I am intrinsically motivated – I do things due to love and enjoyment of activity. I don’t need things outside of myself like money, clothes or a high score to get me moving. At first, I used to think it was because I’m an only child, so if I don’t do things, they don’t get done. However, I realized that I had more “mettle” and “grit” than most people. I rarely need reminders of things that I’ve agreed to do. I rarely need a “to do” list when I know what my responsibilities are. The most clear example of my intrinsic motivation? I’ve been getting up at 4 a.m., 5 days a week for almost 5 years. Most Americans wake up between 6 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. I am part of the 8 percent or less who wake up before 5 a.m. That doesn’t happen by chance.
So how can you keep your motivation to keep on keeping on – without becoming dependent on people, money, and rewards? Here are a few quotes that I keep laminated in my gym bag, pinned in an album on Pinterest, and plastered all over my office:
8. Sometimes, all it takes is putting on my workout gear, lacing my shoes, or even putting my GPS watch on my arm, but I need that little spark to move forward. I call these little things, “the crawl!” Any little thing can help me to get moving.
7. Enthusiasm can make the smallest things have meaning. I once showed up at the gym for the sole reason that I had a brand-new statement t-shirt that I’d been wanting for a very long time. The excitement for me was better than seeing the Super Bowl live. Hey, go for whatever reasons, large or small.
6. There are too many times in life when we want things for free. Nothing in this life is free and that includes health.
5. I wish more folks would get to this place. This is the point at which the process is celebrated over the results. Continue to keep your hand to the plow and the growth will come in due season.
4. Woo, chile! Blessed quietness. Not everything needs to be publicized. As much as I love social media, trust and believe for every one post, there are about 10 irons in the fire that onlookers may not even know about. Hard work will show itself at the appropriate time for the appropriate reasons. The process is more important than the actual result.
3. During the summer months, I was looking through Pinterest and found a very cool picture of Muhammad Ali taking a nap on his bus. I’m not sure where he was going or what he was doing. But as ridiculous as it is, it never dawned on me that the GOAT would take naps! The photo gave me license to rest, but never quit.
2. There has to be a big build up to all that we’re doing. Reaching an ultimate goal requires us to elevate from moment to moment and from opportunity to opportunity. Build that fire and at the right time, the match will strike, and your light will shine brightly.
1. My ultimate motivation is my inner gratefulness that I can do what I do on a regular basis. No, I’m not a Ms. Olympia, or a world-class runner, or the best triathlete. But I might be the most grateful amateur athlete on the planet. I remember when I couldn’t run a mile straight and now I’m a three-time marathoner. I remember when none of my clothes felt comfortably and now I have to buy belts. I recall how embarrassed I was to run with my group and now I have participated in marathons and triathlons with thousands of fellow athletes. Moving is now my act of gratefulness.
I get it. Not everyone is internally motivated, but I challenge you to keep arsenal of quotes like these to help you fuel the fire when it seems like you’re going dim. You’ll get through if you never give up.
Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold writes monthly for CRUSH Fitness magazine AND…she’s a U.S. Masters Swimming Certified Coach, Triathlete, Marathoner, Author, Blogger, Educator, & BoyMom, Owner & Founder of SHEro Athletics, LLC.
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