What motivates you?
I’ve always been motivated by competition. For someone who was never big into team sports, that may be surprising. As a runner, I have always been concerned primarily with my time– me vs. the clock. I enjoy the competitive spirit of a big race, but I’m much more concerned with my results stack up to previous performances than I am about how I finish overall in the field of competitors. That’s not to say I don’t like to place well– I do! But at the end of the day I’d rather see how hard I can push myself in comparison to personal history versus all of the other variables that are completely out of my control.
Apparently, this motivation extends to my hobbies as well. For the month of February, an online sewing circle of which I’m a part has had a competition to see who can sew the most while buying the least amount of fabric. I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut lately, so I thought it would be a good challenge to just be as productive as possible. I don’t yet know how I finished in the field of competitors, but I do know three things: 1) I sewed 43 yards of fabric in 29 days, 2) I scored my highest-ever point total, and 3) I am feeling freshly inspired to sew new and more challenging items. I’m grateful to have had the external motivation of the “Stash Game” to help me push myself in a way I wouldn’t have without it.
This idea of being internally or externally motivated is also something I struggle with when parenting my boys. The Bear, as typical of a firstborn, is totally internally motivated. He’s so off the charts internally motivated that even if I’d wanted to bribe him with The Greatest Thing Ever, he’d have no interest. The Monkey, however, is very different. He’s 5.5, and I still have no idea what motivates him. He’s now really into team sports– who knew I’d have a soccer star?–and he definitely has a competitive spirit. I don’t know yet, though, whether it’s the drive to win that he likes or the attention he receives from playing well or something else entirely. Time will tell.
It’s a useful exercise to think about what motivates you. Because goal-setting is such an important part of building up a fitness plan that becomes a lifestyle, knowing tricks to help you stay the course are essential. Hiring a personal trainer to help achieve fitness goals is more than finding someone who can design a program appropriate for you and your life; finding a trainer who can determine who and what motivates you will ensure your adherence to the fitness program.
Give it some thought: What motivates you? How can you incorporate your personal motivations into a healthier, happier lifestyle?
Good health and great happiness to you.