Negative Motivation

 I have been trying to become a runner for years with minimal success. I was not athletic as a child, choosing music over sports and always dreading gym class, which has made it more difficult to pursue a constant activity as an adult because it never feels natural to me. As a parent I have learned the value in insisting our children achieve, at minimum, the basics in both music and sports.

Athletes have techniques to ensure success that include practice, training, motivation and visualization. Motivation is that main reason they get out of bed early or stay up late, working harder at their craft than their competitors. Motivation can come in the form of success, money, glory or title.

But what about the rest of us? What is your motivation to take care of this body you’ve been given? I confess I have had stints of being motivated by fear of falling victim to my genes, I’ve been motivated by pride to look better than someone else, and at a really ugly time, by jealousy, always visualizing someone else rounding the corner ahead of me and out of reach. These negative motivators, though temporarily effective, never last long enough for me to truly form the best habits and stay consistent in my workouts.

I’m trying a new approach these days, keeping it simpler and more positive. If this body is a temple, I need to treat it with respect and work hard to keep it running efficiently. I will admit, this attitude hasn’t produced the hardest individual workouts, but I have been able to sustain it longer than all the other ways of the past, and it feels healthier in my heart and my head.

What method do you use to get yourself motivated to work out?

6 thoughts on “Negative Motivation

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  1. I’ve been thinking about running lately too, since March starts this Friday it feels like I should start running again but I’ve lost my running partner and it’s so cold, etc, etc,

  2. I love love love the way you write!!! And this is exactly what I have gone through! Not only with exercise but with what I put in my mouth as well. It all starts in our head. Only the right motivation works. In a sense all of the negative motivations are lies and truth is the only thing that lasts! Anyways you said it best! Thank you.

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