Where Do You Get Your Motivation?

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Excuses, excuses, excuses. I’ve heard them all and I hear them all the time.

"I just can’t seem to get motivated to exercise.'' 

''I’m just not feeling it today.''

''I have no energy.''

''I have to help a friend move next weekend.''

How do you find the motivation

Vanity is one very good reason that some people find their motivation. That’s right, vanity. In today’s world, it seems that looks are everything, right?  Well, if that’s what it takes for a person to have motivation to get healthy, so be it! I’ll admit that there was part of me that hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t like those puffy cheeks, didn’t like the fact that I didn’t have a neck anymore.Vanity is one reason for a person to find motivation. 

When did you last have a physical done? Maybe you got some news you didn’t like and the doctor wanted to prescribe a remedy. I’ve heard from more than one person who was in this exact situation.The doctor wanted to medicate a condition that was related to their weight.  Our weight is something WE can control, isn’t it? Why would we WANT to be medicated for something we can regain control over?  Yes, a visit to the doctor office is a GREAT reason for us to find motivation and take our health back.

Could you take care of your family in the wake of a natural disaster? My wife, Chelle, watched one disaster after another unfold on television. Tragic events all around the world were happening and she began to wonder what would happen if she were a victim of such an event?  Could she care for herself?  Could she protect her children? It hit her hard when she realized that she would be of no use to her family in this type of crisis. She realized that she wouldn't be able to care for and protect her family as she would want due to her weight, so she took action. She found the motivation to become as strong as possible so that if the need arises, she will be prepared. That motivation didn’t come to her every day, though.  She made the commitment to complete at least ten minutes of exercise every day whether she felt like it or not!

For me personally, I got sick and tired of being fat.  I couldn’t play with my daughters, I couldn’t help around the house and I hated the way I looked.  I took the action I had to take to get my life back; a life that I allowed to be robbed from my family and me by obesity! 
I’ve asked a few friends where their motivation comes from:

Michelene – ''I could barely walk up three flights of stairs at the office after a fire drill. That was the moment for me.''

John – ''Spending time with my buddies at my Marine Corps reunion. They reminded me how great I was…and it helped me see that I could be again.''

Coach Nancy – ''Knowing that with exercise, I no longer need to ‘diet’ to keep my weight down – but this does not mean I have a free ride to eat whatever. Just like you don’t put ordinary gas in a NASCAR, I want to put the best fuel in my body.''

Robert – ''When a man fights for his life, the gloves come off.''

Nancy – ''To avoid the family history of heart disease.''

Nicholas – ''My motivation was to prove to myself that it could be done.''

You see, motivation comes from all different angles.  It really can be different for every single individual on this journey.  Remember, it’s YOUR JOURNEY.

Here’s the part where I get real with it. Sometimes there is no motivation and you know what, that’s tough.Those are the times when you as a person have to suck it up, get out the door and simply make it happen. Is your life not worth it to make that effort? Do your family and friends mean enough to you that it will force your fanny out the door for a walk to better your health? The ONLY workouts I’ve ever regretted are the workouts that I skipped for whatever reason.  Ever heard the phrase, ''fake it till you make it''? Well, I’m telling you right now, that SOMETIMES that’s the bottom line.

You ARE worth it! You DESERVE IT, your family DESERVES IT and your life DEPENDS on it!

I challenge every person who reads this blog to post a short summary of your motivation. YOUR motivation may trigger something with the person who has none.  Post it, right here for everybody to see. You could make a difference in someone's life today.

What is your motivation? What keeps you going when it would be so much easier to quit?

