I think one of the most popular lifestyle questions I get is, "What motivates you?" My go to answer is always "I don't know, I just do it" or my favorite judgmental answer "Because I am not lazy." I never claimed 'bedside manor' was my forte. Really, sitting here trying to come up with an answer I am no closer to a definitive answer. Maybe by the end of this post we will have worked through something significant. But most likely I will end up in the same fucking conundrum I started with.
I might as well start off with the easiest one of the bunch, habits. Anyone who has spent more then a second with me knows I am a creature of habit, to the extreme. I wake up the same time most days, not because I want to be out of bed at 4:30AM on a Sunday, but because waking up late one day tends to fuck my day over. I just can't find the rhythm or motivation to get through my to-do list. I also have a tendency to fall into a mundane routine of diet for simplicity's sake. I find it easier to find something that works and stick with it. This method of habit obviously causes some issues if I don't monitor it regularly. On the flip side they are excellent motivators, without feeling like motivation. The hardest part of these habits is forming them in the first place. Once established it is a cakewalk.
I come from a family that suffers from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Basically I am from a typical American family. My health is always in the front of my mind. Face it--none of us want to be plagued by the hereditary cards we have been dealt. My motto is why not try everything in my power to prevent/delay the onset of any disease. Obviously there are millions of reputable opinions out there as to what you should or should not be doing to stay healthy and the media is no help. I have a vested interest in this information, and even I can not keep up. I am not going to pretend to be any sort of authority on this topic. I will say that there are multiple ways to achieve the same results and you should find what works for you and stick to it.
Yeah, I am Vain
I have no problem admitting that I am a vain person. You have no room to fucking judge, we are all vain. Some of us admit it and some hide it. I wear it proud. I spend a fair amount of time in front of the mirror checking myself out. I see what needs to be improved upon and this motivates me to eat healthy and exercise. If you want some instant motivation to get healthy go stand in front of your mirror for ten minutes and tear yourself apart. Even the most fit individuals in the world have room for improvement. Don't get me wrong this is a slippery slope that I don't intend to make light of. There are obviously individuals whom have distorted self image issues (some of you may say I myself suffer from hints of this). But really, being vain has its perks in regards to motivation. We all want to look good naked, so why not accept it and strap on those trail runners. Vanity is a trait that is not viewed highly by society......but fuck them, you look better anyway.
Being Competitive Helps
Being one of the most competitive people I know, it comes as a surprise that I don't have more interest in officially racing. The reality of the situation is that I am in a constant competition. Everyday, all the time, anywhere. I am competing with myself to improve my run time, or attempting to complete a work project faster/more accurately, or just to stand out above the crowd. I love competition and cannot avoid the chance to chase someone down on the trail. I do it for the 'high' of passing that person, or getting so close but knowing I gave it what I had. Come to think of it, not catching someone motivates me more then passing them. I don't like to lose even when the competition is only internal. Having a competitive demeanor is probably the largest contributor to my motivation.
So now that you have a completely transparent image of my self motivation techniques what do you think? Actually I don't care. Use them, don't use them, judge me.......it doesn't matter. Get outside......now.
This one kind of sums up the whole everything. At the root of my motivation is my workout stats. Although not as 'type A' as the triathlon crowd, I like comparing workouts over time. My Garmin uploads get me out the door and in my runners or in the saddle on days when I would rather stay in bed. An ongoing motivator I have is trying to top my running mileage from the previous month. There have been times where on the 31st I have gone for a half mile run just to beat the previous record. Speaking of records, keeping track of my highest mileage day, fastest marathon time, and others are excellent motivators. I have never gotten into the Strava scene (for no particular reason) but I could see how that would be an excellent motivator for an individual with my personality.