Move with purpose: change the body’s physical location using muscles and expending energy for the purpose of improving health.
We all know we should eat our veggies, exercise daily, go to bed early and practice self care, so why don’t we do it?
What motivates or de-motivates us to act?
Motivation is the desire to do something. Each individual is motivated by different things, people, places or emotions. When it comes to being physically active, what motivates you?
I encourage you to make a list of the pros (benefits) and cons (barriers) of exercise specifically for you.
If your list of cons is longer than the pros, how can you change the lists to favor the positive benefits? Some barriers can not be changed, but many are within your control to do something about.
For instance, if a con to being physically active is time, how could you restructure your day to add two, 10 minutes time slots for movement that would be more feasible than a longer bout of exercise?
Or what if a con is you don’t find traditional exercise enjoyable; it is absolute torture to think about getting on an elliptical! Well, what else could you do that you may like, or (gasp!) actually look forward to doing?!
Square dancing? Bowling League? Pickle ball? Martial Arts? Acrobatics? Drumming circle? Wii?
If your list of pros for engaging in exercise is short and not motivating, what can you do to incentivize yourself to enhance the desire to be active? Personalities place a large role in if and why we may engage in an action and what our motivations are.
- Are you someone who is more internally driven and can self-motivate? For example, you decide you want to complete a triathlon and so you make a plan and start training five days a week. Or you want to look your best in your best friends wedding in six months so you start lifting weights and eating healthier.
- Are you more externally driven and are motivated by environmental triggers? For example, if you were told you would receive $100 for increasing your physical activity by 5 minutes every day for a month, would this motivate you to do it? Or if your friend asked you to start running with them once a week to help them train for a 5k, would this be enough external motivation to get moving?
Goals and Rewards
Setting a reward system can be a good way to ensure more immediate and tangible feedback from your actions and improve motivation, as health benefits are often long term or intangible by nature. Make yourself have to work for the reward, but not so much that it is unachievable. Once you reach the first goal and receive your reward, set another! Example: Once you have accumulated 100,000 steps on your pedometer (roughly 10-20 days) you will reward yourself with _________ (fill in the blank).
Motivation is key to successfully Move with Purpose!