Why Motivation Sucks & How To Get Ready For 2020

What I find fascinating is 2 months ago the gym was packed. 1 week out from Christmas, and I would say it's about 10% as full as it was 2 months ago. Why is that? My guess is people were super motivated to get into shape for summer (we are heading into summer for those that live outside of New Zealand) and were trying to cram in what should have been a 52-week habit, into 8 weeks.

To get into shape, get fit, eat healthily, and lose your desired amount of weight in 8 weeks before the holiday break is somewhat possible, but it's definitely not sustainable. Cramming anything that's going to be sustainable long term into 8 weeks is not going to last even if you are highly motivated at the time. When people realise what they are doing isn't sustainable long term, because the pain is too high, the motivation disappears. When the motivation wears off, people stop going to the gym. This is true for most things in life and is why people give up on their goals quickly after they set them.

I thought this topic was a nice way to wrap up the year and also to get you thinking about how you can change and do things differently in 2020. The new year gives us a chance to reflect on last year, reset the mind and rethink how to do things next year. I want this article not to motivate you, but to give you simple and sustainable concepts to change the way you look at things long term. Since becoming a father of 3 kids and being in business for over 10 years, it has taught me a lot about the importance of long term thinking.

I want this to be an article to be packed with chunks of information so you can refer back to it when you need to be realigned and put back on the path. 

It's essential to rely on small daily habits and disciplines rather than quick, flash in the pan strategies. I really believe 2020 can be the best year for anybody, despite what happened this year if you change your mindset around achieving your goals, adopt a long term thinking mindset and not be so reliant on motivation. I believe the key to long term results is not to rely on motivation. The key is to think about the future and understand why you behave in specific ways. 

One of my goals for 2019 was not to feel rushed. I always felt like I was in a race with time. This year I was focused on becoming 1% better every day. I'm a believer that being 1% better every day is a lot more achievable than trying to be 50% better in a few weeks. I decided to eat the elephant one teaspoon at a time rather than in a couple of bites. It's a lot easier to do. Even if you feel like shit, super busy and things aren't going your way that day, you will be able to muster up the energy to be 1% better. If you can't do 1%, you have some serious problems.

As a result of focusing on the long term and smaller incremental gains I achieved more, was far more relaxed, far more creative, the company grew nearly 30%, and I had more time to focus on more important things in my life and business.

Things are changing so quickly at the moment. Some would argue this is the most hectic time in history. It's almost a full-time job deciding on what information to take in. It's so damn hard to predict the future because there will be so many factors that happen outside of our control. But one thing you can predict is to become a better person. This is 100% within your control.

Wake up. Be ready. Be a doer, not a complainer. Create solutions. Don't ponder on problems. Dream big. Be bold. Don't think small. Be sharper today than you were yesterday. Make good use of the opportunities given to you. Set goals and be a long term thinker.

Start making assertive decisions because not making a decision is actually a decision. So make a decision to do it or not to do it. You will begin building that decision making muscle which will lead to being a better decision-maker.

Human beings need to be professional decision-makers, and the quickest and most effective way to be a professional decision-maker is to start making them and reflecting on when a decision goes in your favour. A formula and pattern will begin to emerge if you look for it.

Who knows where making a decision will take you. Good or bad. If you know where you want to end up, a wrong decision won't hold you back. Be elusive. Be on your toes always, ready to roll and pounce on anything that comes your way. 

Life is opportunity mixed with difficulty. Life is bittersweet. Life is pretty fucking cool if you allow it to be. I was talking to my daughter this morning, and she was asking why I work so hard. I told her that there's a lot of opportunities out there and that life is an adventure. That you can make your life better if you want and that's what makes life exciting for me. She told me that sounds like a child. I told her that's exactly right.

After summer comes winter. After every recession comes expansion and after every setback comes growth. An incredible and insatiable hunger to learn, grow and expand should be a priority for you in 2020. It's a moral obligation to learn more and attempt to tap into your full potential. 

Imagine seeing a lion in the wild taking half strides, scared of his prey, curled up and hiding to avoid conflict? Imagine how unnatural that would look. Unfortunately, a lot of people live like that. They aren't fully tapping into their potential because they can't be bothered making small incremental changes and decisions necessary to be the person they desire to be.

Grow your business. Grow your team. Become a better parent. Become a better example to others. Grow your finances. Grow the number of people you can impact. Be healthier, fitter and stronger than ever before. Who cares what so and so thinks about the new you. You will soon realise that when you stop caring about other people's opinions, that you were using so much energy to impress others. You soon begin realising that these people you tried to impress didn't actually give a shit, because they had their own problems going on. When you realise that most people don't actually care about your shortfalls, you begin feeling more liberated and start doing things you wouldn't usually do.

There's no trick in the book that you probably haven't read about by now to create the life you want to create. There's so much information out there. Have you thought that maybe 2020 should be a year of implementing as opposed to cramming in more information? Don't wait until you know it all before you begin applying. Because if you do that, you will be waiting forever.

Implementing while you learn will quicken the learning process tenfold. You will naturally begin teaching and sharing with others your own experiences, which is the step up from learning.

Put in the hours. Read books. Listen to the right people. Ask the right questions. Be a professional decision-maker. Be an implementer. Don't just be a student, be a teacher. Study what you're not good at and try to become at least ok at it. 

Remember, despite all of this, I'm telling you, you are still going to have problems. You're still going to have crap days. You are always going to encounter things you know nothing about. 

Becoming the above doesn't help me, or you avoid problems. It helps us deal with them quickly and efficiently and look at them objectively.

Have you ever thought that a set back may actually be a set up to something even better? The irony is that it's so damn hard to see this when you're in it. That's why you must read articles like this because it helps put you back on track and understand that being off track from time to time is normal. 

In 2020 start looking at your peer group. Start making some ruthless changes. Remember, misery loves company. So if you notice yourself becoming more miserable, it's probably your peer group. This can be a great way to change things in your life quickly and effectively. 

Not every day is going to be sunshine and rainbows. Not every day is going to be smooth sailing. Expect that. Turbulence builds experience and experience builds wisdom.

Remember it’s not the pain of making the changes that will kill you. It's the guilt of not making the changes. DON'T LET THE GUILT KILL YOU! Focus on the joy of getting to your desired outcomes rather than the sacrifice and pain to get to it. 

I was broke at 21. An unexpected father at 22. I started my business at 23. I was depressed, addicted and suicidal at 24. I was a millionaire by the time I was 30.

I lost it all by 32. I'm now 34 and have rebuilt my life and business with my team better than before. I went through what I went through, not because I didn't work hard or make smart decisions but because I didn't deserve it and I didn't learn enough lessons along the way. I was focused on doing things quickly and on short term results, even if I compromised quality, my integrity and my future. How foolish was I?

To get up and pay your bills is one thing. To get up and rebuild your fortune, your identity and reflect on your mistakes is another. When you're in your 20s and 30s, you don't have much wisdom. You just have what you think is the right thing to do. I realised that wisdom isn't something you can buy or get from another person. Sure other people can let you know about the early warning signs, but true wisdom is gained when you move and begin making progress yourself.

Wisdom isn't just listening to people smarter than you are and reading books and doing nothing. It's implementing, making mistakes and learning the lessons. 

The key is not avoiding adversity; it's learning how to deal with it. Adversity isn't something to fear or be ashamed of. It's something to expect and prepare for. It's what shapes who you are today. 

We are all going to have it. No matter how good you are or who you are. The key is to pick which adversity to worry about and which to let go.

I've seen people with everything on the outside but nothing on the inside. I have seen people who’s life is all sunshine until they get struck with adversity, and they fold because they didn't expect it. Don't be like that.

2020 is going to be the best year of my life. And it will be the same for you if you choose it to be. I'm not going to do anything drastically different than I am doing today. I'm just going to crank it up a bit. As opposed to being 1% better every day I'm going to aim for 2% better every day. I hope the same goes for you too. 

Remember. Motivation sucks. Small long term changes are the key. Making decisions is essential (you don't know how right your decision is until you make one). Getting outside of yourself and giving things a go is smart. Staying focused once you get off track and keeping your eyes on the prize is paramount. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe new year. Thank you for all the support towards I Love Ugly this year. It means a lot to the team and me. It always humbles me to know that you could shop anywhere else or focus your attention on something else, but you chose us. Its fuel for me to persevere.

Looking forward to another year of it.


Peace!

Valentin