Determining motivation.

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I read a great post this week - so great I wish I'd written it. The author lost about 125 pounds over a period of 16 months or so and has kept an awesome online record of her journey. It was really interesting to me that I just found her site but I'm already doing several things she mentions worked for her. The post that has had me thinking was specifically about motivation versus determination. Here's the whole post.

Here's what I've come up with based on that post, my own opinion, and doing a little other research. Basically, I think motivation is what we often call "will power" -- and many times it's what we depend on when we're trying to do (or not do) something. I may look for the motivation to work out, to plan my meals, to order the right thing off the menu. The motivation may be a smaller size, a pending weigh-in, or an event. The problem is when the motivation for doing the right thing isn't stronger than the motivation for the other thing. Notice I didn't say for the "wrong" thing -- this isn't always a right/wrong situation. Ordering what you want from a menu, for instance, isn't wrong; it's a choice, and it will have consequences. For me, the actual workout itself is very seldom a strong enough reason to get out of bed or off the couch.

Determination, however, is a different thing to me. Determination doesn't depend on motivation. It is present at a much deeper level and is less concerned with what I "feel" like doing. I may not be motivated to get on the elliptical, but if I am determined to lose weight/get fit, I will do it anyway, regardless of what I feel like or want to do instead.

I'm only three weeks into this "new year, new determination" and it's very scary to write out that I'm determined. There are so many times when my mouth really wants something I should pass on, and I've missed workouts. How can I be sure that whatever I'm choosing to do this time around is going to be enough to work? Why don't I keep my big mouth shut, so that if I suddenly fall off the health wagon, no one will notice?

Because I've got to have enough faith in myself this time to put this on "paper" and not be afraid that a year from now I'll be disappointed. I know what to do, I know how to do it. I know how important this is and I know that I want it.

What about you? Does any of this make sense? Am I making this more complicated than it really is?

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