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New Year's Resolution? Check your motivation!

Posted on January 10th, 2011 by Matt Schoeneberger

You’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions about your health. You’re not alone; thousands of others have them too. We’ve all heard the stories about how many actually stick to their guns, and they ain’t pretty. There’s a reason for this…

I want you to ask yourself the following questions:

- Has your life changed dramatically since December 1st of last year?

For example; lost your job, retired, kids moved out… things that would allow you to spend more time on health-related behaviors

- Have your reasons for wanting to be healthy changed since December 1st of last year?

For example; doctor told you that you’re pre-diabetic, you were given your first grandchild… things that would motivate you to get healthy in a hurry!

If you answered ‘no’ to these questions, it’s likely you should have started your trend toward fitness on December 1st or even earlier.

Here’s where I’m going with this.

If you don’t have any more motivation to start healthy lifestyle changes now than you have in the past, and you don’t have any more available time to make healthy lifestyle changes than you had in the past, why the hell did you wait until January 1st to make a change? You could surmise that your source of motivation were not strong enough then, and they’re probably not strong enough now.

All is Not Lost

Now, maybe you’ve done some thinking about your sources of motivation and your reasons for wanting to be a healthier person and you’ve realized that you’re in the same rut your were 1 month or even 1 year ago. That’s okay, because now we know the source of the problem and we can take a stab at fixing it.

What you need to do is search out a source of motivation that is enough to get the ball rolling. For instance, if you thought your motivation was that you had a cruise coming up in May and you want to look wicked hot in a thong but that isn’t getting you in the gym, think of a better source of motivation. Take a good look at your life and decide what good reasons you have to make some changes. We all have them.

Sometimes, you just need to take a little peek at where you’re headed. For instance, if you’ve gained 5 lbs every year since you were 20 and you’re now 30, picture yourself at 40 with another 50 lbs on you. Grab a 50 lbs weight and carry it around to help you understand what that will feel like, the toll it will take on your body. If you’ve put a 1/2 inch on your waist each year, pick up a pair of pants that are 5 inches larger in the waist and realize that’s what you’re going to need in 10 years. If your doctor told you that you’re pre-diabetic, visit with someone who experiencing full-blow Type-2 diabetes and ask them how much of a pain in the ass it is to deal with that on a daily basis. From what I can tell, it sucks, and you have the luxury of being able to avoid it.

So, take a good look at your sources of motivation, ask yourself if they’re really enough to get you going and keep you going. If not, find some different ones. It may take some searching, but I promise it’s worth it.

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One Response to “New Year's Resolution? Check your motivation!”

  1. Jaylene Garrett says:

    This was good — What is my motivation? When I lost weight 3 years ago, i was very angry. I remember clearly debating how I was going to deal with my anger. I could do something that wasn’t healthy OR i could do something with all the adrenline that was pumping thru my body.

    I joined the gym and met you Matt as my personal trainer. What a wonderful journey that was. I lost weight felt better than I had in years AND looked good.

    Interesting — when anger is the motivation what do I do when I’m angry anymore?? actually exercise because I deserve to be healthy??? That i the transition for me now>

    Motivation – i do have a goal to lose 40 lbs this year — the same goal i set last year… just as you stated above.

    I am wondering if I am like a donkey that needs both kinds of motivation — the ol’ carrot in front to get me to take the first steps and a stick on the backside to remind me to keep moving. Maybe that is the trick — both sides need to be motivated (the front — positive and the back — negative consequences).

    I am going to think about that one.

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