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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In the beginning, my motivation was that I didn't want to sit on the sidelines and be a spectator in my own life anymore. I wanted to be able to do anything that hubby & kids were doing. I didn't want any RESTRICTIONS on my life... nothing I COULDN'T do.

Now, my motivation is still those things, but I have something new. I was blessed to be able to donate a kidney to my childhood friend on 1-21-12. Now I HAVE to take care of myself. I have to maintain my 60-pound weight loss. I HAVE to eat healthy, whole, nutritious foods. I HAVE to exercise. Having only one kidney now, I would be at a greatly increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes if I gained the weight back. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my remaining kidney and my health. I have an amazing husband and two fantastic children who need me. I have work to do for my God who created me. I have to do what is right. :) Report
My motivation is how much stronger and better I feel . I also am motivated when i see the inches and weight go down and watch my body fat go down. I love the energy i gain after I finish a workout. My clothes size has dropped and I feel so much better . Report
Great blog, great timing as I am just getting myself back into exercising again after a months hiatus.

My motivation is proving to myself I can do this, be committed and consistent. Also to wear cute clothes and feel good in my skin.
Of course my health is another priority.
Vanity wasn't enough for me, even though its always been one motivator/side benefit to losing weight and getting healthier. For me it was a dream... my son is on the autism spectrum and I had this dream where I realized with absolute clarity that if I kept up doing what I was doing - gaining weight and not exercising,etc... I was going to die..and die young. Thomas (my son) is a BIG TIME momma's boy and there are days I question whether or not he'll live an independent life... I need to be there for him and his sister.

Along the way I've discovered I have more energy - I no longer always tell the kids "Mommy's too tired" to do X... and I have increased confidence and satisfaction from discovering my limits aren't what I thought they were... in fact, I'm not sure what they are..and its fun to push what I previously thought "I can't" do. Report
I would be lying if I said vanity isn't part of it, but for me that isn't always enough. When I started training for half marathons I realized that food is fuel with a direct impact on how I feel during runs - especially long ones. Eating badly and then suffering because of it for 10+ miles a couple of times cures you of the desire to eat junk food pretty quick! Report
My motivation is my granddaughter. I definitely want to be around to see her grow up and have her own family. Also, it is more fun to be able to join her in activities like horse back riding than it is to watch from the sidelines. Report
My motivation is to feel more confident in the clothes I want to wear. It's for vanity's sake, but I don't like the way I look, and therefore feel, in regular, form fitted T-shirts. I want to feel comfortable wearing anything I want! Report
If I relied on motivation I'd be up a creek. I eat well and exercise because that's who I am now. (And because I don't want to outgrow my new wardrobe....) Motivation is over-rated. Motivation doesn't build functional fitness or build heart health. Eating smart and working out does. Report
My motivation is mental health! I come home after a long hard day at work super stressed, only to have to figure out dinner, make sure homework is done correctly, get the kids washed & ready for bed, basically do all the tasks of being a single Mom (which is another full time job). Exercise is the only "me" time I get. I see it as my time to make myself better so I can be the best woman I can be...plus, it helps me be Super Mom! :) Report
My motivation: I remember the sick feelings I got when I binged and didn't exercise. I couldn't focus on anything, and then I remember the days when I was exercise and eating healthy. I want to feel attractive and on top of the world! Report
My motivation comes from my friends and the things I want to do but have held myself back. I admit some days are harder than others and I am still a long way from my goal but it's stories like this that help keep me on track! Thank you for sharing. Report
I was sick and tired of being exhausted at the slightest strain of physical exertion. I broke out in a sweat just taking down the Christmas tree for Crying out loud! I want to be as physically healthy as possible to continue to give my granddaughter piggy back rides and romp and play with her...And yes to protect her with my life if necessary. I fell not only stronger physically but mentally and emotionally as well. When I am tempted to forgo working out I remind myself that working out is the reason I can be more physically active today. I have not reached my weight goal yet but I will. Thank you for sharing! Report
Where do I get my motivation from? From looking at my picture on my Spark Page where I weighed in at 183.7 lbs for a 5'1" frame. It was hard to believe that I had let myself go to that weight because I didn't feel 'obese'. I was! I am now well in my 60s and I do want to enjoy a healthier me for the remainder of my life. I want to be able to enjoy my husband, daughters and grand-children who range from 18 to 11 years old. Report
vanity for sure, just to look better. another was my husband telling me that he was scared for me, that I was so unhealthy. He said that when we have kids he wanted me to be healthy during pregnancy. I've see several people, friends, co-workers, have miscarriages and deliver prematurely due to weight. Like it said in the blog, weight is something you can control.
Now I'm motivated because I've lost 30 lbs and several inches, and increased my muscles.... I don't want to undo what I've already put so much hard work and effort into doing. Report
My main motivation is that I want to look better - who doesn't right? My secondary motivation is staying healthy. I don't have any health problems right now and I don't want to develop any. My husband had to get his cholesterol under control so adopting a healthier diet just made sense for both of us. Report
I started losing weight for vanity's sake. I saw a picture of myself next to my 18 year old niece, who just happens to be a ballroom dancer. The comparison was not pretty! I don't feel the need to be as slender as her, but being a healthy weight would be nice. Once I started really exercising I discovered that the exercise was directly impacting both my physical and mental health. My cholesterol went from 264 to 132, and my depression has drastically improved. I may have started this journey for vanity's sake, but I am continuing down this path for sanity's sake! Report
My motivation came when my health started slipping, high blood presure, exhustion, inability to sleep through the night, IBS, fatigue, overweight, and more. That was four years ago. All of that junk is gone. Today my motivation isn't really a motivation at all, it's now my lifestyle, nutritional eating and regular exercise.
t's amazing what your body can do, or undo with good habits like nutritional eating and regular exercise! Amazing!

