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What Motivates You?

November 24 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Six mile run on beach with my wife and Rocky, 15 laps in pool, 2 beach walks. (Needed to increase activity level before the big feast!)

So what motivates you? What gets you up and moving? Is it that voice in your head that convinces you to get off the couch? Your desire to look and feel better? Your friends? Your doctor? There are as many motivators as there are people needing motivating. We all find something that pushes us in the right direction.

Let's return to our lean and muscular fisherman from yesterday's blog. By the time I see them at 7am, they have been out for at least 2 hours patrolling the beach. What motivates him 7 days a week? Survival! If he doesn't get out of bed early and catch fish, the family goes hungry. (And I miss my grilled fish at lunch.) That type of motivation is what drove most of our ancestors who were manual laborers and were active most of the day simply just to survive.

Us Baby Boomers even tell stories of "walking backwards to school five miles during a snow storm in the summer." The point is, today we must find other ways to motivate us to be active, as our lives both work and play become more sedentary.

Michael Jordan invented foes to motivate him to great feats. Scottie Pippen said he just loved to play the game. Lesser athletes, such as myself, visualize the final 100 yards of a marathon with all those wonderful supporters screaming for you.

You must find the motivators that work for you. Living a long healthy life is a good one. Losing twenty pounds and fitting into your favorite jeans, or just being able to walk a mile. Goal setting, visualization or even dreaming are motivation tools. Take my college buddy Barney, every year he would give up swearing for Lent (we would never have thought of giving up beer!). Whenever he would swear, Barney would slap himself, which of course shocked anyone around him. I don't suggest self flagellation, but for Barney it motivated. By the way, I just saw Barney recently and he has matured into a fine non swearing (most of the time) adult.

Try breaking down your goals into smaller more easily accomplished goals and then find the motivators to get you there. For example, rather than attempting to lose 25 pounds, work toward losing 10 this month and then reward yourself with a weekend trip away to your favorite spa. Keep your motivators positive and in line with what you are trying to attain, i.e., a weekend at a healthy active spa visit is a much better choice that a fatty steak dinner.

Since I am on vacation and we are talking about getting away, think about your typical trip. Let's talk next time about healthy active vacations. They can be a great "jump starter" to an active life rather than a trip you need to recover from. Stay Active, My Friend.