Motivation: Where Do You Find Yours?

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/13/2008 6:01 AM   :  93 comments

See More: fitness, motivation,
The common bond many of us share is where to find the motivation to carry us to our goals. What happens when it isn’t there? Why is it so important in helping us to achieve success in anything that we do, including embracing a healthy lifestyle?

When I first began my journey, motivation was at an all-time high. It was like the first day of school, you know when you buy a new back-to-school outfit, new school supplies, and even look forward to making new friends. But once the first few weeks are well behind you this is when the work really begins. And it can be tough and no longer fun.

I once thought that motivation was something others could give me. They would be there pushing me through all the trials and tribulations in my life or carrying me through when I just felt I couldn’t do it on my own. But I have since learned differently. The longer I am on this journey the more I realize I am the one responsible for getting me to each and every one of the goals I have laid out before me.

Believe it or not, motivation is something we all have! We have all had it since we were wee babes. But I do believe, at least for me, I learned to shut off the motivation button each and every time I hit an obstacle that stood in my way of success. In other words, I took the responsibility off me and put it onto my lack of motivation. It was easier to blame my lack of motivation than it was to blame myself.

This is why I consider this journey a blessing. I realize I DO have the motivation to get me over the roadblocks I have set up, I just couldn’t or didn’t want to hear that inner voice telling me I could do this. I had just buried it deep within so I could blame anyone else, but me. This doesn’t mean I don’t turn to others when times get tough--in fact that is what helps me more than anything. Realizing that others have walked a similar journey and succeeded inspires me to find that all important motivation.

My running coach, Chad, told me the following quote a little over 2 years ago after he became so tired of hearing my incessant complaints of not being able to break through a plateau I had been on for many months. He said, “Nancy, I CANNOT give you motivation. Motivation must come from within yourself; therefore, it is a gift we give ourselves. However, what I can give you is inspiration, since inspiration is a gift we give to others.” I went home immediately wrote that on my inspirational wall of quotes where I still read it every day.

And while I would like to say that I have conquered the lack of motivation bug, what I have learned is to accept, just like everything in life, that it too has its peaks and valleys and it is all part of the journey to a healthier me.

How do you find motivation within yourself when you feel that you just don’t have it in you? Do you feel worthy of giving yourself the gift of motivation every day?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Healthy, Homemade Gifts: Chocolate Pretzels

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 93
    thank you for a great blog .i needed to read it - 5/20/2010   9:26:08 PM
  • NICK3RD
    92
    Planning for a race - 5/18/2010   9:54:34 AM
  • 91
    I go to the Spark people cooks for recipes that have low cals, high fiber & very low sugar. I only take in up t 10 grams of sugar a day if that much. I find it is working for me as my weight is finally budging. - 4/8/2010   4:12:23 PM
  • 90

    My motivation is to fit in my clothes...

    My weight changes and I can usually pin point what my mistakes were. Then I want to pick up and try again next time and remove the things I had done before. I can usually see the results right away and that makes me feel good.

    I love the support on this time is so amazing! Hugs! - 4/8/2010   12:30:25 PM
  • 89
    My motivation wearing cute clothes and fitting back into my favorite jeans. I want to love the way I look in my favorite outfits and loosing wieght so that I can buy clothes in a smaller size. My husband and sisters help encourage me but my motivation is all the clothes in my closest I want to wear but haven't been able to in quiet some time. - 2/25/2010   4:18:43 PM
  • 88
    my motivation comes from 2 places. First God gives me the motivation I don't always have. And my best bud Dennis also enourages me too. and I try to be my own motivation. - 12/16/2009   11:22:23 AM
  • COURTNEY1103
    87
    My husband is my motivation. My husband got out of the Marine Corps. not long ago, and we have been enjoying ourselves since. That includes indulging on lots of food, especially things that are native to home. We are back on track, and he keeps me going :) Gotta love him! - 10/7/2009   1:52:46 PM
  • 86
    My motivation for exercise is that it's the only "me" time I get. I hit the road running with my MP3 player and just go. I run away from all of my problems, I'm not in the house with screaming children or being asked a ton of questions at work...I'm running, at MY speed with MY favorite music and MY own thoughts. I come up with some great ideas and thoughts during my "me" time running. It works for workout DVD's too. No one bugs me or gets in my way. It's the only time I get to be selfish & do MY workout. I look forward to it!

