We do not have to be rocket scientists to know that it takes more than motivation to make positive lasting change in our lives. We require other qualities such as self-compassion, commitment, patience, and discipline. We also need to be realistic. Have you ever wanted something so badly that you became overambitious in your abilities to achieve it, unrealistic- perhaps just a bit unrealistic?
It can be a challenge to be realistic when motivators tell you to "Dream Big" and "Shoot for the Stars". Such was the case for Stan Goldberg, PhD as he relays his own experience in his article Why Motivation Alone Stinks :
A number of years ago I enrolled in an expensive cycle training program guaranteeing I would become fit in sixty days, reduce weekly cycle times by minutes, and allow me to live longer. I think there was the implicit guarantee my sex life would improve, and I’d grow more hair.
We spent thirty minutes determining my exact cycle positioning. Then I was directed to the “conditioning studio” where high-tech stationary bikes in a semi-circle faced a thirty-year- old instructor who looked like an Esquire model.
I looked around and saw ten other cyclists who were less than half my age (sixty-five at that time) easily pedaling without breaking a sweat. I had visions of the instructor calling my wife with the news I died on the bike and asking if she would like to buy it as a remembrance.
After the class—one of the most painful experiences of my life—I asked the instructor if there was an alternative way of training. Something more sensible, like moving me from where I was physically to where everybody in class had been for years. Possibly he could design a routine that wouldn’t give me a heart attack. When he looked as if I didn’t understand the importance of being motivated to change, I asked for a refund.
Mr Goldberg goes on reiterating that motivation gurus may tell us "what" we need or desire but not "how" to get it. He even slam dunks Nike's line "Just do it", the concluding words I borrowed from Nike in the self-care section of my self-help book
Just do it.....with caution, determination, discipline and make it your reality!