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BELLAVITA3911 5/26/2021
My motivation is I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am the primary care taker for my mother (97). I do not want to be unable to care for myself like her. I also hated what I saw in the mirror. Since I can’t do a lot sitting with her I started exercising and eating right. Report
BONNIE1552 2/14/2021
Great motivation article. Thanks. Report
NOTALOSER1 1/5/2021
My motivation comes from a wife, daughter and granddaughter who deserve a better version of me. And a little vanity reason too. I want to be the hot 70 year old on the beach. I've got 2 1/2 years to get there! Report
VHAYES04 11/21/2020
Ty Report
CD14833968 9/5/2020
My motivation is aging. I want to be as healthy as a well built as I can so I can fight off osteoporosis, achy joints and keep my balance. It will be only 2 years before I see the age of 70 although in my mind I am still 25....with a little more wisdom. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with the way I look...thats what motivates me to keepitup. Report
I have several motivations, depending on my mood. Report
#1 motivator for me, be around to enjoy my 7 grandkids! Report
want a healthier life style Report
thanks Report
I get my motivation from challenging myself. I try to do better each week and 2-1/2 years later I can see the reward. Report
Determination doesn't require motivation. Report
Congrats, Chelle! Job well done! Report
I come from a very long-lived family where heart disease and diabetes have made many of my relatives last years very miserable. I'm trying to keep my body healthy, because I will probably have to live with it for a very long time. Report
So many ways to get motivated. Report
Great tips! Thank you! Report
I had gotten to a place where my back and knees hurt so bad it was really hard for me to even walk. I knew I had to lose weight or become house bound. My poor body just couldn't handle the excess pounds. I walked 30 minutes every day but could only go for 13 minutes before I had to sit and rest. I have lost 20 lbs. but am still trying to lose more. I know I can do it. Now I need to take on the holidays . By writing down everything I eat and keeping below 1300 calories, I stay in control. I hope this comment helps someone else. Good Luck and don't give up the struggle it is worth it. Report
I just found this article so I am late compared to the rest of these comments but who cares, this is about me and my why so I am posting like was asked. The television show "Revolution" got me thinking about "what if" the world changed. I have lived in NC and FL and been hit with many a hurricane, but what if the "lights went out for good?" Back when Andrew hit S FL, I was in good shape and was able to handle harsh living conditions for an extended period of time. Not so much now. I need to get into shape and be ready for the worst case while praying it never comes. It also has influenced me to learn to grow a garden and become more self sufficient in many ways. It still all comes back to a healthy lifestyle. Report
My motivation came when I watched every obese person in my family suffer severe health issues because of their weight. My grandmother had her hip replaced, my grandfather had triple bypass heart surgery, and my uncle had to have knee surgery all within a year! Report
Part of my motivation comes from the results of my diet and exercise efforts. The other is from my family and friends. It's not always easy. Some days are harder than others and I don't always do the right thing. However, I do have a desire to be healthy and live healthy for as long as I am able. So, I will continue to do what I have to do to stay in the healthy game! Report
My motivation is my boyfriend. We both stay fit for each other to keep the spark in our relationship. We would still love each other if one or both of us were out of shape but the attraction would get lost. Report
1) for my health - specifically to keep bp lower - tendency to go higher
2) to be able to do things with my kids
3) to be a good role model for my kids
4) to be able to wear nice clothes
5) not to be just another obesity statistic
6) to be in control of my own life Report
My son and my health. My 11 y/o gives great feedback when I'm doing well and pushes me when I want to stop. My doctor decreased my blood pressure medication because I've lost weight from making lifestyle changes. Once I teach my healthy weight goal he said that he should be about to taper me off it! Report
My new motivation to keep going...Yesterday I donated all of my clothes that are now too big for me! I can't afford to let that weight creep back on! Report
Vanity, knowing I want to be healthy when I'm older, and like you said the fact that I only regret when I don't do it. And Now: SparkPeople! Report
My motivation comes from my Grandchild and from the great grandchildren. Wanting to be healthier and stay health to see them graduate. Report
Motivation: I have half a closet full of clothes that used to be three sizes too small, hardly worn. Now as I approach my first goal, these same clothes are only one size too small! Report
Two reasons:
- I want to look good
- I have a dream! I want to run Report
I want to be here for my daughter as long as possible. I want to be able to go run with her at the playground and take her to Disneyland and be able to walk the whole time. I want to take her to her school plays and go to parents night and not be the FAT MOM. I want to look good and feel good. I want grab an outfit off the rack and actually fit in it. I want to live my life the way I want to live it not the way my body allows me. I have a hard time staying motivated but I try and remember these things when I want to give up and it seems to help me get back on track. I hope that maybe a few of these things will help remind you why you are here as well. You can do anything you put your mind to!!! Report
I have 2 reasons for my motivation. The first, I want play hockey for many years to come. There are women in my league that are over 60 that still play. The second, my ex had a heart attack in January... got me really thinking. Our kids still need both of us, so my ex and I have made a commitment to get healthier. Report
I was 53 and that's how old my dad was when he died of a heart attack. I was way overweight and had been for years. So I knew I had to do something to help myself. I also hated what I saw in the mirror. I have now lost 52 lbs and am at my goal! I feel so much better, and am healthier, have been able to get off some of my meds, and yet each day is a struggle...but it's SO worth it! I am a new me! Report
When I go to the doctor and he tells me he can tell that I exercise by my cholesterol readings it makes me smile. I do this for me. i want to make sure I do everything I can to be healthy. I do not want to be faced with an illness that I could have prevented by my diet and exercising.. I am not perfect but I am trying everyday to do the best for me! As far as i am concerned that is all any of us can do. Report
Mine's close to Nancy's except it's to avoid the family history of diabetes. Report
This is awesome. Knowing where your motivation comes from is very important. Many times we wait to 'feel' like it or we wait for the motivation to just appear, but then we don't know where it came from. Knowing where it comes from is very important, because then we'll know where to find it when we don't 'feel' it anymore.

My motivation comes from some of the strangest places. A few month ago my knee gave out three times in one week and two of those times I fell down stares. I hated the feeling of not being able to trust my body to support me and always fearing falling. I then realized if I were being chased, I could never run away, I would have to be a victim because I didn't take care for myself.