    As for food, the more I workout, the less I crave junk food. I want focus my calories on foods that will give me the best energy for my workout so I can come back home after my run feeling happy and accomplished. - 10/7/2009   1:46:26 PM
  • 85
    I am motivated by my fear of back tracking. I think about how far I've come in my fitness regime and wonder if I would really want to blow all that out of laziness. Right now, I can bike 10-15 miles with no problem but 3 months ago, if you had asked me to do that I would have just died. Do I want to go back to that point? Definitely not!
    ~Ang - 7/31/2009   1:51:13 PM
  • 84
    My motivation comes from the end result of doing something that I thought I wouldn't be able to do. - 4/29/2009   3:45:38 PM
  • 83
    Even negative emotions can motivate one to action .I spent 9 mo's once exercising and eating healthier for fear of losing my husband.I lost 50lbs.Some day's it was the FEAR , some day's it was the ANGER.when he didn't even notice,I gave up and gained all my weight back over the next 2 yrs .I'm happy to say that 5 yrs later I am motivated by the LOVE OF GOD and THE HOLY SPIRIT that lives in me.I am now doing it for me and if He notices,good for him.If he doesn't good for me ANYWAY!NO FEAR,NO ANGER,its all about theLOVE!!! - 3/25/2009   11:50:40 PM
  • JOSLINDA
    82
    My Children and Grand Children give me the motivation. I know the more healthy I become.. the longer I am going to be around to see them grown up... and I want to be around for a very long time. Not only that, but I am already feeling better. I am more aware, my skin feels great and I look forward to my daily routine. Thank you so very much for sharing this blog with us all. - 3/6/2009   9:56:33 PM
  • RHYNIC
    81
    What a beautiful blog. For me it's plain and simple. I get the motivation by doing it! - 12/22/2008   7:54:42 AM
  • 80
    For motivation, I think of all the things I want to accomplish in the future, and the only thing standing in the way is my own mindset, and my weight! It doesn't matter what the goal is whether it be a cute Halloween costume (and slight revelaing), a future wedding dress, or a healthier and happier me, I zone in on that concept. I also talk myself up when exercising, and it really keeps me up. My one motivating quote is from Marianne Williamson (and was featured in Coach Carter):

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”



    - 12/16/2008   9:30:34 PM
  • 79
    My motivation is in knowing that by getting healthier my entire life will be richer. I had a grandfather who was hit by a car in his mid-80's in a shopping center parking lot. His thigh was broken bad enough to need a pin for it to heal. The doctor told him that getting that pin into his bone was one of the toughest things he had ever done, since Grandpa's bones were so dense. He had been someone who always went for a walk after dinner his entire life. I want to be healthy enough that if I'm ever in such a situation, the doctor will marvel at how healthy I am! - 12/16/2008   12:41:33 PM
  • 78
    Motivation..every day I muster up a reason to feel like today will be an extraordinary day. Finding motivation is like having multiple personalities...one personality says "girl, you are good...you look great..you've really been working hard"...the other says, "damn...you are such an inspiration, you have such discipline and focus, I envy your commitment!" The first personality wants to be more like the second and then there is this burst of energy that accompanies. I have to find motivation in every setting. When I go to work I say to myself, "how can I make a contribution today? What will push me toward success or accomplishment today?" Even when my boss doesn't seem to care or inspire me to do more, or I feel like what I do goes unrecognized, I still feel like I must, must push myself - because I refuse to be "ordinary."
    When I plan my meals for the day and track my foods, I motivate myself to be honest with myself and to remind myself that in order for me to be the "hottie" I want to be I have to keep the commitment I made to myself. When I am working- out with my trainer or in group and I start to whine about what "I can't do," I have to talk to myself and motivate myself to push through the moment, get over myself and to keep trying. When I really feel uninspired I tell someone and they quickly remind me of all the ways I can get back in the game! I motivate myself from that positive place.
    - 12/16/2008   11:50:20 AM
  • 77
    I feel that I deserve to do this for myself. I usually give up very fast, but I found out recently that my blood pressure has started to climb, so that gives me more motivation. I'm scared of having a heart attack. I also feel that I am in control of how I look and I can't blame this on anyone. I used to be smaller and I know how my self esteem was then compared to 76 pounds heavier. I have beaten so many odds that I refuse to let weight be the thing that gets me. - 12/16/2008   10:51:11 AM
  • 76
    When my auto-immune thyroiditis was undiagnosed and out of control, motivation was very tough to come by because I was debilitatingly fatigued, sick most of the time, and weighed 287 pounds. In those days, it didn't matter what I did or didn't do, ate or didn't eat, I was still literally sick and tired all the time. My diagnosis and treatment was all the motivation I ever needed. So for me, motivation did come from somebody else, my doctor. At that point, it became like priming a pump. Along with the medication, changing my diet and exercise habits caused me to feel better, and the better I felt, the more I could do, and the more I did the better I felt. Since then, a healthy lifestyle has become both a vocation and an avocation. I've studied and taught nutrition, became a personal trainer, love to cook from scratch, dance, took up running at age 59, and pretty much do anything I want to do, not only cause it is fun, but just because I can.

