Have you ever struggled with motivation to continue towards a goal? Showing up for a workout, trying to eat healthy, going to church more often, reading your Bible daily?¬† It can be exhausting and before you know it, you don’t remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Maybe it was to lose weight or to conquer an eating habit, but I will argue that as women, we need to stay dedicated over motivated. Here’s what I mean:

Dedication means sticking with something even when we lack motivation. I’m hardly ever motivated to eat a ton of vegetables, but I’m dedicated to how they make me feel. Motivation is based on our emotions, while dedication is being committed to something.

I think about my walk with the Lord and how it’s a daily dedication walking in the same direction. I am 100% committed to becoming the best Christian woman I can be, so my dedication allows me to continue on that path by going to church, reading my Bible, and praying. I think by relying on motivation alone for the things we’re trying to accomplish, we only set ourselves up for failure. Motivation has its place, for sure, but to rely on it alone won’t get us where we want to be. For example, I’m often sparked¬†by a motivating word from a friend, a lesson heard on a podcast, or a message sent via Instagram of Facebook. We need motivation to help us along the way.

But I believe to truly see lasting change, in whatever area you desire, we need both dedication and motivation. Dedication spurs on motivation. For example, I’m not often motivated to read my Bible daily. I’m just not. I’ll listen to a podcast, write a scripture verse, or sing worship songs, but I am not motivated to open my Bible. Left to just motivation, I would never do it because I never felt like doing it. But, as I said before, my life dedicated to the Lord and in obedience and that motivates me to read! We’ve got to have deep rooted ‘whys’ behind our dedication and motivation for them to work beautifully together. When I go in spurts where I don’t want to read the Bible much, I go back to my dedication.

Let’s use the example of exercise. If your sole motivation is to lose weight, it will be hard to stay dedicated to that because there are temptations, events we want to enjoy with friends and family that involve food, or our willpower that gives out. Take it one step further. Why do you feel you want to lose weight? Or need to lose weight? Is it because you had a family member die from health related complications and you want to live a healthier life? Is it because a healthier weight would give you more energy and less stress on your body? Get down to your deep-rooted ‘why’ and dedicate yourself to that reason. Then, your motivation will follow and you won’t rely on willpower so much.

Another note-don’t misinterpret dedication to meaning “never takes a break.” I see many women tell me they want to work out every day for a month or run so many miles in a week. That’s not dedication. That’s burnout. Dedication means, on the whole, you are committed to bettering your life. It does not mean never taking a break to rest.

One last point. Let your motivation and dedication be your own. Just because someone is dedicated and motivated to run a marathon, doesn’t mean that is for you! Start by writing down your values, your personal dreams and goals, and how you can best accomplish them. I do think we feel that the journey to be our best self should be difficult and if it’s not, then we picked the easy route, but that’s just not true! Sometimes, our greatest achievements and successes come because we played to our strengths and ‘whys’ over willpower and motivation.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on this topic! Do you struggle with motivation? Have you tried switching your mindset to ‘dedication?’