January 2014! The obvious fresh start to new adventures, whatever they may be. Like most people, I love to look back on the previous year to glean from my experiences. This is both a process of appreciation of the good in my life as well as a beacon to direct me in new ways to experiences that are more of what I desire.
I have a tendency to look at my life as evolving. I think most people do. We have a tendency to think we are getting better over time. When I look back to January of 2013 I have a sense of being wiser now than I was back then. I think to myself: If I only knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have gotten into this mess, or that mess. But life is full of messes, mistakes and fixes. That is what compels us to improve.
“Motivation is the key ingredient missing for most people when it comes to fitness. Many women in particular lack motivation to get in shape because they don’t have a reason to diet and exercise. Sure, they have reasons other people have given them– to look better in clothes or a bathing suit, to be more attractive– but they have to want to shape up, diet, get strong and become more fit for reasons that are meaningful to them, personally. When you really want something; that is motivation! … As far as I’m concerned, a lot of information out there explains how to exercise and how to diet. But information is not the same as motivation.”
What really stood out to me from that article 20 years ago was the part about other people giving us reasons that we should use to want to get fit. It is so compelling now because of the internet we have instant access to other people. We have a tendency to see someone who is very fit and then feel bad because we are not exactly that, then strive with frantic determination to keep up with them. We sometimes do this without a thought about what we personally want. Then we continue to look frantically for the right coach or guru who has the right information, and we think that one step alone will solve our problems. But if we have not done the motivation work first, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or guru competition coach will do us no good.
Intrinsic motivation is like inspiration. It allows us to move toward our goals so easily. Many people think that the process of getting in amazing shape should be difficult. I am not one of those people. I never have been. The process has always been easy for me. That is not to say I don’t spend long hard hours in the gym, or prepare and pack my food, I do. It is that when I intrinsically want something for me only, it is easy to say no to things that are not my goal. I am the only one who created the goal, really understands the goal, and also I am the only one that has to live the results of either getting or not getting that goal.
This year, I want to challenge you. Before you look for the latest fitness information, first connect with your internal motivation. Create reasons that are meaningful to you and then watch as you get closer and closer to your goals. Let’s start this year by creating a vision of what we want. Make sure that we want it for ourselves and not because someone else thinks we should want it. Then, the path that is right for you will unfold before your eyes. Getting in shape in any way should not be an emotional struggle. It should be a fun journey that you focus on with commitment, enjoying the day to day process.
I never thought that I would be a motivational speaker to myself 20 years later. But I want to thank the 1994 Nancy Georges, for inspiring me to reconnect with who I am, and what my goals are, and to create a path that is personally meaningful.
I hope she has inspired you, as well.