    I got off on a little bit of tangent here, but the point I am trying to make is that success is really the only motivation we need. And success is a journey, progress, not an end result. So motivation is also a mindset. If you focus on a final result, you will never get there and so that motivation will faulter. Conversely, if you feel better today than you did last month, last year, or weigh less or eat or exercise more, then you are succeeding and success is all the motivation we need. - 12/15/2008   10:33:20 PM
  • 75
    It's about how I feel - when I eat something or how Iook at myself. This weekend I had a dessert that made me feel sick the next day. There is also the sense of accomplishment with having lost about 30 lbs. Lastly the women of my family have all been extremely overweight. I want to break the cycle and I am succeeding. - 12/15/2008   7:07:45 PM
  • LUSK64
    74
    My motivation is my mirror. Seeing how my clothes fit. And how much better I feel if I stay in shape. - 12/15/2008   6:26:26 PM
  • 73
    Wow what a beautiful post, thanks so much for posting it!! I really have shut my motivation to the off position. It's good to know Im not alone and it is a part of the path to the healthier me! Got to get that thing switched on again! - 12/15/2008   1:02:23 PM
  • 72
    I'm motivated by considering the alternatives to making these healthy changes in my life. I can do things right or I can continue on the path that got me fat and unwieldy. After 34 years of marriage, I've only got one child left at home, so am almost at the time in my life that my Prince and I can just be a couple again--and I want both of us to be able to look forward to it! - 12/15/2008   12:48:35 PM
  • DEBBIEKAY1
    71
    I CANNOT give you motivation. Motivation must come from within yourself; therefore, it is a gift we give ourselves. However, what I can give you is inspiration, since inspiration is a gift we give to others.” I love this I hope you dont mind if I use it! - 12/15/2008   9:17:06 AM
  • UNMOTIVATED3
    70
    I continue to struggle with motivation. I feel great after I exercise but I constantly have to talk myself into it especially if I have a stressful day at work. - 12/15/2008   9:14:49 AM
  • SROMARSH
    69
    MY MOTIVATION COMES FROM THE ENERGY I FEEL AFTERWARDS
    MY MIRROR MY SONS REACTION TO US BEING TOGETHER AND OF COURSE SPARKPEOPLE - 12/15/2008   8:52:54 AM
  • 68
    I think motivation and inspiration go hand and hand. You just have to see it.
    From SparkPeople, friends I have met on sparkpeople, my family, co-workers, my pets, pictures of when I was younger, trainer Bob Harper, others who have succeeded, music, myself, nature, God and our Angels.
    I love the feeling I have after I workout. My moods, outlook on life, the day is so much better now.
    - 12/15/2008   4:18:10 AM
  • 67
    I get a lot of inspiration & motivation from the weight loss community on YouTube. - 12/15/2008   2:53:18 AM
  • 66
    I get motivation by coming to SPARKPEOPLE every day. - 12/15/2008   2:31:56 AM
  • GLBRITTON
    65
    I donot have the gift of motivation everyday and I have really lost my motivation to exercise, but I do motivate myself to at least still watch what i eat b/c I donot want to put back on the 40 lbs that I have lost. My kids are my motivators also b/c I wanna be around to see them have children someday, :)!!! - 12/15/2008   12:44:28 AM
  • RAYOLA
    64
    It might be odd, but I enjoy chopping wood, and love to be able to see the pile of wood I just split. :-) Since it is a very cold long winter where I live I have lots of opportunity to split wood!!! - 12/14/2008   11:14:11 PM
  • 63
    I just did a lot of pondering and writing about this very subject this past week. Motivation is the reward I get for doing the work I know I need to do. When I just get out and DO my cardio or my strength training, or fixing the healthy food, I feel better, get stronger and lose more weight. And that motivates me to just get out and do it again. I like the distinction betwen motivation and inspiration. I'd never really seen it that way before. Nice blog!! Keep up the good work - you KNOW you are a huge inspiration to me! - 12/14/2008   7:47:36 PM
  • 62
    Thank you Nancy! I needed this reminder! - 12/14/2008   7:13:10 PM
  • CHICAGOLATINA
    61
    Seeing myself naked after a shower and stepping on the scale is a major bosst for me. I also tacked a pic of myself when I weighed about 125 lbs on my cork board at work to motivate myself to say : "If I was thin BEFORE, I CAN be thin AGAIN!" - 12/14/2008   4:55:39 PM
  • 60
    My sons and Angels(team) are my motivation team.They keep me going and them telling me I'm a good leader.when they tell me that, it makes me want to keep motivated at all times. I believe I keep them motivated by telling how well they are doing and getting closer to their goals. It does help when people support and give them encouragement. - 12/14/2008   4:48:48 PM
  • 59
    The evil scale gets me motivated. - 12/14/2008   12:30:18 PM
  • 58
    I just DO IT! -- NO excuses. I know I am not going to get my desired result if I don't exercise and eat right. It's just common sense for me. - 12/14/2008   11:36:06 AM
  • P30GRAVES
    57
    staying motivated is hard some times, but you are all great inspiration to me - 12/14/2008   11:32:08 AM
  • 56
    I find my motivation is in direct correlation with my adherence to the 8 laws of health:

    NEWSTART**

    Nutrition
    Exercise
    Water
    Sunshine
    Temperance
    Air
    Rest
    Trust

    When I neglect these for long...I have no desire to live healthfully.
    It's not easy...it does take daily determination.

