What is the difference between a couch potato and a runner? (Besides several pounds?) It is MOTIVATION.
Most people are active for health reasons. For others it’s vanity. Some are adrenaline junkies and a small percentage go for the gym eye candy (you know who you are!). But the real question is: what is your motivation?
I don’t know about you but “it’s good for me” very rarely gets me going. When I have had a long day or a late night and the bed is super comfortable or it is bitterly cold outside, the only thing that would get me going is a plate of crispy bacon.
Getting yourself moving is a matter of digging deep and figuring out what really matters to you. What are you hoping to accomplish? How do you want to feel? Are the results worth it for you? What sacrifices are you willing to make?
These motivating factors are something you need to keep in mind constantly. Decide what these factors are and then develop goals that are going to get you there. Get into a routine and firmly integrate it into your life. Remember: being active is a way of life not just something you do occasionally.
For some feeling good and looking good is its own reward but that might not exactly get a fire going under your butt. Especially when getting there requires a tremendous amount of determination, discipline and just plain grit.
Yes, even for a yoga teacher like me! I teach so I am at the gym anyway but do I go an hour early so I can take a class before mine or do I let another episode of “What Not To Wear” hold me back? Despite my already active lifestyle some days are harder than others. It’s a struggle to get up when my husband is still warmly snuggled in bed but I drag myself out knowing it’s going to feel really good when I get back (especially when I take a running head start and belly flop on to my still sleeping husband). ::evil laugh:: Anyway…
There is the additional difficulty of getting distracted and even well-meaning people can pull you away from your goals. When I first started going to the gym, it was hard to choose working out over spending time with friends. Just about anything is better than running on a treadmill, including eating bad chinese food and drinking cheap wine with a friend. But I wanted to change my body. I wanted it to be strong and healthy so I created a gym schedule that I could stick to and told my friends that those days were off-limits for gatherings. Occasionally they would try to tempt me from the gym but I was already too far committed to cave in. Besides, I didn’t want to miss Mr. Eye Candy kickboxing instructor (sorry, friends!).
Once you have found your motivation and outlined your goals it is incredibly important to make them known to the people who surround you and ask for their support. Maybe you can even get them to join in! After all, nothing is more inspiring than outrunning a friend or significant other.
So whether your motivation is looking good in that bikini or improving your cholesterol level or finally hiking the Appalachian trail make sure you keep it in the forefront of your mind as you make your day-to-day activity decisions. Take it one day at a time but keep at it and I promise it will get easier.
So tell me… What motivates you?
Image via Flickr (creative commons) by wolfsavard.