how the heck does motivation work, anyway?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

So here I go again... I've been studying psychology for years, and yet the fundamentals still tend to stump me when they concern my own self.

Like motivation. It's amazing how much my willpower can wax and wane, seemingly independent of forces that are supposed to affect it. I can have a great run of days diet-wise and still feel like I'm at the end of my rope, like I can't eat healthy another day. There are times when I feel on top of the world, and then times two days later when I could swear I'm never going to try to lose weight again, that it's just not worth it.

I dunno. I doubt I'll ever completely understand it. The one sure motivation booster I've found, though, is DOING something. I can feel totally dejected about dieting and exercising, but if I make myself go for one lousy walk, all of a sudden I'm back on the healthy-living radar. Sometimes it turns me around quite a bit.

Anyway. Enough about that--it's getting late. I've been thinking about resolutions I want to make this year, because I wanted to take my time and make a few very specific goals. So this is what I want to do, healthy living-wise, at least through the beginning of the year:

1) Exercise at least 20 minutes on most days, and preferably more.
2) Plan each day's food in advance, at least partially.
3) Drink at least 4 glasses of plain water every day.

I know those sound fairly pathetic, but I wanted to set things I can do consistently. I'm done with lofty goals and intense challenges--I just want to make some rules to follow, regardless of my motivation. Motivation fluctuates. Rules shouldn't. So these are rules I'm going to stick to, however I happen to feel about the state of my health or waistline on any given day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Debbie is right, your goals need to be definite staements. As for motivation, check out NOTBLUSHING's blog from yesterday for a boost, and then SHAWNATONY's. They really boosted my morale this morning. And remember - Keep Moving Forward!!
    4274 days ago
    Hi, Here's a few hints. Try to remember who this is for, take the approach that this is NOT a diet it is a change in your life, embrace this change for it's consequence is your desired outcome, and cut yourself some slack- nobody is perfect, do your best each day but always, always, always come back.

    4274 days ago
    Its a good question about how motivation works. Some people think we have to hit rock bottom before we will actually change. I know "rock bottom" hasn't hit me yet. I'm a procrastinator. I have a physical due in June and have 71 pounds to lose. Can I make it? Will rock bottom be now or if I don't make the weight in June? - What is or will be your rock bottom?

    Rizada, your goals are not definite. They need to be:
    1) Exercise 20 minutes per day.
    2) Plan food in advance.
    3) Drink 4 glasses of water per day.

    Good luck! Keep the faith in yourself.
    4274 days ago
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