    I'm grateful for SparkPeople....
    The concept and the people....
    SparkPeople helps keep me on track.

    ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.•´ ..•´ -:¦:- Terri
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*



    ** www.weimar.org
    - 12/14/2008   11:12:30 AM
  • 55
    Nancy, thank you for today's blog. I had never thought of motivation vs inspiration before. The first time here on Spark People that someone said I was inspiration to them, I denied it. Since that time, there have been many opportunities to give others inspiration along the way, as I have received inspiration back from many others (yourself included). That is a road well travelled, and much appreciated. Motivation can be as easy as changing your attitude. - 12/14/2008   10:31:06 AM
  • TREGIANI
    54
    Completely agree with you! You are the one responsible for your own life! As soon as you realize that, and you take control of it yourself, things start to happen! - 12/14/2008   10:20:48 AM
  • MICHAELA2780
    53
    I absolutely agree with this...I get asked all the time where I find the motivation, and my answer is always the same - me. And Nancy is right, it does have peaks and valleys, but I know that I am responsible for myself and the decisions I make every day, so even when motivation fails, a sense of responsibility to myself kicks in! - 12/14/2008   9:57:03 AM
  • 52
    It's absolutely true: motivation comes from within. Don't look to others to do this for you. Only you can do this for yourself. - 12/14/2008   9:46:12 AM
  • 51
    My motivation comes from the fact that I am tired of giving up on things. I have come to realize that if I can't control anything else in my life, I can atleast control my weight and health to the best of my ability.

    And sometimes when I feel like I could give up, the people on SP is what keeps me inspired! - 12/14/2008   9:44:09 AM
  • 50
    I'm hoping to make healthy habits a way of life, like going to work everyday. I try to never ask myself if I want to be there. It is what I must do. Of course there are choices among choices but our habits generally make or break us. Automatic pilot minimizes the energy needed for motivation. Motivation is required to break negative habits, form new habits, and to jump start us again when we have allowed ourself to become de-railed. Back to "Why am I doing this" and "what are my options and the projected outcomes of those options" sometimes helps too. When I am depressed I make a list of everything great in my life. Then I make a list of the actions I have been taking to develop my life in a way I want it to go. That usually helps alot. - 12/14/2008   9:35:54 AM
  • 49
    Me~myself & I. Its all about me doing it for ME!! Cause no one can run that 5 miles for you but YOU!!.. No one can get you in shape BUT YOU!!!. I eat healthy all the time.. .I post old pictures of the big fat me around & I also carry a picture of the old me to show others of how unhealthy I was & How I look now.. Thats is motivation enough...If you havent seen the old me then you have to view mypage..It was a long road to figure out that Only you can do it for you & never give up!!!.. Cause YES you can do it.. Im living proof!!.. I just wish I knew what I know now years ago.. Ya got to eat healthy & exercise.. They go hand in hand!! - 12/14/2008   8:43:35 AM
  • 48
    I am the embodiment of motivation! It may sound arrogant, but the point is, I motivate me! I want to be better , do better, achieve more, to expand in strength in body, mind, emotion and soul! - 12/14/2008   3:31:58 AM
  • SHERI1969
    47
    I find motivation by coming here everyday, sometimes several times each day. I find motivation in the music I listen to. I find motivation through watching ohters being motivated. Motivation is everywhere for me. - 12/14/2008   12:38:17 AM
  • 46
    Awesome blog. I read through all the comments as well and really enjoyed them. I get my motivation from reading about the success of others, so SP is a great place to be and I have only been here for a week! Also I am getting motivation from earning spark point and I really want to have a sign that says I lost 10 pounds on SP, then 20, then 30 and so on. That will be so cool!

    My other motivation is that I want my physical me to be as active and fun as the person I see in my head. My imagination takes me so many places I want to go with my kids that I am not going to be able to do comfortably with all the weight I am carrying, so I am motivated to get to the point of being able to do what I dream. - 12/13/2008   11:55:42 PM
  • 45
    My daughter gives me the inspiration to motivate myself. - 12/13/2008   9:51:56 PM
  • 44
    When I don't want to exercise, I just have to remember how I usually feel after I skip a work out. I feel guilty on the inside, and my whole body just feels icky. Since I don't want to feel those things, it's easier for me to take that 60 minutes to do my DVDs. - 12/13/2008   9:41:35 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by December 3! Get a FREE Personalized Plan