Anything is possible if you are motivated enough. For goodness sake, people are climbing Mt. Everest just because it’s there. I need a touch more motivation than that. Picture 10 bizillion dollars and a guarantee that I would not die in the process. Neither is a possibility, so no adventures up that mountainside for me. I would LOVE to say that I wake up every morning ready to seize the day. Alas, this is not the case. I could go on and on about how I struggle with finding motivation to go about all the aspects of my life, but I will spare you. You are welcome!What I will share with you are a few strategies that I use to increase my chances of doing what needs doing to live well.
Get to know yourself. I am motivated into action by a few things.
On good days, I’m intrinsically motivated (good angel sitting on my shoulder) to eat right, deal with stress, and exercise. That’s right. I will do these things because making good choices is the right thing to do for my health and wellness. I also choose to do these things because, at the end of the day, I physically feel better.
On other days, it’s good old-fashioned fear that moves me. It is fear that I am going to feel bad, sick or guilty if I choose to sit on the couch, stress about nothing important, and eat a bag of salty-greasy-chip-os. Some days I really do weigh this as a viable option of something to do for the day, but I do not enjoy feeling bad, sick or guilty. I also fear the elastic waistband. Enough sloth-like days in a row will result in a wardrobe punctuated with elastic waistbands.
There are some days when I’m motivated by what other people think. Alex would love me even if I didn’t do one active thing for a week. However, he would probably give me a look that I would interpret as “judging” me and that would be bad for everyone. I talk a lot. It’s no surprise that my friends know I try to live well. Catching me with a sack of chocolate chip cookies would be too much to let slide by without at least a comment. It would probably also involve some pointing.
I don’t think being motivated by my conscience, by fear or by other people is so unusual. Figure out what motivates you. You don’t have to announce it to everyone like I just did. Be honest with yourself. I don’t like admitting that a committee of “they” has that much influence on me, but sadly it does. Once you know what is motivating, you can then choose how to go about your day. If other people are your motivation, then you can work hard at not being alone with said sack of chocolate chip cookies. If your partner’s opinion moves you, then let him/her know you appreciate the support. Make sure you return the favor and freely give well deserved pats on the back.
If you want to run a 5k just to see if you can do it, sign yourself up and make the commitment. I have committed to participating in this year’s 5K Turkey Trot. I’m hoping to not be mistaken for a Turkey. I’m also shooting for non-stop trotting for the entire distance. The date is rapidly approaching, but I’m setting mini goals along the way. I’ve just completed my first goal of non-stop 2.25 miles. Now I’ll start shooting for faster time within that distance and on other days, longer distance at the same pace.
You can also try to work towards being more self-motivated. It really is the most positive motivation and I am striving to be my very own, best cheerleader. It’s the one motivation you can completely control. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this personal struggle. I work on this daily and some days I’m successful….some days not so much. This post is starting to feel long so check back in a while and see what I have to say in this series’ part II. Wouldn’t want to interrupt a possible sudden burst of motivation!
Until next time….Live Well! – Toni Kuhel