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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Motivate Me

The dictionary tells me that the word “motivate” means:

–verb (used with object), -vat·ed, -vat·ing.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.

Huh, that doesn’t tell me much does it.

I write about this today for a specific reason. I get this from people every so often when I ask the question, “Where have you been?”

Often people are doing well coming to classes until all of a sudden they just stop coming for a week or two or even a month or more. When the emails and the calls go out sometimes I get this response:

“I’m just not motivated.”

Pardon the language but WTF does that mean? Really.

To be motivated basically means to have a reason to do something. I go to the bathroom in the morning because I really have to pee. That is my motive. I feel pain in my insides when I haven’t peed for 8 hours. It’s time to go and it’s time to go now.

I’m motivated to eat because I’m hungry.

Those are easy ones.

How can you not be motivated to work out? So what does that mean?

Why DO you work out? Well, you work out to be healthy and fit, right? Does it not suck to be overweight and unhealthy? How can the sight of the mirror in the morning NOT motivate you to exercise?

It’s not that we aren’t motivated. We are all motivated. We all WANT to be healthy. Here is where the problem is. We are not motivated to do the work that is required. Or better yet we are not motivated 

OK, this is where I may have to get a little cynical.

What the real problem is is that we as Americans are marketed to death on TV, radio, the internet, newspapers, magazines….you name it, with visions of the quick fix.

“Lose 10 lbs in 10 days”

“Drop 4 dress sizes in 24 hours”

“Lose 10-24 inches in one treatment”  ß Heard this one on the radio on the way to the office today.

The point is that we think it is easy but when we realize that it is hard we lose “motivation”. It drives me crazy. I don’t know what to say to these people.

I’m just not motivated right now. If I told you that you would die next week if you didn’t walk 3 miles per day would you be motivated then?

Statistically if you are obese and over 60 then you are in deep trouble health wise. Let’s say you are 50 with two kids under the age of 10 and 100 lbs overweight. Are you motivated now?

You’d think wouldn’t you? Right?

I don’t know what people mean when they say “I’m not motivated”. Is that true or a cop out? Is it laziness or fear? Maybe it’s a little bit of everything. All I know is that I can’t motivate people that aren’t motivated. You have to bring the motivation to mean and I give you the tools to succeed.

Perhaps I’m a little too cynical. Perhaps I’m too hard core. Perhaps I’m just a jerk that doesn’t understand.

Or maybe I get it and most others don’t.

Honestly, I’m man enough to admit that I’m a little lost sometimes.

Regardless of how to get to the “Island of No Motivation” you still need to built that bridge to get off. Are you one of the unmotivated? Here are 10 things you can do to help get yourself motivated to work on self improvement:
       1. Strip down to your birthday suit and stand in front of a mirror for 5 full minutes. Inspect everything.

2.       2. Do the same thing in front of your spouse.

3.       3. Do the same thing in front of your doctor.

4.       4. Right down everything you eat for a day. Research the calorie count and compare to how you should be. 
Check out how many cancer causing chemicals you have every day.
         5. Research on the internet the survivability of breast and prostate cancer.
         6. Find someone (like me for example) who watched a loved one waste away and die. Interview them to see what it is like to tell their 10 year old that grandpa in dead.
                7.   Visualize your own funeral. ß My personal favorite.
                8.    Imagine yourself out of work for a month because of a major illness or injury. Can you pay your bills?
                9.    Imagine your kid in their 30’s taking care of you in a nursing home.
        10. Picture your child having a child and you not being there because you too afraid to leave the house because you are 400 lbs.

Yeah, I know this list was awful. Of course positive reinforcement is better than negative visualization. But just image these things. If you are over-weight and unfit you will be SICK and INJURED more than you are not; this is fact.

Is that how you want to live…or die?

Does that “motivate” you to get out the door for a walk??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You breathe they breathe

We’ve all sat through it. We’ve all gotten on a plane and sat through the boring pre-flight instructions. I’m sure the flight attendants must be so bored of saying the same thing over and over again.

Have you ever listened to what they say? Of course you don’t anymore but I’m sure the first couple of times you did. Tell me, what do they say about the oxygen masks?

