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SparkPeople desk calendar - journal about motivation

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So along with the shirts and mug, with my SparkPeople order I got a free calendar (the office desk kind where you tear off each day and the weekends are grouped together).

My first day (Friday) looking at it was about tracking cholesterol. Thought about that, decided not right now. I'd added calcium and fiber at the beginning of June and don't want to throw another nutrient in while I'm learning the ropes of balancing those two. So far, so good, though I do bounce over and under - by my trend stays in a reasonable range. I might make cholesterol the next just out of curiosity, but that will be a couple months.

Today's was about thinking about motivation and writing in a journal about what motivates us.

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Does this sound familiar? Well, okay, so my blogs haven't actually been about WHAT motivates me so much as about motivation in general. And one of the replies on my blog about even world-class athletes have meh days really resonated and has stuck in my mind:

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JSLATE2K: I think a lot of people confuse motivation with being enthusiastic for, or excited about, something. None of us feel excited about the same thing day in and day out, but having a purpose that is in alignment with our core values is something that generally doesn't change.
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A couple of the examples they listed made me shake my head - not me. Self-esteem has never been an issue. I am self-deprecating (I can put myself down and not think that makes me less - like calling myself a klutz) I don't achieve to my real potential, but I have something innately in me that believes in my worth and power as a being. Happiness also has never been an issue. I can watch a bird in a tree and be happy, it's that easy.

Then something kind of nudged its way to the forefront of my thinking.

** My motivation is, at its core, to grow. **

Everything I do is driven by a desire to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. I want to grow in ability, grow in fitness, grow in knowledge, grow in financial condition, grow in relationships, grow in so many things.

Any goal I set is a forward look at where I want to grow in an area.

Working out is growth in fitness and strength. Even those days I struggle with it, consider saying "screw it", I don't - because the only way to grow is to push against the resistance. Eating right is growth in health and physical condition. Putting aside savings and an IRA is growth in my financial future. Reading and studying is growth in language and understanding and knowledge.

What continually motivates me is measuring my progress as I grow.

Did I learn a new word? I'm excited and motivated to read more and find even more words?
Do I have more in savings this month than last? I'm excited every time I see that number and want to find ways to set a little more aside.
Can I lift more weight than a week or month ago? I'm excited and looking forward to the next muscle I'll be pushing a little harder.
Am I naturally including more veggies in my meals? I'm excited and watching for new ways to include other options.

In a sense, the mental idea I have for my motivation are the redwoods out at Big Basin. Death takes even trees on occasion, through fire or storm, and when they topple their rings are seen. I want my life to be like one of those trees, decades of living and growing recorded in the ripples outward to those I have a positive impact on.

So, no, my motivations are not fitting into a certain size, or seeing a particular number on the scale, any other measurable and quantifiable end result. My motivations are the steps along the way, the changes, the improvements, the knowledge that I have grown and am growing and will grow.
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