Most people misinterpret the word motivation. To them, it’s an outside force that they are at the mercy of. Much the same way as people view the muse and inspiration: if it doesn’t show, you’re screwed. But introduce the legal definition of motivation into our understanding of motivation, which is action initiated by a desire for something (think greed, revenge and self-preservation), and motivation becomes something we can direct and focus. It’s the reason behind your actions, you only have to identify it.
Now contemplate the mindset of someone motivated enough to commit a crime. They plot. They plan. They think about their actions and intentions regularly with passion and determination. They focus on the feeling of having all that money or finally exacting their vengeance.
This can be used to foster motivation toward your own goals and it’s what I’m trying to do to get my butt up and moving…the missing component of my health goals.
Have you ever found when you were sad that a certain phrase or statement about the situation had the power to set off a tidal wave of emotion? That’s the feeling I’m trying to capture to jump-start my exercise, only one of self-empowerment.
I’ve said before that I’ve lost 85+ pounds repeatedly but my previous motivation was mostly self-justification, due to my failed marriage. Now that I’ve let go of my need for vindication, what do I use now?
I think the answer might be strength, personal strength. That end-game feeling I want to focus on with every step, lift and squat is the to-the-bone and in-the-soul knowing that I am strong, independent and well, a bad-ass. My determination will take root the more I intentionally want and yearn to achieve that. I’m thinking and plotting with passion and determination.
Your motivation may crop up in the wake of something negative: seeing a photo of yourself (if you need one, take one) and being mortified when realizing that really is you. Maybe you’ve had a concerning diagnosis from your doctor or are on your way to becoming diabetic. Or maybe, like me, your partner has cheated or in some other way damaged your self-worth and you want it back.
If you’re having a hard time taking the first steps, schedule a check-up or take some before selfies. There’s no reason you can’t put yourself in the way of motivation.
I’m also aiming for small victories along the way and using visual reminders to keep me focused. Visual reminders…sounds clinical. Basically I have a Christmas-tree-size tote of clothes in my shed that I can’t fit into right now. I’m going hang a favorite outfit on my bedroom wall. Maybe I’ll include a before picture – the bigger the better.
Artists know that the muse visits those who are working. The same is true for motivation. Pinpoint your reason (good or bad) and use it to foster your determination to change.
What are your thoughts on motivation? Have you ever tried any of the strategies listed here? Do you have any tricks that give you a good kick in the pants and get you moving?