Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Day 80. What Motivates You?

I readily agree with former race car driver Mario Andretti when he said that desire is the key to motivation. I rarely have trouble to start on a project when I am excited about it. Do you? It's easier to stay consistent with a goal when we're motivated, and we stay motivated when we have a real desire to accomplish something. But my question is, how do we get -- and stay -- motivated when we don't have the heart's desire in the first place?

For instance, I know I should go to the gym with my husband to exercise. I went for a season, then I got busy (and bored). I haven't been for ages (and I'm not telling you how long either). In my head, I know that exercise is good; research confirms it. Yet still, that doesn't motivate me to regularly put on my walking shoes and get moving.


So how can we increase our desire to complete a task or project, when it doesn't excite us in the first place?

Here are a couple of thoughts in seed form -- see what you think. For me, it's not so much about having the right information, but somehow my heart and imagination needs to be involved. I need to be able to connect to it emotionally. When we feel something at the emotional heart level, we generally act on it. We could be motivated to exercise by fear, such as fear of heart disease. But that hardly makes for living a more beautiful life.  Fear is not a good motivator.

Be motivated by beauty, love, and creativity

This blog, for example. I love working and writing on it. Why? Because beauty, love, and creativity are involved. Beauty motivates me, loving others motivates me, and creativity motivates me. When I'm writing, I have my heart's desire because I'm writing about things that matter to me, and because I'm focusing on what makes life more beautiful for myself and others. So I don't need anyone telling me I should do this.

Which makes me wonder if I could incorporate these motivators into the goal of exercising. How could I make exercising more beautiful? Going for a brisk walk in the great outdoors where I feel the sunshine and smell the earth would be much more satisfying than walking round and round where you fight for space with everyone else on a gym track.

Could love or loving be included? Well, I could think more long term here -- as my husband gets stronger and more fit, it's not appealing to think of offering him a weaker, flabbier partner. That would hardly be fair now would it? And second, it's not very loving towards me. I want to be healthy, strong and able to enjoy the life we have...together. So that desire could motivate me.

Now, how about something creative? What's creative in exercising, you ask? Have a variety of choices of activities that I already enjoy -- walking, dancing, biking. But what if I did some research to find activities that I would actually enjoy? Like dance lessons. Participate in more than one activity so there's a variety of focus, pace, and place.

Got any ideas? I'd be interested in learning what positively motivates you?

Wishing you a beautiful day,


  1. Ah yes exercise a bla word to me,haha . The only time I have done well with that was when I went to curves. I was so happy with myself that could do all those machines etc. Then I ran out of money plus my leg was in such pain I have quit for awhile but am waiting for next year I will start again. right now I am concentrating on losing 50 lbs. need all the positive thinking I can muster up. Today was a glorious day, I have to write about it because when you get older there are not always these great happy days. If you know someone that is in the seventies or older or even 65 think of them sometimes and send some cheer that way. A phone call or take them out to lunch or even just coffee, it means so much as the days are often long. Today was my birthday and I had so many lovely surprises from different people, one my sister-in-law who has never said Happy Birthday in
    the 64 years I have known her, phones down a 8:15a.m. to wish me
    a happy birthday. I didn't even know she knew when it was. I was taken out to lunch by one daughter and a couple of friends and taken out for supper by the other daughter, grand daughter and son-in-law. the hair dresser gave me my hair set with $5.00 off because it was my birthday. Ohhhhh now tomorrow it is exercise time for sure. one, two, three, stretch, etc etc. Yes i guess overeating motivates me into exercise if nothing else '

  2. thanks for the good ideas on getting organized you posted on my blog. that's what i'm doing right now organizing the piles and stacks on my desk!!!

  3. ah, exercise and weight loss. well, it's a way of valuing yourself but usually has a low priority until something comes along to jolt you. mine is high blood pressure and diabetes-loosing weight and exercising helps both of those. but need to find something to motivate and enthuse you. A group helps and a journal to keep track, perhaps a reward like a new wardrobe or trip to work towards. i joined weight watchers and weighing in weekly and meeting to share successes and ask questions is helping. lost 1.4 pounds last week. I really watch my self talk when in a food situation. good luck.

  4. Rosalie, Glad you had a wonderful birthday Rosalie. When you mentioned going to Curves helped keep you motivated, perhaps it was because there are other people around to encourage you. I know words of affirmation lift me up when I need it. Maybe I could get Miss Kitty to tell me what a good girl I am every time I come back from my walk!

    Lin, Good to hear from you! I'll be pondering your ideas, except I have to say I've never warmed to the idea of a new wardrobe as a motivator -- I tried before. I like new clothes but not enough to exercise for them. But.....give me a shopping trip to a wonderful book store, now that might to the trick! (smile)

  5. Alas, I remain unmotivated, and therefore have no inspirational words to share.

    A dance class would probably do it for me... or an indoor pool on my property. I get no more pleasure from walking on our lane than I do from lying in our hammock. Both open the beauty of natuer to me.
    Intellectually, I know my feet and back would hurt less... I could wear much cuter clothes, feel sexier when Wayne puts his arms around me, and have more energy. But, as you said, I haven't bought into those facts...and they are facts...emotionally.

    You gave some good suggestions. And for some oddball reason, it helps me to know there's someone out there carrying my thoughts around in her brain... someone who struggles with the same issues.

    So, Thanks...

  6. I think definately finding an activity that you enjoy will help with the motivation. I love walking so don't need much more than a nice warm day to motivate me for that. However, in the past I would rather play racquetball or go golfing rather than go to the gym. Although I did go to the gym with a friend for a while, but no motivation to go on my own. Now I just need to adapt more activiites to fit my current lifestyle.

  7. Now this is getting really exciting, I checked out the post and found several people had written. Thats what makes a blog
    really interesting is the different comments. Already found someone else who is going to weight watchers. I just joined
    Lin but I don't want my relatives to know as then you get all that how much did you loose 50 times a week (exaggeration ha ha)
    When I loose lots they will know until then I am keeping silent.

  8. rosalie, I can't imagine myself being quiet and not telling anyone that I lost 5 or 10 Lbs,I would have to tell. Good Luck with weight watchers.
    Interesting ideas Brenda


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo