Motivation is the core of all action. We all need to be motivated to act. But what exactly is motivation and how do you get it?
The definition of motivation is reason: a "reason" for doing something or behaving in a particular way. So in order to get motivated to live a healthy lifestyle we first need to discover our "motivational reason" for wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.
Finding this "reason" to live a healthy lifestyle is something that each of us should think long and hard about, as this "reason" is what will help us to stay strong and make healthy choices when faced with the temptation to make poor lifestyle choices. For example, when we are at a birthday party we may be tempted to go back for a second piece of cake, but if our "reason" for living a healthy lifestyle is truly motivating us to act in a positive way, we can resist that second piece of cake or maybe have no cake at all.
Many times we will come up with superficial reasons to live a healthy lifestyle, such as wanting to fit in a certain pant or dress size for an upcoming class reunion or a wedding. This type of reasoning can motivate us to act, but this is often short term. Once we reach our goal and the particular event is over that we were trying to get into that certain dress or pant size for, our motivation is over as well and we end up going back to the same bad health habits as before. To find true motivation we must find that motivating reason to live a healthy lifestyle that will motivate us for a lifetime.
A few years ago, I found my lifetime motivational reason to live a healthy lifestyle and I think of this "reason" anytime I am faced with or tempted by unhealthy lifestyle choices. I have one child, a daughter. With my daughter being an only child, I have often thought of what life would be like for her if something would happen to her father and me and she would be left to live life with no immediate family members. That is a frightening thought for me and it is what motivates me to make healthy lifestyle choices. I feel it is my responsibility to try and live as healthy as possible in order to be here for her and to be a part of her life for as long as possible. When I am faced with the temptation of poor lifestyle choices, thinking of my motivational reason helps me to make the healthy choice. For example, when at a birthday party, if I am tempted to go back for that second piece of birthday cake I think of my motivational reason, my daughter, and the majority of the time this helps me to resist that temptation. Or when I feel I am too tired to exercise, thinking of my motivational reason, my daughter motivates me to get it done.
What is your motivational reason for living a healthy lifestyle? What will motivate you to make positive choices in life? Think hard about what will really motivate you to make healthy choices and resists poor food and lifestyle choices. Once you find your true motivational reason for living a healthy lifestyle you can use it as a powerful tool. Think of your motivational reason every time you are faced with poor food and lifestyle choices as it will guide you to make the positive lifestyle choice. Making healthy lifestyle choices will not only benefit you, but benefit everyone that is a part of your life.
Do you need more motivation to live a healthy lifestyle? Trinity Healthy Living is hosting two free motivational speakers for our community.
On Oct. 6, Danny Cahill, winner of the hit TV show the "Biggest Loser" will be sharing his motivational secrets for living a healthy lifestyle at Iowa Central Community College. Danny's presentation is in conjunction with the Applefest 5K/10K walk and run that will be held on Oct. 7. Come and hear Danny's motivational message on the Oct. 6 and get motivated to run/walk with Danny on Oct. 7. Danny's motivational presentation on Oct. 6 is free, but registration is required as seating is limited. Register at www.trmc.org/danny. To register for the Applefest 5K/10K walk run on Oct. 7 go to: www.fdapplefest.com.
On Nov. 15, plan to attend "A Weigh of Life" with Jared Fogle at Iowa Central Community College. Jared is known as the "Subway Guy" and for his weight loss achievements. Jared will be sharing with the audience how he has remained motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and how obtaining a proper weight can greatly reduce the risk of developing numerous chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. This event is also free to the public but registration is required due to limited seating. Please register at www.trmc.org/jared.
Teresa Newman is manager of Trinity Health Living and the Diabetes Center at Trinity Regional Medical Center.