You know the ones that drop down from above in case of a change in cabin pressure? Can you envision a more stressful situation on a plane? OK, maybe “put you head between your knees and brace for impact” may scare me a little more. I’ve never seen those masks pop out BUT if I ever do I know what to do.

Do you remember?

Yeah, you put yours on first then help your kids.

It’s a good metaphor for life if you ask me.

Take can of yourself before you take care of others. Makes sense to me yet SOOOO many people ignore this.

Think about it. You’re kids need you to cart them around. Your parents need you to take care of them. Your spouse needs you to cook dinner. You boss needs you to do this or that.

You’re not getting any of that done if you are dead. You’re not helping anyone else if they have to help you because you are sick or injured either.

My message for today is simple. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF first. If may seem selfish to not do ballet with your kid this winter because it conflicts with workout time. It may seem selfish to spend the money for fitness class when you spouse needs whatever it is they need.

It’s not. You are no good to anyone of you are not functioning 100%.

It’s all so very important but it all means nothing without you.

You need to prioritize.

First you eat right.

Next you set aside time to work-out every day.

You have a good positive attitude the whole time.

Eliminate toxic people. Clean up the messes in your life. Set up systems that make your life easier. Don’t go out with that friend just because they invited you.

The world is important. You are more important. Take care of yourself first. Make sure that you are getting what you need then, and only then, do you look out for the rest of the world. Trust me. If you are healthy and fit, you will have more time and energy to take care of others then if you are unhealthy and unfit.

For the next 5 Saturdays I am putting on 5k fun runs. This is a GREAT opportunity to take care of you first then others. Take the kids to soccer; but first do my run. Go to visit family; but first do my run. Spend the day with the kids and spouse; but first do my run.

Want to have the best of both worlds? Bring them to the run!

8am. Paisley Mountain Bike Trail. Clearwater Lake trailhead. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"I woke up just the other morning. Actually to be specific it was a Sunday morning.

Eyes open; feet to the floor. Ouch. What was that? Almost tripped and fell on the way to the bathroom. 

What’s for breakfast? Rub the eyes to wake up. I almost tripped again on the way to the kitchen. Now was starting to get a little frustrated.

Holy crap! They are everywhere.

In the middle of the night my apartment had filled with lemons. They were in my bed. They were on the floor and in the bathtub. The utility room was full of them; the washer and the drier too. The fridge was full also. I realized that I couldn’t do a thing without tripping over a lemon or six. The door was blocked... with lemons.

I sat down on my lemon covered bed and thought for a few moments. For a few precious minutes I held some of the evil lemons in my hand. I felt them at my feet. I saw them all over the room. The lemons… were just everywhere.

I had been dealt basket after basket of lemons on a Sunday of all days.

What was I going to do with all these lemons?

To me the choice was clear.

I made lemonade." Rick Copley Monday, July 12th, 2010

Monday, January 10, 2011

Compassion in the eyes

I’m starting to really believe that certain people were put into your life for a specific reason. That being said I’m not sure if it’s divine intervention. But then again, what else could it be?

This is just one part of the equation though. Ever heard that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Same principle.

Part 1: People were put into our lives for a reason. They were inserted there to HELP. They came with compassion in their eyes. They show up when and where you need them and they save your day, your week, your year…. or your life.

Part 2: YOU were put into the lives of others for a reason. Makes sense, right? For every action there is an equal reaction. You have compassion in your eyes and you save them.

Part 3: You see this and you do the right thing. If the right person at the right time thing is divine intervention then guess what? Yeah, we are given the ability to screw it up. We do this all the time.

Today I ask you these 3 questions:
       1. Who was sent to you to help you and save you?

2.       2. Who were you supposed to help and save?

     3. Did you see the compassion in the eyes and did you have compassion in yours?

Think about it.

I’m writing this today because of an experience that I had recently.

I looked up one day and saw compassion in the eyes of a close friend. So what did I do? I had compassion in my eyes. We both saw what was there and helped each other and in ways that saved us both. It was a magical moment to be part of the human experience.

Look around you. Look at your family and friends. Look for it! Look for compassion. Look for ways that people can help you because they can and they will!

You know that is only part of it. Now put compassion in your eyes. Lift your chin up and be guided. You never know when the person in front of you might need you.

They might be crying out for you right now. You won’t know this until YOU have compassion in your eyes….