T Report
I keep the cartoon you see to remind me why I exercise. Report
Quite simply, my motivation is my 15-month-old son, Aiden. He came at an otherwise terrible time in my life (separated from my husband, who it turned out had cheated on me while I was pregnant and he was deployed), and as hard as it's been, I can't imagine my life without him. He literally CANNOT live without me in his, so I'm determined to be the healthiest mom I can be for him. Of course, it also helps me work out my stress and angst while I'm going through the divorce, as well, which is all part of keeping me healthy and around for a long time, hopefully! Report
I'm motivated by fear. Fear of reverting to the 226-pound version of myself who was tired all the time and whose hips hurt when she tried to walk. Report
I drew motivation from multiple sources, which I think helped whenever I was feeling down. One motivational source would "step in" and help compensate for a lack of motivation in one of the other areas. These sources were: my high blood pressure at the age of 26, my desire to be healthy enough to be pregnant safely whenever we start a family, my plan to grow old in good health with my husband, the simple fact that it felt GOOD to prove how strong and healthy I could be, and the vanity factor - I wanted to look better. Now I am off my medication, I have been cleared for pregnancy by my doctor, I'm on track to age healthfully and safely so I can be there for my husband, I feel like a warrior when I run 8 miles and when I look at my strength-trained muscles in the mirror, and I love how I look in a pair of shorts nowadays! For me, I found that the more sources of motivation, the better. And here I am over 100 pounds down and a little PAST my goal weight! I would encourage people to sit down and really think about all the possible motivations they can think of to lose weight, and remind themselves regularly of those motivations. If you're like me, you might find one source of motivation waning...but remembering another can help keep you moving forward! Great blog topic. I too have considered how I would be able to physically cope in the event of a disaster; I am hypothetically much better prepared now!

Good luck, everybody! :) Report
My motivation is somewhat varied. The first, most immediate thing is that exercise helps me control my mood. I have major depression, but you wouldnt know it as long as I can exercise. That will get me out there, any day, any level of motivation. I do not want to deal with that black hole again. The second is my genes. I have 2 sisters and a mom, each of whom could make at least 2 of me--and I am not skinny! I slow down, get lazy with the healthy eating, there I go. Thats what my genes have waiting for me. My third motivation is a burning need to see whats on the other side of the mountain, around the corner in the canyon, down the river and around the bend. And to show it to my grandkids. How could I ever do that if I am stuck on the couch?! Along with that is just all the interesting, exciting and worthwhile things I get to do. Its a whole lot easier not carting around a bunch of extra pounds, along with the mood disorders, joint problems and other things that come with them. Theres too much life to live to not take care of myself!!! Report
My motivation comes from the numbers. From the stern talk from my doctor 3 years ago. From being less than 20 years away from the age my grandmother was when she died and she died young. From seeing my family members who don't take care of themselves.... and not wanting to be them. Feel like them, look like them.

My children deserve a parent who takes care of themselves. Who want to live out a full life. Who have a grasp on nutrition, not a McDonalds Bag!

My cholesterol is/was high. I don't want to take a handful of pills when my weight and my numbers can be controlled with diet and exercise. There's no two ways about it that is has been done by many others and it can.....WILL be done by me!!


