How to Show Up Every Day Without Being Motivated

You might need to trick your brain every now and then

Zita Fontaine
8 min readJun 19, 2021


Photo by Vultar Bahr on Unsplash

Three months ago I started running — just to give it another try. I have tried it a few times. I managed to motivate myself enough to go on runs for a few weeks or few months, but then it always faded into the background. I never got to call myself a runner. I was someone who went on a few runs.

I have always been fascinated by running, the simplicity and accessibility of it, and I admired people who could get up and go for a run — come rain or shine. I admired how they showed up, how they persisted — despite the fact that most runners I know told me that they didn’t feel motivated to go most of the time. Yet they still did. They got up, put their shoes on and just went — and achieved incredible results.

This time, I started this journey with a completely different mindset — one I believe is more efficient in the long run, one that will help me persist, one that will help me show up day after day.

The mindset change is not easy, but very simple:

I replaced motivation with building a habit, and I am pursuing it with discipline instead of expecting real motivation every day.

Why is showing up so damn hard?

We all have our own concepts about success, usually related to our goals and dreams, and we all admire people who have already managed to get where we would like to be.

Successful people have their own unique ways of achieving greatness — but they have one thing in common: they keep showing up and they do it for a longer time than others. Their accomplishment might seem like overnight success, but it is preceded by long years of preparation and opportunity seeking. Their skills might not be extraordinary, but their attitude to never quit sets them apart from the rest of us.

The recipe for success is quite simple, yet most of us keep struggling with getting what we want. Why is that? First of all, we have a distorted notion about the time we would need to achieve something. Second, we ruin our attitudes by putting too much emphasis on…



Zita Fontaine

Writer. Dreamer. Hopeless romantic. Newsletter: Email me: zitafontaine (at) gmail