Wednesday, August 26, 2015

M is for Motivation

I put it out there on Facebook on what to write for an upcoming blog entry, and it was requested  to write on Motivation. I think it's something important to talk about, as in has implications in just about every facet of life. I wrote something earlier this week for the Challenge group I'm co-leading about goal setting, and I think that the two have a whole lot in common.





I'm a big ol' nerd, so when I want to figure out anything new, I open up a book to figure out what's going on. So let's go to the dictionary:


noun
noun: motivation; plural noun: motivations
  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

    "escape can be a strong motivation for travel"

    synonyms:motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, inducement, incitement, spur, reason;
    informalcarrot

    "his motivation was financial"
Origin
late 19th century: from motive, reinforced by motivate.
I read that and distill it to one simple thing, "the why." I want to loose weight, but why? I want to become a nurse, but why? I want a million dollars, but why? I want a puppy/a second cat, but why? (These are all from my own life.) None of those things are ever, EVER going to come to a fruition if you can't come up with a real and relateable. Notice I say real and relateable. I say this because "because I want to," and "just 'cause." are cop-outs. If you can't think of anything any better than "because I want to" and "just 'cause," then you haven't put in enough time and energy into thinking about your potential life changes. I'm going to venture to guess, that at this stage, they just aren't going to work out. 

If motivation is the "why", then goals are the "how". Now I can, and pretty much have, written a whole post on setting goals, so I don't want to post too much about them. I will point out this: they are your road map. You will get nowhere very quickly. Make them specific and attainable and WRITE THEM DOWN. (Like with a pen or paper.)

You're motivated to start, you've got your goals and you're off to the races. Everything is going great, and then the breaks are quickly applied. SHIT! What just happened? Where'd my motivation go? Before you throw in the towel and quit realize this: anything worth attaining is not going to feel comfortable all the time, you're not always going to feel good and happy go lucky. That's just life. Life's tough. Changing yourself is even tougher. In this instance think of yourself as iron walking through the fire, it's only going to make you stronger, and that's where the real change takes place.

This is just the way it is. There's no panacea for loss of motivation and plateaus other than gritting your teeth and knowing that if you stick to your plan you WILL reach your goals, no matter how long it takes. Remember it's not magic. It's hard work. Also, there's this....I always, ALWAYS watch this any time I'm feeling suck:


There are also things that we can do to help us along there way. There are two that work for me. One is my weightloss rewards. (I like stuff. More specifically, I like pretty jewelry). Every 5 pounds I lose, I buy myself something that will work within my budget. For me this stems from ending the cycle of rewarding myself with food every time something went right in my life.

The second thing is music. It almost drives me to tears thinking about what a run would be like without my Running Playlist. Going every fifth song it contains: Eminem, Fort Minor, MIA, Kanye & Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Beyonce, RuPaul, Van Halen, Blackcherry, Macklemore, and Miranda Lambert. Pretty diverse. This taps into all the music that gets my brain, heart, and the athlete in me going. I also, honestly, listen to this type of music most of the time on my commute so I can come across as the best version of myself when I'm around the general public. Let's face it, the not so good versions of myself are no picnic. 

Big take away. Find your "why" and don't let it go. No matter what happens. That's going to get you going and keep you going. Also remember, that why is going to come from the deepest places of your soul. Don't be scared, that's where all the good stuff is kept!

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