Is motivation overrated?

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In a word, yes.

I think that I sometimes confuse motivation with ability, desire, and a plethora of other feelings. So what motivates me to do what I do in my life? I’m motivated to pay my mortgage so I won’t lose the roof over my head. I’m motivated to go to work in order to pay for said mortgage. Do I want to do these things all the time? No way! I have to do them though, it’s not really up for debate.

I guess the question is, why is fitness so different? On the Health and Fitness board on thenest.com people often ask how they can become more motivated to work out and eat right, and I think they are often left feeling unsatisfied because they don’t really get an answer other than ‘Motivation is overrated’. The thing is, if you are waiting for a feeling to strike you, you could be waiting for a looooooooong time. Extrinsic factors like shelter force me to work for a living far more than intrinsic factors do, and I think it’s the same with health and fitness.

So what has gotten me going (and staying) on the path that I am currently on? I haven’t really figured it out yet, I’ve just started forcing myself to do it. It is becoming a habit and that is what is keeping me going right now. I’ve even forced myself to be more ‘motivated’ by signing up for my first 5K run on May 29, 2011. I’m motivated to train for this run by virtue of 2 things:

1. I want to finish the race.
2. I don’t want to finish last.

If either of those things happen, well then that’s that and I won’t beat myself up because of it. But that is what is keeping my training going right now. Well, that, and the fact that I am starting to like running again.

Maybe that is the key, to actually like doing it, whatever ‘it’ is. What motivates you to keep going with your health and wellness goals? Do you think motivation is the key to success?

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