How ‘The Motivated’ Stay ‘Motivated’

I rise at 4.45am, I am in the gym by 5.30am, I am wrapped up by 7am, and at my desk for 7.30am. I have an hour to attend to blog-writing (and breakfast eating!), and then I start my day-job at 8.30am.

A lot of people will say to me “wow you’re so motivated”. I smile. I know I am not.

There is a strange misconception about motivation. People seem to hold the opinion that you must have motivation, to achieve “all the things”. The truth is, that just isn’t true.

So how do we achieve “all the things”?

To achieve “all the things”, you quite simply just have to crack on and just DO “all the things”… without waiting for this magical spark of motivation.

How to do the things when you don’t want to

I’m not always “ready” and “motivated” to put in a good session at the gym at 5.30am, but through building a SYSTEM and a HABIT of awaking at the same time every single day (even Saturday and Sunday!) I take away the emotional internal drive from the decision making that goes on.

Whether I feel like it or not, I am already awake and ready to go. I don’t even think about it.

I am not necessarily motivated for it – it is just what I do.

And that allows me the great pleasure of saying “I’m the kind of person who… wakes up at 4.45am for the gym”. It has become who I am. And in turn, that has led me to develop a very healthy and consistent weight-lifting habit.

Having Priorities

The fact of the matter is, the systems and habits that you build will not be effective or consistent if you don’t know what your priorities are.

If you have any more than 3 priorities, then they are simply not priorities. We only have so much mental capacity for “important things”.

So, as an example…

My personal 3 priorities are:

  • Helping people support others and themselves through the medium of running
  • Getting stronger and faster
  • Reducing my anxiety

I have built MY SYSTEMS on the basis of those 3 priorities. I have made a habit of attending to these priorities each and every day without fail. Why? Because they MEAN something to me.

What about when life happens?

Life does, and WILL happen. It gets in the way of my systems sometimes.

Sometimes I will want to journal at lunch to achieve priority 3 (reducing my anxiety)… but there will be a meeting at work I have to attend.

I allow myself permission, in these instances, to do something else, just as long as it is still in alignment with my 3 priorities. Maybe that means I’ll take some deep breaths on my next toilet break instead. I will do something – never nothing.

I absolutely love this quote…

Melissa Dahl - “the only motivational advice anyone has ever needed: You don’t have to feel like getting something done in order to actually get it done.”


  • Define your 3 main priorities for the year
  • Define what systems you could build to achieve those priorities

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