Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's Your Motivation?

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. I believe that if there is a goal I want to reach or something I want to improve on in my life, I will start working on it right away any time of the year. Waiting for January is not a necessity. However, if that is when you want to set and begin your new goals or resolutions, then that is the best place for you to begin.

When it comes to eating healthier or getting more involved in some kind of exercise program, perform a double check on reality at first. Examine the motivation or primary reason for your wanting to make an improvement in your life.  For many, there may be more than one reason to make one change in your life. I pray and hope that is the case for all of us. The primary reason for starting a new journey, habit or practice should not be a skin-deep reason. Skin-deep reasons can be at the bottom of the list and not necessarily be excluded.

The example of a skin-deep reason is one that a friend of mine sadly exhibited. Before I became a running convert, I loved mountain biking and still do. However, I use to bike three to four times a week. Now I run a whole lot more and I bike less. Because of my love for being active in sports, I also love to help friends learn how to mountain bike or run if they are truly interested. On one of the first few mountain bike rides with my friend, she was ecstatic. She was excited out of her mind. I was so happy for her that she was really interested in getting to learn the sport of mountain biking, so I thought. As soon as we all started to pedal, the first words out of her mouth was, "Good-bye cellulite!". What?!!!! You've gotta be kidding me. That was her only reason to want to learn how to mountain bike? Were there other reasons?

The moment my friend publicly declared adios to cellulite, I immediately thought, this is not going to last long. I am wasting my time with her. Sure enough. I hate to admit it, I was right. It would have been fine if that was one of her secondary reasons for learning how to mountain bike. If she was truly concerned about taking care of herself and her health, that would not been her first reason. Making a lasting commitment to yourself for lifelong, good healthy habits should come from within and not from outside. If her primary reason for learning how to mountain bike was to improve her cardiovascular health, then she would have enjoyed the ride much better. She would have stuck to mountain biking much longer. The secondary reasons for learning how to mountain bike could be for pleasure and enjoyment, to relax, to relieve stress, to release endorphins, and yes...even to end up looking lean and good.

The same goes for turning over the leaf to start eating healthier. To be healthy should be anyone's primary reason to go down on this wonderful path. The benefits of exercising and eating well are priceless and numerous. Once again, if you choose to "eat healthy" for just purely looks, then long-term success will not take place. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are ammunition to reach or maintain a desirable body weight in order to stave off or reduce the risk of any chronic medical conditions.  This is for the long haul. This is not for selfish reasons.  When you are healthy and strong, you are able to be more loving to be around. Then you are able to also take care of your family and those around you. When you take care of yourself, this makes God happy. Since He made us, it pleases Him that we are doing our part to maintain the bodies He blessed us with.

Were you able to maintain a "healthy-habits" regimen through the recent holidays? If so, how did you do it?

No comments: