Sunday, January 15, 2012

What is motivation?

Over the last couple of weeks I've been thinking lots about motivation.  To start the new year with lots of resolutions and plans - which include the ever popular fitness goals of course, then to also start the year being sick for 10 days and unable to start these resolutions and plans was hard!

Of course there's no real reason why you can't start a plan on any day of the year - you can have a fresh start any time you choose.  I'm a big fan of Anthony Robbins, and often listen to his CDs to motivate me.  One thing that has really stuck in my mind from that is that he says, if you want to - you can change your life in an instant.  You just have to make that decision.  Yes, then you have to stick to your plans, goals whatever, but it's the mindset that is important.  Many successful people speak of a turning point in their lives - often a real low point - that served as their motivation to turn things around. That's when they changed their mindset and started on their road to success.

Sometimes I think about this - and wonder if my life is too comfortable to really give me the motivation to do something extraordinary.   We're not rich, nor poor, just an average family, we're all healthy, and live in a beautiful place.  We've worked hard to get where we are, and yes I'm happy.  However, I've always wanted to excel and strive for something big- but the question is do I have what it takes to push myself long enough and consistently enough to achieve that? 

My big goals that I'm striving for this year - are to grow my blogs to the stage they are providing me with a decent financial income. I know this is going to take LOTS of effort, time and commitment - but the reward for all that will surely be worth it!
My other big goal is to run this year's pyramid race in under 2 hrs - which would be a HUGE improvement on my current best time of 2hrs 39mins!  Again I know this will take seriously hard work, effort and time.

Basically it boils down to my mindset.  I think by choosing to do everything I do the best I can - and live life to the full, not wasting moments or days by being lazy, or putting things off, but focussing on the goals and the reasons, then that is the secret to success.

During my 10 days of illness (lost voice and nasty chest infection and cold - nothing serious) I was frustrated because I couldn't exercise - and didn't have the energy to launch into action with my new year declutter and organisation plans.   It made me start to see all the little things that I don't do when I'm well.  Just little things around the house to keep it tidy, or taking extra time here and there to play with my kids. I saw clearly the number of times I don't do something because I can't be bothered - or I think I'll leave it till later.    It was 10 days of a realisation that I need to 'just do it' a lot more, and stop coming up with excuses.

Leaving small tasks (that I don't really want to do) to later, doesn't make them any easier, it just delays the discomfort of actually doing them.  Things like hand washing the few dishes that can't go in the dishwasher, or folding the washing to put away. They may sound like small things - but that's the kind of thing I leave till later....
Well no more. 

Now that I'm well and getting back into fitness - I'm going to 'just do it' every day - and enjoy the benefits!

Finally - I just need to recap my fitness for the week - for my own benefit to record what I've done and plan the next week!

I managed to get on the exercise bike on Monday and Tuesday and have a gentle 30 min cycle each day - slowly getting my muscles working again, but not pushing too much as I was still a bit blocked up.
On Wednesday we as a family meet with the local roadrunners club for a free 3km running session on the esplanade. Our girls enjoy this, and running at their pace was again good for me to be doing something, but not pushing too hard.
By Friday I felt well enough to do one of my favourite workouts - Spartacus! - this is a cardio weight circuit that takes about 35 mins and really works LOTS of different muscles!
On Saturday my legs ached a bit from Spartacus, but weren't too bad.  My husband and I did some gardening, which is always a good workout - digging and moving lots of stones!
Then today (Sunday) I got up early and went for a good 1 hr run (9.21km) - just around the streets, but we have some pretty good hilly streets here!
I was happy to do my first run of the new year - slower that usual, but I guess that's to be expected after an illness.  I was also very happy I finally managed to get the sports app on my mobile phone to work and tracked my run! (luckily last year I learnt how to add a zip pocket to shorts - and put one in my running shorts which is just the perfect size for my phone!)
It's pretty cool to be able to see how fast or slow I was going at each point, and to be able to measure how far I was running too!
This will be great for comparing the same runs as I repeat them and watch my progress!

So - for next week I need to do some form of exercise every day. I will do my spartacus workout twice, cycle in the evenings when I haven't done anything during the day. Run on Wednesday with the family on the explanade - and next Sunday repeat the same run as today, in a faster time, hopefully returning to more like the time I was running it in towards the end of last year.

Aside from fitness next week - I am super motivated to 'just do it' with all aspects of my daily life! So - this will mean a tidier house, time taken to prepare healthier snacks (instead of just grabbing the easy option of a bag of chips) and a focus on doing what's important and needs to be done first - not just what I would prefer to do first!

