much can eliminate some pressure to perform. Performing is exhausting.

    I hope this makes some kind of sense. It’s just that I see so much of what you are facing and I guess I’d like to see women try to simplify their complex, busy lives in anyway possible. Even if it is just giving themselves a week off from expectations.

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