Have a reason, a really good reason…

So, I’ve written before about motivation.  I’ve touched on how much I hate that Nike appropriated a perfectly good motivational phrase – Just do it – as a marketing tag line.  Not because I necessarily hate Nike, but because I think whenever a good common sense phrase gets used to market a product it devalues the phrase and contributes to the increasing poverty of the English language.

But this quote really stood out for me from this entry on Nerd Fitness:

Have a reason.  A really good reason! You can’t just make up some shallow reason like “I want to lose 50 lbs”. You have to have a purpose, like being around for your family 20, 30, 40 years from now. If you don’t have kids, then maybe your purpose can be to get stronger or to run a marathon. Forget about your appearance in the beginning. All of that will come on its own, sometimes faster than you ever expected.

This is pretty close, if not spot on to how I’ve approached my own fitness and weight management goals over the past couple of years.  When I focus on how I look I’m easily discouraged.  Progress is slow, and sometimes very, very hard for me to even notice (see my earlier post from this morning about the value of running into people you haven’t seen in a year).  And I too was motivated a couple of years ago by this post on The Art of Manliness – Every Man Should Be Able To Save His Own Life: 5 Fitness Benchmarks A Man Must Master.  I’m not shy about saying that when I read that Art of Manliness post in 2009 and I felt shame.  I felt shame because I was pretty sure I would not measure up well against any of the 5 benchmarks.  Today, regardless of how I’m feeling about how I look (and I’m a vain person, unfortunately, so it does cross my mind a wee bit too often), I know I can measure up to any of the 5.

So, if you don’t have a reason, try Tony’s on for size.  If that one doesn’t fit, find another.  But make it a good one.

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