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We all need motivation to do things.
That motivation can be internally driven, based on our values, priorities and the feelings or emotions that doing such an event will benefit us should we complete the upcoming action or task; or externally driven, such as receiving a reward.
Our motivation can be on a very minor scale, meaning it really doesn’t take much for us to do it; or it can be on a high scale, meaning it really takes a lot for us to do something.
Regardless of the type or size of motivation it takes us to do something, sometimes we just need a little bit more. We need to be inspired. Whether or not you believe that, we need inspiration or motivation of some type to do just about anything in life. Those two terms definitely apply when the topics of healthy eating and physical activity come up.
If we are not somehow motivated to make healthy choices with our activity levels and foods, then chances are when it comes to decision time, we may not make the best choice… so what motivates us to do things? Is it a reward? A feeling? The look on someone’s face?
Motivation is very unique to each of us, and what can motivate one person could actually do the opposite for someone else.
How do we know what motivates us? We need to experiment, learn and reflect. When we first start out making behaviour and habit changes, it’s important to learn from what works and what doesn’t. When those healthy choices are made with regards to eating or activity, take a moment to reflect why we made the choice we did. What was the motivation? Internal or external? Or was there no motivation, but rather a sudden inspiration of something you saw, read or heard to nudge you on making the healthy choice? What was the inspiration?
Whatever it was that helped us choose healthy, write it down and commit it to memory. When we record and make an imprint of what helps us, it will once again be able to help us in the future, and before we know it we have a database of motivation and inspiration to assist us in making healthy choices most often, without much or any thought at all because they have become natural and normal to us. When behaviour becomes normal to us, we’re on our way to making it a life-long habit that sticks no matter what.
Our challenge this week is to tap into what motivates and what inspires us. On those days when we all need a nudge to get up early in the dark and go running or to not skip the gym after work, we can draw from what inspires us; a saying perhaps.
On the days where we don’t feel like cooking at home and would rather just order take-out or we don’t feel like packing a healthy lunch for work, we can remember why we’re motivated to make the time to eat healthy; perhaps it’s to set a good example to our kids or to help fight off chronic diseases.
Some days making the right choice, the healthy choice, is easy. During the days when it’s not, be sure that you are confident in what motivates you to stay the path and what inspires you to keep moving in the right direction. Learning what those pieces are is just a few pennies in the bank to have the best health we can now and well into our later years.
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