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Public Enemy Number One – Your Weaker Self vs. Motivation

„Your Weaker Self“ – Who is this?

To be honest and not to talk around the bush: Your weaker self is a big part of yourself. And thus for your motivation. In German, there is even an expression called „innerer Schweinehund“ for your weaker self or lack of willpower. This makes you think of it as a real, third-person permitting you to do something – quite weird.

Each turn of the year seems to be the perfect time to change something in your life, you’ve always wanted to change. So, you make some New Year’s resolutions. Often, these resolutions are things you’ve pushed along for a very long time. Unfortunately, they don’t last as long as they were supposed to. Those of you going regularly to the gym can tell you a thing or two about it – the first two weeks of the year, each gym is flooded by new members you’ll never meet again.

Typical New Year's Resolutions
Typical New Year’s Resolutions

Gym vs. Couch?

This seems to be one of the main application areas of your weaker self. And the question „Gym vs. Couch?“ is more or less a rhetorical one: Couch. „Today, there’s something good on TV!“, „Doesn’t matter if I eat the whole package right now..“, „Tomorrow is another day!“, „I’m too wearied by work today. I’m not able to go to the gym!“, etc. But to be honest, those days we think we’re not able to do something are the most important to overcome our weaker self.

It’s fundamental to realize that it’s in our own hands to make a change. We don’t have to wait for friends, family or anybody else: It’s up to us. It really doesn’t matter if there’s a new year coming or not. Raising awareness is the first step forward. Furthermore, it’s really not the end of the world, if you stay at home lying on your couch – you just shouldn’t make it a rule.

Sometimes you just want too much

Especially considering New Year’s resolutions we tend to want too much at once: eating healthier, getting fitter, and losing weight. Further, it would be nice to change the job, sleep more, be more effective, and quit smoking. But, each of these resolutions is a challenge itself! It’s important that you don’t burn the candle at both ends: Mostly, this is the reason why many people throw in the towel after a few days or weeks. It is much more success-promising to take things step by step and to value milestones on your way.

For example, if you want to run a marathon, you don’t start running 25 miles but rather a shorter distance and you slowly extend your workout. If you want to lose 20 pounds, you start with 5 pounds in a month – this is easier to reach and once you succeeded in doing so, you can go further and motivate yourself with your achievement.

Do you want to cut sugar out of your nutrition? It’s better to start with omitting sugar out of your daily coffee and cake and to reduce your consumption of sweets. In the next step, you can refine this and be more consequent.

Sometimes less is more
Sometimes less is more

And what can I do to overcome my weaker self?

My personal recommendation is: Go and find your personal motivation. This motivation is different for each of us – this can be before-and-after pictures of people who already managed to lose some weight; hearing your favorite music can be motivating as well as focusing on the feelings you have after a good workout. The pride you feel overcoming your weaker self is really priceless.
But there are other things which can motivate you as well, e.g. a fitness-tracker or pedometer. They can help you see how much you’ve already moved and how much is missing. This can be quite a good idea because some trackers come with an app that allows you to connect with friends and compare your daily exercise.

My tip is: Find your own motivation – it doesn’t matter whether it is your favorite music, an athletic role model, new clothes or anything.

Set realistic but still demanding goals and value each milestone. These milestones will help you be proud of yourself for having progressed so far. And very important: Believe in yourself – if you really want something, you can reach it!

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.


What is your personal motivation? Do you have any resolutions for this year or are you happy with everything? Tell me 🙂

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