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I’ll admit it. I sometimes have difficulty getting motivated in the winter. I’m not saying that I totally let everything go but I can sense that I need to push myself harder to be productive than at other times of the year.


On that note, I was at the gym bright and early this morning, knowing that an intense workout would help me stay focused and productive the rest of the day. I was conscientiously doing my planks when I spotted two women on the treadmill. I had seen them here many times before and knew that they were regulars. However, what caught my attention was the younger of the two. She was moving slow while keeping up a vibrant conversation with her friend. As I watched these two interact, I realized that she was doing a lot of talking. In fact, she was doing much more talking than moving.


When I say that she was moving slow, I mean REALLY slow.


To put it bluntly, she was just going through the motions.


Yes, she was exercising, but she was barely moving and she wasn’t impaired in any way. She just wasn’t pushing or challenging herself. She probably came here on a regular basis and felt good because she had accomplished her workout and knocked if off her to-do list. She also probably wondered why she wasn’t meeting any of her exercise goals.


From time to time, I find myself falling into this same pattern: feeling productive about accomplishing tasks without really doing my best. Every so often I find myself just getting through the experience or responsibility without putting my all into it. When this happens, I massage my guilt of not doing my best by reminding myself how much I have accomplished.


Recently, I had a networking appointment that didn’t go as well as I had expected. He was pleasant, professional and appropriate; however, I couldn’t put my finger on what was “off”. I had difficulty keeping the conversation going and that never seems to be a problem for me. The whole experience seemed very one-sided— I was exerting all the energy. After much thought, I came up with the answer.


He was really just going through the motions.


Maybe he realized this, or maybe he didn’t. If he didn’t, he probably felt pretty good about fulfilling his responsibility of attending his appointment. However, I saw it as a lost opportunity for him.


We all have days where we’re content with just going through the motions. With our demanding careers and personal responsibilities, each day can be overwhelming.


However, I know you’re striving to be successful, productive and happy. I can promise you that you won’t get there by going through the motions. The path to achieving your dreams is not reached by kidding yourself into thinking that you’re really working hard. It’s reached by being honest with you.


Are you showing up with your best self each day?

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