Find Your Motivation

by ADC - Gail

There are many factors that influence our decisions to exercise and eat right. Many of these motivations are not our own, but come from outside pressures and media hype.

Internal Motivation vs External Motivation

The successful incorporation of life change on a long term basis only happens when you have internal motivation.  It is that internal motivation that keeps you going when the going gets tough.

The outside motivators will never be enough to keep you moving when you are feeling stressed or when you get discouraged.

Human beings are complicated creatures, but a basic truth is that no matter how hard we try to please others, ultimately we do our best work when we are doing it for ourselves.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

There is a concept related to motivation that separates our reasons for making change into intrinsic and extrinsic categories. The easiest way to explain this concept is that intrinsic motivations are those that come from within and extrinsic motivations are those that come from outside influences.

Results From Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivations help to produce long term life changes.  People who exercise from a place of intrinsic motivation are much more likely to attain long term success.  They will also experience much more satisfaction  as they work toward, and start reaching, their goals.

Results From Extrinsic Motivation

Those that are forced by extrinsic motivations are likely to make short-term changes.  They will also be easily distracted and will be more likely to divert off course.

Exercisers that are making the changes to their lifestyles for medical reasons are an example of this.  They are only trying to begin an exercise program because they were told to.

Can You Convert Extrinsic Motivation?

The best thing that you can do when facing extrinsic motivations is to change the way you see the issue.   Try to take the extrinsic factor to an internal place and change the focus within your own mind and life.

For example: if you are told that you must exercise to reduce your risk of Diabetes, don’t focus on the fact that you were told to do something.  Instead, focus on the fact that improving your health will give you a better, and longer life.

  • Tell yourself each day upon rising that your life is important to you
  • Remind yourself that you want to enjoy the highest quality of living possible
  • Recognize that you have a choice.  You can suffer from health problems, or you can find an activity you enjoy that will reduce those problems

Find Daily Motivations

You can easily look for reasons that you enjoy exercise and eating right, such as the way that you feel after a good work out, or the way it feels to get into a pair of jeans that were getting too tight. Take a good close look at the small daily motivations that come from within yourself and let the outside influences become secondary.

It’s All About You

Ultimately, you are making the choice to live a healthier life for your own pleasure and well being.  It has nothing to do with what anyone else thinks or feels about your choices.

A life of fitness and good nutrition is a very rewarding one for those that take on the challenge and realize the results of consistent and continued change. 

  • You can have more energy, less pain, better check ups and far less illness.
  • You can live a longer and more active life without debilitating disease and loss of mobility
  • You can enjoy a variety of diverse activities and cuisines that are good for you as well as highly pleasurable. 

You have choices every day that will effect your quality of living, take the opportunity to make more choices that better your life, and less choices that damage your health.

Do it for yourself, and for your life.

 


Libby April 3, 2012 at 12:26 am

I can appreciate the importance of motivation coming from within. I would lose weight and rely on the praise from other people. When the praise died down, the weight crept back on. Yet when I got to a point of wanting to lose weight for me, it made a huge difference! Now that I’ve lost a good amount of weight, I feel healthier, smile more and have more energy.

Libby April 10, 2012 at 2:23 am

I can appreciate the importance of motivation coming from within.  I would lose weight and rely on the praise from other people.  When the praise died down, the weight crept back on.  Yet when I got to a point of wanting to lose weight for me, it made a huge difference!  Now that I’ve lost a good amount of weight, I feel healthier, smile more and have more energy.

Maryellen April 11, 2012 at 1:54 am

Great article!  For years I’ve been losing weight to please other people.  I’m finally doing it for myself and it feels great!!!

GetFit May 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

You made some really good points.  I think for lot of people initially having the outside support/praise is important and then at some point it becomes an inward gratification. 

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