I just can’t be bothered – Motivation vs commitment
In this blog, Senior Consultant Jo Rix explores the differences between motivation and commitment, and how both need to be present if we are to succeed.
I’ve joined an online fitness group. Basically, it’s five weeks of 30 to 40-minute training sessions that you follow online; all stuff that you can do in your own home or, in my case, my garage.
Now I’m pretty fit and I exercise regularly. But I train when I want to and not when someone tells me to, so I wasn’t sure whether I’d actually be able to motivate myself for the next five weeks.
That got me thinking about how I view motivation. I’ve been asking myself what makes me get up each morning. It’s certainly not that I wake up and feel the motivation running through my veins. I don’t bounce into the garage and shout, “bring it on” and “let’s crush this!”
I don’t think it is motivation that gets me out of bed; it’s commitment. Commitment to get in my garage (regardless of how I’m feeling) and build on each workout. Some days it’s much harder to be present mentally and get through the workout, but it’s the commitment that makes the difference, not the motivation.
However, do I just want to go through the motions each morning because I’m committed? Of course not, I want to enjoy what I’m committing to. Motivation isn’t a linear thing and can change over time.
This is what I’m learning. Motivation and commitment move around throughout the process of working towards a mission or goal.
For me, motivation is drive and desire, while commitment is dedication and determination.
Commitment without motivation is working towards your goal with no enjoyment. You’re doing it because you have to, not because you want to. Motivation without commitment means you have the desire and joy, but can you do what it takes when it gets tough?
Commitment to a goal means that when you face a challenge, you view it as a temporary setback and keep going. But commitment without motivation could lead to burnout and resentment. When you reach your destination, will you still get a sense of achievement?
I’m learning that commitment is the decision to act on what motivates you, and motivation fuels that commitment, and helps you to enjoy the journey.
In the past I’ve relied heavily on motivation to help me achieve my goals, and then wondered why I often failed at the last hurdle. This time I’m combining the two, and it’s working. The fact that I am now aware that there’s a difference is only adding to my future success.
Will my 6am workouts always be a pleasure? Absolutely not, but am I committed? Yes! And does that fuel motivation? Hell yes!