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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??

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