Your Motivation….Where DID It Go?


One of the questions I hear most often; “How do you stay motivated?” Which is quickly followed by, “You’re always smiling and  look so happy to be here, don’t you ever have a day when you don’t want to go to the gym?”

I’ll answer both questions, in order of course. In order to answer the first  question, I’d like to define motivation.   Depending on who you talk to, which dictionary you open or which website you enter, motivation can be defined in numerous ways. It  has been put as simply as “a drive or force that compels someone into action”. I’ve also seen it defined as, “internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to remain committed to a job”, but my favorite definition yet is, “the conscious and subconscious process that initiates, guides and maintains goal oriented behavior in which nothing can be accepted, save  victory”.

We have all experienced motivation at one point or another in our lives.  Maybe you saw a show  on television that motivated you to organize your  coat closet  or heard a talk that motivated you to take control of your finances….whatever it was, we’ve all been there. When undertaking an endeavor that must be a lifestyle change in order to be successful, it makes sense that your source of motivation must be something that won’t fade (you know, kinda like the coat closet…it was a wreck again within three weeks and if you’re going to be honest about it, you didn’t even care).

In all honesty, my motivation has changed throughout my journey to better health.   In the beginning stages it was my  poor level of health and  my desperate desire  to prevent my children from having to watch me suffer from all the negative health implications that come  from being overweight. As I progressed, lost some of the weight and my health began to improve, other factors came into play which most definitely affected my motivation.

At one point in my journey, my daily “get your butt to the gym” motivation was the goal  I’d set for myself to hit a certain number on my total cholesterol at my next blood draw. At another point along the way it was to wear a  particular pair of jeans to  an upcoming Christmas  party. A little further down the road, it had changed again and was  my angry response to a negative (and doubting) comment I’d overheard between two people who were claiming to support me in my endeavors. Even further along in my journey, my motivation had changed yet again to hitting a personal best in the amount of weight I could move in relation to my body weight.

Currently, I’m kinda back to my original motivation; my amazing kids. My focus has changed a little bit though;  in the beginning  I was trying to prevent them from seeing me hurt, I know now that to do so is impossible. If life has taught me anything in the last five years it is that hurting is NOT optional. Everyone will hurt at some point, though there are different kinds, as well as levels, of pain. Ironically enough, I set out  fiercely trying to keep them from having to experience the deep emotional pain of watching someone you love hurt. Yet, in the process of attempting to do just that, my amazing children have watched me hurt  much more than I thought I was capable of living through.   I had no idea when I  took my first step onto the hard path all those  years ago what I was heading  for or the  hurt it would actually bring into our  lives. However, now that we have gotten through all of that together they continue to be my motivation, though in a little different light. My kids are my life. I live for them, breathe for them, love, cherish and adore them. Why would I want to do anything to jeopardize my time with them? So to answer the question as to how I stay motivated: I walk into motivation’s room every morning, smile  and say (as I kiss motivation on the forehead), “Wake up sleepy head.” And you know what happens next that makes me the luckiest person in the world?

Motivation smiles back at me.

My answer to the second question is a resounding YES!!!!!!! Of course I have days that I don’t want to go to the gym!   I am human, and in no way shape or form am I perfect, including but certainly not limited to,  this topic! There are days when I’d rather be just about anywhere BUT the gym! This is where  motivation comes in, and why it is so important that whatever it is for you, it is something that you value!

For example, would I stay in bed if  I knew one of my children was hurting and I could stop it? Not only no, but hell no!   Would I choose another 20 minutes, or 2 hours for that matter,  of sleep over comfortably fitting into that pair of jeans I wanted to wear to the Christmas party? No! Did I choose to let the doubtful comment I’d overheard be correct?   Hell no!   Whatever your source of motivation is, it has to be able to trump sleep because I promise you that you’re going to have days where you want to hit the snooze button and fall  back asleep cursing the man who invented alarm clocks (whose name by the way is Levi Hutchins, just so you have it for future use)! That moment right there, while you’re laying in bed all warm, cozy and comfortable is when your source of motivation has to be more important to you.

So, what is your motivation? Is it something that will fade with time, or is going to be an influencing factor in your life long term? Whatever you do, choose wisely my friends,you’re choosing success or failure.

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