Are Inspiration and Motivation Overrated?


We all love to be inspired and motivated by a movie, a trainer, an awesome speaker, an amazing book, or a song so powerful that it moves our soul. Our emotions are a large part of our being — sometimes we need to be stirred. To this day, I'm energized and motivated to train hard when I hear one of the Rocky movie songs playing! But as one of my recent Precision Nutrition lessons pointed out, inspiration and motivation are a lot like cats: when you need them they're nowhere to be found.

That's when the three S's need to take over. These three amigos are what we REALLY need! We all like cats (well, most of us), but let's not stake our future health, fitness, and wellbeing on inspiration and motivation which can disappear faster than your cat when the grandkids come over! Instead, strategy, schedule, and systems should be our go-to guys! Put these three big guns to work and you won't need much motivation or inspiration. In fact, these three are so powerful that they create their own motivation and inspiration! These guys make things run so smoothly that they virtually guarantee success.

Let's take breakfast for example. Say you're a breakfast skipper and you just can't motivate yourself to start eating breakfast even though Amy inspired you to do so by showing you compelling evidence that breakfast eaters are leaner than skippers. Let's create a strategy: First, you create a nighttime system (ritual) — turning the TV off at 9 PM, hit the sack by 10 PM, a half-hour before the time you'd typically raid the fridge! Now you wake up hungrier and more refreshed because you slept better and longer and weren't digesting food all night.

On top of that, you create an AM system with specific tasks in a specific order. You start with 12 ounces of water, followed by a hot shower, and then.....BREAKFAST!!! You have time to eat breakfast because you SCHEDULED enough time by setting your alarm clock early (part of the SYSTEM!). 

Third, knowing that you have a suppressed appetite from years of skipping, you prepare a small breakfast, making a 1-scoop protein shake or frying an egg (you have eggs and fruit in your fridge because of another SYSTEM you developed in which you grocery shop each Saturday). Man, your energy at work each morning is off the hook! You're so productive that the boss gives you a raise. Now THAT is motivation to eat breakfast!!

Listen, use the big guns, Strategy, Schedule, and Systems as your foundation for fit and healthy living, and see if they don't produce amazing success and fill you with inspiration and motivation!