The heroic story of how one girl refused to give up and, instead, set herself the challenge of making a difference.
What is motivation? You can’t hold it in your hands, bottle it up and store it for a particularly tricky winter. Despite what many Instagram fitness coaches will tell you, you can’t teach it. You can’t even see motivation, only the behaviours that it causes. However, a motive sits quietly behind every single thing that we do.
If you drink a glass of water, it’s because thirst – and ultimately, survival – motivated you. And if you fail at that same New Year’s resolution for the third consecutive year, it can be pinpointed down to a severe lack of the stuff. If motivation grew on trees, we’d all be off breaking records and discovering new elements, rather than sitting in the chair that has perfectly formed around the shape of our butts, covered in bits of cheesy Wotsit.
Desire to achieve something is not enough. Desire gets you started. Desire is what makes you buy all the expensive work out gear, the celebrity fitness DVD, and the protein powder that smells like plastic and hydrogen sulfide.
But desire without motivation is why you can buy so many cheap gym clothes, fitness DVDs, and protein powders from charity shops in early February. Motivation pulls you through the tough mornings when bed seems like your only friend, the agonising dinners when everyone but you orders dessert, and all the other inevitable obstacles between you and your goal. So, how do you get your hands on this miracle product: motivation?
Making your own motivation
Someone who knows a little bit about finding her motivation is one of Buffalo 7’s Project Managers, Gabby. You have to be made of strong stuff to be a PM at B7. A consistent level of motivation is required to juggle multiple projects while remembering every tiny detail about each one, to hop from meeting to meeting but still be available to answer to every whim and desire of the design team, and to be the first in the studio door and the last out. Every day.
While Gabby was successfully crushing the PM game, she found her motivation wasn’t coming home with her at night. Like so many others, Gabby had set herself a list of resolutions as we all clambered into 2019 – poised, graceful, and completely sober, of course. Her resolutions were not unrealistic; she just wanted to become fit, healthy, and strong. However, as she neared the end of February, and the end of another pack of biscuits, she realised that she had the desire, but not the motivation. Gabby knew her approach had to change. She had to tackle her fitness goal like she would any presentation design project.
Set achievable goals
Wanting to be healthier is an admirable goal, but it is impossible to measure. How do you know when you’ve got there? You could be chasing an elusive prize for the rest of your life, without ever getting to feel that sense of pride that comes with achieving it. More likely than not, without any reward mechanism, you’ll just give up. Gabby needed to adjust her resolution and create measurable, tangible goals.
Give yourself a deadline
They say ‘tomorrow never comes’, but June is guaranteed. There’s no escaping it. It happens every year. By giving herself a solid endpoint, Gabby had to stop procrastinating, stop putting it off until ‘tomorrow’, and dive straight in.
Make a plan
This one was second nature to Gabby; she just needed to PM her own life for a change. By breaking her ultimate goal into smaller, less intimidating steps, and giving each one a timeline, she soon had a ‘how to’ for getting in shape.
Make yourself accountable
This is the scary bit, but you have to tell people. As soon as you share your dreams, you create an extended support network that can cheer you on and provide extrinsic motivation, when the intrinsic wavers.
Heading for the finish line
How did Gabby bring this all together?
On the 19th May, our Gabby will be running her first 10k at the 2019 Great Manchester Run. As well as having the collective herd behind her, Gabby has chosen to add extra accountability by running this 10k to raise money and awareness for the mental health charity, Mind.
Mind does incredible work to provide support services to those suffering from mental health problems, as well as educate against stigma, and spread awareness in the journey towards a more sympathetic and respectful world for anyone who has encountered mental health issues.
At Buffalo 7, we regard mental health extremely highly. Having partnered with Manchester Mind in 2018 – a partnership that will only strengthen throughout this year – we could not be prouder of Gabby and the task she has set for herself. It just goes to show that, when the going gets tough, the tough run right towards a solution, no matter the personal struggle.
Despite all the motivation that Gabby has worked hard to cultivate within herself, seeing the donations for Mind ticking up on her JustGiving page is certainly not hindering her progress. Every single pound is crucial in helping Mind to continue to provide the incredible support that so many rely on. If you can contribute anything at all, please do so by clicking the link below. Thank you, from the whole herd.