Motivation: Where Do You Find Yours?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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?

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CHERYLHURT 3/15/2020
Thanks Report
CHRISTINEM80 12/16/2019
Love, love, LOVE that quote from your trainer!!! I have shared it with some ladies in my fitness group!! Thank you for an awesome article! Report
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USMAWIFE 10/19/2019
Thank you Report
CD24912514 10/16/2019
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CHERRYZMB60 9/20/2019
When i need motivation I picture my grands and being here to see them grow Report
KATHYJO56 9/19/2019
great article Report
I start off ready to go and get my work out in. Then I just get bored after a while Report
Yes. Motivation for me is also not a straight line. It has ups and lots of downs. I have to remind myself not to rely on it alone. Report
We all motivation, somewhere either in the beginning or mid-way through exercise routines we start thinking, that gets me into trouble. Report
Thank You for a great article. Report
thanks Report
thank you for a great blog .i needed to read it Report
Planning for a race Report
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. Report

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! Report
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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
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. Report
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 Report
My motivation comes from the end result of doing something that I thought I wouldn't be able to do. Report
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!!! Report
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. Report
What a beautiful blog. For me it's plain and simple. I get the motivation by doing it! Report
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.”

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! Report
Motivation..every day I muster up a reason to feel like today will be an extraordinary day. Finding motivation is like having multiple personality says "girl, you are look've really been working hard"...the other says, " 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.
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
My motivation is my mirror. Seeing how my clothes fit. And how much better I feel if I stay in shape. Report
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! Report
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! Report
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! Report
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. Report
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.
I get a lot of inspiration & motivation from the weight loss community on YouTube. Report
I get motivation by coming to SPARKPEOPLE every day. Report
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, :)!!! Report
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!!! Report
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! Report
Thank you Nancy! I needed this reminder! Report
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!" Report
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. Report
The evil scale gets me motivated. Report
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. Report
staying motivated is hard some times, but you are all great inspiration to me Report
I find my motivation is in direct correlation with my adherence to the 8 laws of health:



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

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

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((¸¸.•´ ..•´ -:¦:- Terri
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