Glad I'm already dressed out for my butt kicking...I mean workout today. Now I'm ready to go fire it up!!! Report
I think my main motivations come from the little victories--actually having lost some weight (see, I CAN lose weight), having run a few 5Ks when I once could barely run a mile, clothes fitting better (or too loose and needing to be retired).

But my biggest motivator is that I want to LIVE. Not just survive, but be able to get out and DO things in life. I want to take trips and walk around and SEE things, not just look at pictures in books or online. Report
This is a really great question. I think for me, I am motivated to do more by each day that I make healthy choices. Every time I eat the right thing, or say no to the wrong thing - I want to do it again because it makes me feel good for having done it. Each time I exercise, I come away sweating and tired, and I can't wait to do it the next day...so I can feel that way again!
Hey Agent J - another great blog. I continue on in my journey of over 3 years now because I want to stay healthy, and enjoy life. I like that I can run races, ride bikes, swim, lift weights, do zumba - or any other thing I choose to do. I feel good in Yoga. Those feelings doing all those things makes me happy and I feel so much better when I do them.

Now I'm happy to be passing that on to at least one of my children and that keeps me going everyday. Report
Sometimes after 2 or 3 weeks of following a diet or a workout plan, I feel like taking a break. But I know that if I take a break, I am never going back..To keep me motivated, I always ask my husband to get me off the couch..He is my true motivator. Report
I made a promise to myself.. and I mean to keep it. That is my motivation. I may not be successful on all fronts everyday, but I aim to be be successful on at least one front everyday! Report
I wish I could find my motivation. Report
I've been blessed to have never had a big weight problem. My heaviest (at 5'9") was 186 after having my oldest son, which is not that bad. And I'm lucky to come from a fairly healthy family, weight related diseases don't run in my family and much of my family is of healthy weight. But what motivates me is to remain healthy for my children. I had been slowly gaining weight for about a 7 year period and wanted to reverse it before it started to cause problems. Also, my in-laws who have serious weight issues and lots of medical problems as a result, are a big part of motivation as well. They are a few years younger than my parents and can't do much of anything because of their weight and medical issues. I don't want to be that way when I'm in my 50s and thankfully my husband sees that as well, so we try to remain active and healthy so we have many, many good years as we get older and our children get older. Report
health reasons are my new motivation. I have found out that I have heart disease in my family which could be heriditary. I also want to be an inspiration to my children and grandchildren.I want my children to become healthier and pass that healthy lifestyle to their children.
Thanks for sharing this blog. Report
Alright Jerome, here goes...I was an athlete/swimmer all my childhood, into college so I was fit until I quit! Gained weight, up & down over the years, especially after babies. But I did exercise most of that time though, as that was always a part of me, who I am. So I was very sad, depressed & disappointed to watch my weight hit 199!! That was the moment I made a quick, life altering decision. I just could not bare to see 200 lbs. it was not who I thought I was or who I wanted to be. I changed that very day, mostly my eating habits but did increase my duration of workouts. I also joined Sparkpeople "this time". I wanted something to help motivate me, hold me accountable & FREE. :-) But it wasn't just the actual number, 199. It might have been the jump start but I definitely had all the other typical motivations too: how I looked & felt, wanting to be a good role model for my kids....youngest two were 2 & 3 at the time & starting to pay attention to my fast food drive-thrus (wanting food too, saying "McDonald's" a lot) & that was another last straw frankly! Knowing they were now watching & learning from ME! I wanted them to have the best start at life, to be fit & healthy, happy & NOT struggle (hopefully) with their wt, as I have. The best gift I could give them was an early childhood of healthy foods, active play & watching mom exercise/take care of herself & develops that attitude at a very young age, that "it's good to take care of your body" & to WANT to do that. And being a role model is the best way to do that. Don't are kids deserve that, at the very least? Probably too long, but wanted to share it all. Thanks again Jerome...another awesome blog! I'm going to forward this one to my husband as well. If you remember me, nothing's changed really w/my hubby but now he seems to want to try P90X!! It may work but I have my doubts as we have TM & elliptical, etc, & tried the gym membership before, etc. I just want him to take an honest look at WHY he wants that, WHY he thinks "that" will be the one motivator to stick, etc, when he's got all these resources now & doesn't use them. Just hate to waste more $$ but DO want to help him. Just think a lot of his (& others) blockage to making true long lasting changes are inside us/him, mental ones that every new hot product won't fix! WE have to want it, do it and like you say, even when you don't want too, when your tired, worked a long day, etc. Know what I mean?!?!?! Thanks again!! Report
