Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More than Motivation

"It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them." --Benjamin Franklin

Back to THE popular topic: motivation.

Just when I thought all the "How do I stay motivated?" questions had ended, there has been a resurgence of them flooding Facebook. It seems to be cyclical. We manage to somehow work our way out of a rut, find a rhythm, sail along and then something goes wrong. Our mojo wanders off (or maybe gets hit from behind, hog tied and thrown into the back of a creepy white van*). And so the cycle begins again. 

I HAVE FOUND THE MIRACLE CURE! Just kidding. But I have made an observation...

It's really not about motivation at all. 

The cure for a lack of motivation is to make exercise and healthy eating a habit

It's Newton's First Law of Motion: Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force. (I never thought I'd be citing NASA in a blog post!)

Ok, so maybe Mr. Newton didn't have diet and exercise in mind when he discovered the laws of motion, but really... it pretty much fits.

You see, I went on a vacation last week. And "Maybe I'll do some push ups and stuff" turned into "This hiking is enough of a workout, and I need a break, anyway." And yes, the break from working out was good for my body. I hiked; I ran hills; I climbed steep embankments. And it became easy to not workout.

Then I returned home. I had things to do. I began thinking it was much more important for me to get the house back in order than to go to the gym. (And secretly I didn't want to go back to the gym-- mostly because it was something I "had" to do.)

My first workout back was b-r-u-t-a-l. Now, perhaps I should've eased myself back in a little bit more. But regardless... it was so hard. I do this nearly every day?! I asked myself, dumbfounded. How do I do something so hard every day?! It wasn't this hard a week ago. Was it?

The truth is, it was that hard a week ago... and it wasn't. It was so much harder to get my body moving again than it has been to keep it moving. I had developed a routine. Working out had become a habit-- as much a part of my day as eating and brushing my teeth. Enter relaxing vacation, exit training habit.

The moral of the story: Never take time off. NO!!! The moral of the story is that it's not as much about motivation as it is about doing. If I had waited until I felt like going back to the gym... well, I might still be sitting on the couch, watching marathon reruns of Criminal Minds. Just stop waiting until you feel like it. Put your shoes on and go do it!

*Ok, so maybe I've watched too many reruns of Criminal Minds.

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