Motivation, that fickle Friend
What motivates you? To do anything really?
I have a few motivators in my life.
I’m motivated to get out of the bed (albeit reluctantly at times) on weekdays to go to work. I do this because I have bills to pay and prefer that to people breathing down my neck asking me to pony up my debt with them. I do this also because, even though I lose 20+ hours a week commuting to and from that place, I actually like it. I like my colleagues. I like the company. I feel good there.
I haven’t always felt good there. At least not 100%. But I stay because I visualize the good things when the not-so-good get me down. To be honest, I’ve had it pretty good there and it continues to go better and I continue to grow. That’s a good motivator to me.
I’m motivated to spend time with my husband and step-kids. 99% of the time I truly enjoy their company and my heart feels like it’s going to explode from the love I get from them. I’m motivated to be considerate, kind and loving, and I get it back. So when I have an argument with my man I always forgive because I think about the good things, the things that remind me WHY I’m there in the first place.
I’m motivated to keep in touch with and reach out to friends. I haven’t always been the best friend in the world and yes I’m a bit selfish and self-absorbed at times. When I have disagreements or become annoyed when others are acting out (for whatever reason), I remember why we were friends in the first place. I think about the great times we’ve been through together and I keep going.
I’m motivated to feed and water my cats. I love them and would hate if anything would happen to them. They depend on me and give me love right at the exact time that I need it.
I’m motivated to do regular things for myself like my laundry – who wants to run out of clean knickers, right? And I like to look and feel like I’ve made an effort. When I see a cute girl in the mirror that cleans up well and looks pretty ok for a 42-year-old, I feel good about myself. I remember that feeling on those days when I don’t want to bother having a shower or getting dressed (like on the weekend) and I do it anyway. I’m always glad I do it.
I think most people have motivators like this or at least something similar. So why is it so hard to be motivated to take care of ourselves enough to be FIT and HEALTHY?
Why is the “diet” and exercise the first thing to go?
What makes it OK to lose our motivation when it boils down to two CORE ASPECTS of our lives?
What is this, MOTIVATION thing? It seems it’s a fickle friend. It’s there for so many other things, maybe it’s even there for your 100%, giving you it’s undying love and attention and then WHAMMO! It drops you like a hot potato.
And funny how it goes when you are:
Oh, so you are only my friend in GOOD TIMES? No, no, Mo. I’m not going to have a relationship like that.
Motivation. It’s not what you think. It’s a concept. An idea. Something we can easily use to propel us towards good things, but also something to BE USED AS AN EXCUSE.
Can you imagine if we used it on other things besides ourselves?
“Oh, Hi, Visa Card. I can’t pay you this month; I lost my motivation to write out my cheques.”
“Hey, honey. I can’t really bother caring about you this month. I love you but I’ve no motivation to show it.”
“Hey, guys, sorry, I have no motivation to shower or wear clean clothes. Brushing my teeth is cumbersome as well. You don’t mind do you?”
These things sound a bit ridiculous, right?
So why is it OK to say “I can’t be bothered to eat right today. My motivation is completely gone” or “I’ve no motivation to get out and run or go to the gym”?
I felt a bit like I was struggling sometimes with motivation the last months. I’m frustrated. I’m hungry. I’m still not finding a balance with my food.
But I don’t want to be friends with Mo in only certain situations. I want that 100% undying love. That love is me loving myself. I am different but EQUALLY important as my job, my husband, and my relationships.
Any other friend you wouldn’t put up with at only 50%, would you?
Don’t let Mo think you are not important. You have control over you. No one and nothing else. YOU. Stay motivated to take care of you. We get one life; make you a priority in it.
If you are struggling with motivation, think about why you started this in the first place. What is the reason that you wanted to become healthy or to become active? Did those reasons change? Do you still have the same desire for the end result? That you will be healthier and leaner and younger? Or maybe that you will become an athlete? Focus on what is important and don’t make excuses that you have no “willpower” or “motivation”. You are the only one who can do this.
I SO SO SO AGREE.
and have been known to say to friends—lovingly—-when they lament lack of motivation:
huh. I didnt ask if you were motivated. lets just DO THIS. regardless.
Most. Awesome. Blog. Ever!!
But seriously. Why is it that healthy exercise & diet are the first to go?
I think it’s because at the heart of it, we try to eat healthy and exercise purely for ourselves. Sure, there are benefits to our health for those who love us, but ULTIMATELY on a day to day basis, what you do for your body is for you, only. If you gain a pound, it doesn’t affect your husband or step children. If you skip the gym, the Visa people don’t complain.
Very few of us are willing to put ourselves FIRST. We have too many other obligations, too many people in our lives who need our time, or we just think that choosing the gym over another activity seems selfish or anti-social. Ya know?
I don’t have that many obligations right now. I hope that when I have kids someday, I remember that the best gift I can give my children is to be a healthy, active mom with a high self-esteem, and to do that I need to work out and eat healthy.
That one really got me thinking. I know what you mean, about not being motivated. I like to think that I’ve gotten to the place where “motivation” or not, I gotta do what needs to be done. And eating right (mostly) and exercising is something that needs to be done. Just like brushing your teeth or dressing your children in clean (mostly) clothes ;) Sometimes it isn’t easy. Sometimes it downright sucks. Because nobody is going to take your car or house away if you neglect you exercise or healthy eating for a few months. The only one you have to be accountable to is yourself.
When you feel like the scale’s not moving, or you don’t think you can put on those shoes one more time, remember how much good it has done for you. That’s the feeling you want to keep. That’s the motivation.
What also motivates me is remembering how I felt 75 pounds ago. Not as good as I do now. Even on my worst, down on myself, I’m still so far away from goal, the scale’s not moving days, I feel better now than I did then on a good day.
Thanks for the post.
Helloo! great post!
Most of the things we are motivated to do are through habit, we don’t always like them but we either HAVE to do them or it is part of a habit.
We should try making exercise a habit and part of the regular day something that you are not allowed to put aside. I exercise almost every day of the week and sometimes I don’t want to do it, I found the best way to get over these “un-motivational” thoughts is to not think about it too much and just do it, remembering that on the scale of things it is only perhaps 1 hour! and 1 hour goes fast when you are exercising.
Having this just do it mentality you’ll find that eventually things will come naturally and you won’t have to think about it.
This is amazing- i was thinking these very thoughts at the weekend. EXACTLY! I was thinking i’ve never made exuses not to have a shower and get dressed and put the laundry on, so why i have been making excuses not to have a healthy breakfast and go out for a walk. I know these things all need to be daily routines- why did i make excuses for so many years?
It’s a strange question, and a very good one indeed.
Thought provoking blog of the week, right here!
I think it’s tough to stay motivated when it’s something purely for ourselves. I have luckily gotten to the point where even if I am not motivated I push myself to do 10 minutes and by then I am in
I use the excuse motivation sometimes too but it’s wrong. Truth is I just don’t want to eat healthy or exercise at that moment. But that’s being lazy, motivation has nothing to do with it.
Good luck tomorrow! I hope it won’t rain for the both of us. I’ll be thinking of you.
Excellent post, and so very true. For whatever reason, it seems to be okay to treat yourself in a way you’d never treat another area in your life, a pet or a friend.