My motivation is all the people who don't believe I have what it takes to be healthy and happy with my apperance. I want to prove all those people wrong and show them I'm stronger than they thought! Report
My motivatiors are my children, watching them play and run and move with such ease and joy. I want to be a better role model for them, and not subject them to my outbursts of frustration anymore ('I am SOOO fat!' 'I am so ugly!') It hurts and upsets them, and it certainly sets a very bad example for them. So no more diet talk or any of that, just a lifestyle change that everyone will benefit from! Report
My motivation is when I've seen my Mom taking so much medication and have never wanted to depend on prescriptions to maintain a normal lifestyle. Living the life that God meant for me to live is taking care of my mind, body and soul; inside and out. Life is too short not to enjoy it and living it to the fullness and fullest of my being. Report
I have lots of motivators. My teenage sons deserve a mom who isn't tired and stressed. I have to take care of me to take care of them. I like how I feel and respond (mood-wise) when I am healthy and strong physically. Report
I'm 70 years old. My motivation is to be better able to take are of my wife and my daughter and grandson who now live with us. Report
My motivation began with me being disgusted enough with myself in appearance and health to finally decide I needed to do something about it. When I weighed 350 lbs 3 years ago, I forced myself to watch myself eat while standing in front of a big mirror. Yes, that is when the disgust hit me and I started my journey to where I am today weighing 171 lbs. Report
Yesterday actress Monique really motivated me. She is working her butt off. I realized that if she can do it so can I. Report
My motivation is not to be as unhealthy as my parents. I have watched as my children go to visit and they sit on the couch and when asked to come and visit they can't ride for 3 hours in a car at 65/60. I want to go riding and running with my girls and get on the trampoline and maybe take some grandkids to the zoo one day. Feelling better every day is also a great motivator. I haven't felt this well since college. Healthier for me and my family. Report
My current motivation is a bikini I just bought and swear to myself I am GOING to wear! I have to constantly update my motivation so it keeps working. Report
My motivation was to gain sexy knees, a flat stomach, and toned upper arms. I got 1 out 3 and I am beyond content with that. Report
At 62 it is all about my health. This is the only life I will ever live so I want to make the most of each day. Jack LaLanne lived fit and healthy to 96, so that is a good goal. Report
My motivation is to be able to wear fashionable, cute clothes again. I want to look in the mirror and feel fierce. I feel that way on the inside and I want the outer me to reflect that. I want to walk through this world with my head held high, feeling good about how I look. And....feeling fit, heathly and strong. A fierce, fashionable bad*ss girl who can take on the world :) Report
My motivation is the fact that I don't want to let myself down again. The one person I disappoint and hurt the most when I skimp on a workout or fall off the band-wagon is me. So my motivation is to keep up my commitments to myself...by just showing up...the rest just follows... Report
"You ARE worth it! You DESERVE IT, your family DESERVES IT and your life DEPENDS on it!"
How very true, my life was over until I took charge of my destination. The Doctor gave me a month to live way back in 2005 when I was at 260 plus pounds and bed ridden. As my user name says now I am FREE2LIVE.
Yes each and every person has his and her very own motivation and when you realize that you can change your life and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Best wishes to everyone on this life changing journey.
My health! I am on medication that I want to stop taking. Hopefully, it will not be too much longer before the doctor gives me the good news. Report
My motivation is to get off all those expensive meds. Also to be able to participate in sports better. Report
my motivation is I have a high family history of strokes and I don't want to do that. I have learned that it's a life style change and I want that. I use my Group power weight lifting classes as motivation. I get on Youtube and watch their videos and that keeps me motivated. I also use sparks and bodybuilding.com as my motivation. Report
I have the family history of heart disease. My mom died of a heart attack at age 75 - way too young. I attended my 88-year-old dad's cardiology appt today. Dad has atrial fib and a leaking valve. Dad wanted the doctor to tell his caregiver to give him a break on exercising. The doctor said something to the effect of - "If you don't exercise, your heart will get flabby. Just like any other muscle, if it gets flabby, it can't do its job. You don't want your heart to stop doing its job, now do you?"

Well, Dad had to admit that he didn't want his heart to stop doing its job, so he didn't ask again about getting a reprieve on his exercises!

My motivation comes from wanting to avoid the family history of heart disease and Type II diabetes. A couple of my siblings have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I'm NOT going there. Report
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