Motivation 2.0
Motivation 2.0

Motivation 2.0

January 2024

Motivation 2.0

Oh, middle age. Oh, New Year’s. 

I really really really really want to fix my entire life right now. And like everyone else I know, I am tempted to use the upcoming drop into 2024 as way to “buckle down” or “take control” or “fight fight fight” for some sort of official refresh. This year I find myself especially wanting to stop aging in its tracks and somehow declare victory over what appears to be an upcoming hormonal hell, aka perimenopause and menopause. 

I’m confused about this. I feel like I haven’t even gained bodily autonomy back after having Wyatt. I think the reality is that I have not gained it back - half my night is still spent in a toddler bed, I still have to do schedule budgeting in order to figure out when I will take a shower, most days I don’t even think about things like vitamins, I am still often carrying a 37 pound human around on one hip more than I should be, and I often opt for caffeine over water because doesn’t caffeine solve all problems as parent?

And so it feels especially demoralizing this year to also be confronting the reality that as soon as I get closer to having my body back to myself, I will be face to face with what I perceive to be a bigger physical loss as I begin to see all the ways my hormones are now moving into the “great decline”. I know this sounds depressing, but I promise I’ll be a little resolved in a few paragraphs. I’ll also be switching the focus from perimenopause/menopause in this blog, as we will be tackling that exact topic alongside some exciting new content next month (February!). 

But, the reason I bring it up is because this reality has caused a magnification for me in terms pining after a New Year’s Begin Again Moment. And I really would like to investigate the good, bad, and the ugly around it. What needs my attention? What is worth pursuing? Does this pining have merit? Is it time to “fight, fight, fight?” 

If it is, then I suppose the truth is that I have to change my tune here in MommaStrong by moving away from my normal anti-resolution stance for the first time in business history. Yet, I don’t dare do that entirely. It’s a part of who we are to dig a layer deeper and look at the underbelly of these pulls and pings when grappling with our physicality.

Yet, here’s what I know might be true: The pining is not a bad thing. It does not need to be erased or pushed down. We are not vapid, vain, misdirected people if we want to take charge of our health and if we find January 1st a great time to do that. Perhaps it is the season to grab a hold of motivation. The issue is more about where that motivation comes from and how to hone that motivation so that it leads to sticky, sustainable habits. 

I am beginning to discover that motivation sticks around when it’s coupled with meaning. And when I dig into the underbelly of my current desire to change my life, the surface layer is clear: I can see myself aging, I can feel myself aging, and it feels out of control. I feel so fucking irritated that as soon as I am done with all the extreme caretaking and as soon as I am truly healed (healing) from my last marriage and the assaults against my self-esteem - AH - now I am feeling like I don’t have much time left to celebrate. I know this is dramatic, but it is how it feels. I have been told my whole life that everything goes to shit when women age. These are my fears: We lose our value in general. We lose our place as sexually desirable. We lose our strength and agility.

Obviously, we know this isn’t true. But, like a toddler leaving Target, there’s still irrational scarcity in there - I will never have that thing that I wanted - if I leave, it is gone forever. The scarcity part is the underbelly, the part below the surface that I am curious about and where I am going to suggest might the meaning behind sustainable motivation.

It’s quite possible that the scarcity feelings that arrive when we consider our aging process are much like a big feeling, which - as we all have learned - can be likened to moving through a tunnel. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end to a big feeling. This is part of emotional regulation and well, growing up. We learn to sit with the feeling and do our best not to eject out of the tunnel too soon. We are often not able to - we use substances or distraction or denial or etc etc etc to get out of the discomfort before we get through it. And we do this not because we are weak or broken, but because we are stressed humans and it’s hard to do. 

The scarcity feeling I get from acknowledging my own aging process feels like the biggest tunnel of them all. And I want to eject right now. I want to buy the creams and lotions, I want to drink the potions, I want to pummel my body into submission, I want to find the magical pills, I want to be my best self, and I know I can do it if I am just more focused, more disciplined. The time is now! Now now now now. 

This urgency is a red flag. It tells me that I am avoiding dealing with something important, most likely loss and grief, along with addictions to ideas and behaviors that keep me from the underbelly. But, when it comes to aging, we must - to quote my own arm - “let the tiger eat us”. This doesn’t mean we don’t use this time of year to make positive change, quite the opposite. It means instead that we place our target on the most productive area of motivation and we hold hands with all the other parts and we keep walking through it. All the way through it. 

This is my focus this month and one I am inviting you to join. I want to make changes in my life AND ALSO I am wanting to create meaning behind the motivation that allows me to continue to grow, rather than eject out of the discomfort. This is what I am calling “Motivation 2.0”. It is going to look a little different than New Year’s before, in that I am going to welcome our goal-seeking, resolution-wanting selves and then dive into the meaning behind them so that we can create habits that don’t further stress us out or leave us feeling like failures. Instead, we can and will deepen our experiences and also improve our wellbeing. 

The time is now for that, I do think so. We’ve all been through enough chaos over the past few years and like you and you and you and you, I want to take my power back a bit. And I’m not going to feel badly about that. 

So, join me on January 1st for a brand new 2024 Hook Challenge. We will have a structured 30-day “course” that you join with 5-minute bits of content you can do each day. These daily 5-minutes can be done alone as your only wellness activity of the day OR they can be added on to your Daily 15 or whatever other type of movement you are doing. The great news is that you don’t have to think about a thing. You register and then I will be sending you an email on Sunday with all the goods and how to access the challenge content. Oh, and you’ll be able to chat with other folks in the January Hook right there in that challenge content. AKA, new way forward for a new way forward. Hooray.

I will also be providing a weekly mini podcast to talk about the week ahead, so you can do some listening as well. More importantly, I will be right there with you as we get through this together and we enjoy some of the ways that motivation can be used in sustainable ways for the betterment of your life, while also staying true to your values and the meaning they provide.

To register for The January 2024 Hook: Motivation 2.0, here we go: 

Ok, onwards and possible upwards but also definitely sideways and around-about ways.