How about you? Are you still sticking to your new year's resolutions?  Are you motivated?  Can you change your life - in an instant to what you want it to be? Will you?


  1. This is very true about change is about starting now, rather than waiting for new years or Monday. At the moment for me it's waiting until the baby is born, then I can get back to my fitness, but even that's not necessary. I've recently gotten back into yoga after too long without, and whilst now is not the time for pushing myself, I was definitely using pregnancy as an excuse,

  2. Spartacus scares me so much, I see my fit Soldier absolutely shattered after this workout! You have inspired me to get off the computer and fold that load of laundry. Thanks for the motivation.

    M xx

  3. Love this motivation here. Small tasks are my battle. I'm learning to sprinkle them throughout my day instead of looking at them as a bundle and I'm amazed at what I can accomplish.

  4. I have never been one to make a New Years Resolution but this year decided I needed a word or as it turned out 2 words I needed to live by. And those were "Me Time" I seem to over extend myself. I could never say no to anyone, family, friends, even strangers. I retired October of 2010 and had been on the go since. Many morning I was up and out the door running for someone early. When I was not I managed to hang in my Pj's till horrible hours doing all my housework before even thinking of getting dresses.

    I made up my mind this year was going to be different. I was going to take time to myself. Be up, showered and dressed before sun up. I was going to take time to dab on a bit of makeup which I had gotten out of the habit of wearing for many years. My excuse was I work in a hot kitchen and it just slides off my face. My hair would be done each day and I am going to eat a healthy breakfast not a donut on the run.

    You know what. It is mid Jan. and I have stuck to it. I feel so much better about myself and who I am. It is 7:30 and I am already sitting here dressed and with my make up in place.

    I am still keeping busy. I am on the advisory board at a local Senior Center and yes I do have a lot going on there but I love it. ( I had worked there for 8 years). I still am connected but an doing voluntier work there teaching crafts once a month and directing the handchime group but I love doing it. I am on the committee for our yearly Voluntier banquet but I am doing the craft portion of decorating. It is something I love doing so it really will be a lot of me time doing what I love and had gotten away from doing.

    I have just resently gotten back into working on genealogy which I had put on the backburner after losing my mom almost 2 years ago. We loved working on it together. It became a chore and after bringing all moms hard work home I set it aside. I felt when I tried going through things she had that I was intruding on her hard work of so many many years. That was until I heard from a total stranger asking for herlp. And I had the information she needed. What a thrill I found going through moms work and being able to find something to help this person. I have now started into it again in full force and hope to continue with moms work.

    " Me Time" time to look better, be healthier, do the things I love doing and not be stressed out doing for others. That is just what change I have made since the New Year began.


  5. Hi Jill,

    Good post. I am on the other side, I think. Rather than focusing on doing more, I try to focus on forgiving myself more. I wonder quite a lot whether I'm lazy for that.. I know for a fact that I could get a lot more done - exercise more, read more, sew more, blog more, clean more...

    I've recently started a new job, after many months of not being sure whether I'd like to go back to work in my profession. Gladly I am enjoying it so far. I come home and space out in the evening. And I'm focusing on forgiving myself for doing nothing! Yeah, I'm working and I'm allowed to do nothing in the evening! I don't have to feel bad! And slowly I fit in more things I think are important and I want to get done. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes stopping and meditating is what our soul needs rather than reaching the top.

    What I'm saying is, to me what is important now is doing something I am connected to now, rather than sculpting myself to be the person I supposedly want to be: yoga several times a week, clean house, healthy food, enough sewing time, etc etc. I will get there, but softly, gently, not at a Tony Robbins pace :-)

    I think what you're doing is great, and I wish you the best. For me, I feel focusing on slowing down and forgiving myself is the right thing for now.

  6. Jill, I totally agree with Keren and some of the other comments. I just give up on resolutions because they stress me out too much. Life changes so quickly I just want to learn to live in the moment and slow down. To forgive myself when I can't or need to adjust or just go with the flow. Its ok for me. I am not saying this is easy, I struggle all the time, every minute, but the moments when I am allowing myself more keep getting longer and longer and I am remembering them more instead of rushing through because of one form of guilt or another. BUT I think each person should do what feels best for them and NOT FEEL GUILTY because you are not like another person you read about or talk are you and if this is your comfort zone then go for it! We women are too hard on each other and need to support more despite our differences.


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