Posted by: molander | December 7, 2009

Motivation Revisited

Motivation is a topic that comes up ALL THE TIME! It’s probably the number one question I get and it’s a topic every health writer covers more than once. Why? Well, 1) because it’s hard to stay motivated since discomfort/change is so alien to the human condition and 2) WE change so the things that get us going will need to change with us!

I touched on this subject before back in September 2009 but I’ve recently been given a new dose of motivation (unbeknownst to the source) that I just had to share. It came just last night from my friend, Ellen.

You see, like so many of the people I know, Ellen knows a good bit about what she should be doing but the problem is actually doing it. I can really relate because I was stuck right there for so l–o–n–g. Alas… we are all too human. We are programmed to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Eating what I want, when I want is pleasure (albeit short-lived) and working out is pain (also short-lived but I never seem to view it that way). When we finally begin to realize that eating healthy foods in proper amounts and participating in regular exercise bring bigger, better,  long-term pleasure, THAT’S when the lifestyle change kicks in. Ellen’s lifestyle change has kicked in.

Now let me go on the record as saying that sometimes you can just tell when someone’s motivation is temporary. You smile and tell them “Good job!” but you know in your heart that they don’t actually “get it” yet. (It’s also worth noting that sometimes you just can’t tell if they get it or not!) And then other times, you know that they have turned the page and are a bonafide member of the “healthy club!” In my mind, I’m printing Ellen’s membership card!

But the coolest thing about welcoming her into “the club” is not the obvious stuff you’d expect… it’s the way she’s motivated ME without even knowing it! Last night, as we talked about her week, I found myself filling with all kinds of positive, wonderful emotions! I was so proud of her accomplishments, excited for what’s around the corner and motivated by her bravery. (Yes, you read that right. I was melodramatic and said “bravery.”) You see, moving out of my comfort zone scares me. I have to take teeny, tiny baby steps feeling the way with my toes as I go fearing I may fail even if I know I’m doing everything in my power to succeed. But not Ellen! Just like all the other areas of her life, she assesses the situation, decides what needs to be done and jumps in with both feet! In other words, she embraces the change and THAT’S why I know she’ll be successful. Why can’t more of us be like that? (More specifically, why can’t I be like that??)

This morning, Max Lucado posted this on Twitter: Change is a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, he alters our assignments.* Hmmm…. that statement can apply to so many things in our lives but in regard to our health:

  1. We can’t help the world much if we’re sick… or dead.
  2. We can make an even bigger difference  if we’re functioning efficiently (aka healthy).

So, special thanks to my sweet friend, Ellen, who happens to be a major player in my daughter’s life, too! Thanks for being you. Much love,


*You can follow Max on Twitter and if you’re not scared of this trainer like I am, you can workout with Ellen at:


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