Commitment Versus Motivation
Monday, February 07, 2011
Yesterday I read a blog here on SP about commitment versus motivation that really got me thinking. The nugget that I took with me, and have been pondering for two days, is that commitment is more durable than motivation; commitment is motivation's bedrock.
To me that means that motivation ebbs and flows but commitment is here to stay. Some days I just don't wanna. We've all been there. The couch is way cozier than the gym. Why should I eat a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad when everybody else is digging into a burger and fries? You know the moments when
beats poor little
That's motivation on the fritz. Commitment says the couch will be even cozier after a run. You love chicken and salad, so don't even try to pretend you don't. And you know why you're going to get up and exercise and then stick to your meal plan? Because you promised to take better care of yourself. Your goals are worth the effort. And YOU'RE worth the effort.
My new mantra is "Are you committed or not?" Yesterday it got my butt off the couch and out for a walk. I changed into my workout clothes and dashed outside to help DH for a minute. I had planned to do an exercise video, but upon discovering that it was sunny and almost 50 degrees outside I decided to walk. I wanted to go home after 7 minutes. But I asked myself if I was committed or not, and decided to do at least 30 minutes. I went home after 45 minutes instead.
I planned to have one beer and one cupcake at last night's Super Bowl party. Other than that, strictly healthy. Luckily for me, the party's host is a super healthy eater and I knew that would be pretty easy. But jeez, a second beer and another cupcake were sooo tempting. But I remembered that I weigh in on Mondays and asked myself whether I was committed to making that number go down or not. I decided that I was and stuck to the plan. The result of this stubbornness was a 3 pound loss today.
Obviously I can't credit the entire loss to sticking to my guns yesterday. Getting over strep throat and serious effort all week did the lion's share. But refusing to binge or be lazy yesterday let me keep the gains of my effort. And that's absolutely worth it.
And it's what commitment is all about: sticking to it even when you don't want to or it would be easier to cop out. And, paradoxically, the progress I make this way leads to motivation. Kinda cool, huh?