Once I started exercising to strengthen my knees and cardio, I started getting other presents of motivation. Like how strong I felt, I could walk down steps without fear of falling, I had more confidence in general and I started seeing some of my 'dreams' becoming possibilities. There were times, especially in the beginning that were hard, but I made a promise or game with myself that I was going to stick with it for at least one month and if I didn't feel different, then I could stop or change or something. It did't take a month, it only took about a week and a half. Now I look forward to it. I even hurt my toe a couple weeks ago and had to quit. I'm still anxious to get back to it. I miss my exercise. Report
Once exercise gets to be a habit, it's hard to quit. I don't really feel guilty when I don't exercise or have a compulsion to exercise - it's just a normal part of my day. I did have knee surgery a few years ago, and exercise helps in keeping the circulation in my knee. Report
Some of my motivation does come from simply wanting to look better. I do want to be much happier with what I see when I look in the mirror or when I see a photo of myself.
However, I also want to do this for other reasons. I want to be healthy for myself and for my family. I have a young son and want to be able to keep up with him on a daily basis.
Also, I believe that in changing the way that we eat, exercising more, etc... it will instill how important it is to take care of yourself into my family. I want this not only for myself, but for my family also.
God truly blesses me everyday and I need to value and honor this body that He gave me.
I just pray that these motivating factors will carry me far. I really want to lose this weight & enjoy life to the fullest daily! Best wishes to everyone out there! :) Report
I get my motivation from my children. I want to see them grow up. I want to be there for them in every way, from milestone birthdays, graduations, weddings, and the birth of their children (my grandchildren). And then I want to experience all the above events with my children for their children (my grandchildren).

I just wish DH would be there by my side.

Exercise or "Activity" drives my stress level down and my self-esteem up! When I don't want to work out, I tell myself, "You will feel a lot better if you do." It's actually a "natural high" that stays with me most of the day! Report
I thought maybe if I lost some weight my wife would stick around Report
I had to have cholesterol deposits surgically removed from my eyelids. Laying on the couch, ice packs on both eyes, 18 stitches in each eyelid, I thought to myself "Really? You would rather do this than get your ass out the door? Really?" Well the answer to that question was, "NO, I think I am good with this one time." I found and joined SparkPeople 10 days later. In 90 days I lowered my cholesterol 30 points. It's not normal yet- but I expect it will be at my next appointment in June.
I ran my first 5K on St Patty's Day, with my end goal being the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in 2013. And 15 years from now, when I am running across the finish line of my as yet unborn grandson or daughter's first race- I will tell them that I started running so I could be around for them. Just the dream of it is enough to drag me out of bed an hour early every day. Report
For me it was the heart attack I had 9.5 years ago. I DON'T want to go through that again! Report
Being on 2 blood pressure meds, having high cholesterol, pre diabetes, & a fatty liver. I want to be around for my kids & a better mom. Report
I was fairly active in my younger days...and really up until about 6 years ago when I became a little more lax. I knew that one day I'd need to get back to some type of "regular" exercise. My motivation was, "What happens if I don't get back to it?" Since the pictures that question painted weren't really what I had in mind, I'm back to it. Report
Initially I was motivated to join SP because my scale said 200+ and all of my cloths were too small - again....now my motivation (at 16 pounds lighter) is simply how much better I feel! Report
For me it's part vanity,but mostly to be fitter and healthier as i grow older. Report
My motivation comes from wanting to feel good and look good. When someone wants to play tennis or a round of golf or basketball; I'm in. I hate that if I want to hit the pool and feel uncomfortable because I have a little too much. Report
My motivation is simple .... when I was younger (in the 1980s), i had always thought I was too fat. This triggered an addiction to speed for the next 30+ yrs. But I look at those pictures from the "before speed" era and saw I was PERFECT! And I ate not the greatest, but I did a daily workout regimen and hiked and camped a lot. So now at age 57, I've tried to return to those things and it is a bit challenging at times cuz I'm not as flexible etc. but I'm trying and seeing results, even if I am dealing w/ small aches and pains that ARE worth it ( dad had been diagnosed w/ type II diabetes right aroud age 60 & Im trying not to follow his lead as I DO share his body shape) Report
I exercise because it is good for your health. I don't need to lose any more weight. Exercise helps you lower your blood pressure, it's good for the heart, it lowers bad cholesterol, it reduces your risk of diabetes, and it reduces stress. There are so many reasons to exercise for your health. Report
My motivator? Embarrassment and shame. I was kneeling down to talk to a friend I hadn't seen in quite some time. As I stood up I moaned a bit and had to push off from my knee. She made a short remark, and I mumbled something about having just got off work. Now, though, it is all ringing in my head. I want to keep her respect but we both know I need terribly to lose weight. I hate the word 'obese'. Report
My motivation is to live a full life - be the best that I can be! Report
Still looking for my motivation, too. Initially I joined SP to eat healthier, to improve my mobility, and to manage my pain better. It's been a strange year and although I am eating far more fruits and vegetables, I have had more pain issues and illness and am weirding out about having lost 5 pounds and gaining back those and a few more, for a net gain of 8 pounds. Very discouraged and disgusted with myself, still reading SP and maybe something will click and I will find my motivation. Not giving up, still walking (with a cane) when I can, trying to ride out this rough spell. I live alone, so I bought myself a smaller plate, and am still trying to work on other small steps towards better health. Joined the Chair Exercise Team because I was very upset with myself when my beloved yoga and Pilates daily routines became far too painful to continue. Not whining, just trying to describe my situation. Thank you, SP, for a variety of options & ideas for all of us. Report