I wrote a few months ago about the series of values pages I’m making for my children.   I make a new page every so often and add them to the Everyday Display in the kitchen near the bar where the children sit to eat breakfast.  It’s been an excellent exercise for me.  Not only am I happy to have these things written for my children, but I’ve been challenged myself and have been forced to consider whether I’m living the values I’m writing about or not.

AlwaysImproveMy latest page was about continually improving.  And I wandered into thinking about what motivates change in people, and in me, in particular.  Wise people change because it’s a good thing to do, the right thing to do.  Foolish people wait until the pain of not changing is unbearable.

I know whereof I speak.  For years, I have needed to lose weight.  Like many women my age, it seems to be becoming more and more difficult, well, for those women my age who are actually trying.  I am not.  I should be.  I talk about it sometimes, but I am not trying.  Over the years, I’ve been as small as a size 10 and as large as a size 22.  I weigh more now than when I was pregnant with each of my children and the scale’s numbers keep getting higher.  I work too hard; I don’t take the time to plan meals; I don’t exercise.  The ‘no exercise’ thing is new.  Before I went back to work a couple of years ago, I did exercise regularly.  I guess that’s why I’ve ballooned over the past two years! Duh.

My friend shared a list of the Five Stages of a Motivated Person.  I printed it out and put it in my line of sight at work.

A highly motivated person achieves each of these:

1. Recognizes desire

Honestly, I may be stuck here.  I want to be wise enough not to be stuck here.  At other points in my life I wanted to lose weight but I really don’t know if I want to.  I know what it takes.  I know the sacrifices in other areas of my life and time commitments and I’m a little too busy to fit all that in right now!  Maybe that’s one of the biggest problems, in fact.  I have too much to do.  I want to want to lose weight.  It’s having a negative impact on my health (though I rarely feel it) but I know intellectually that it must.

2.  Faces fears

I used to be afraid to lose weight.  I’m not anymore.  I used to be afraid of a lot of things.  I’m not anymore.  Not as many, at least.

3. Moves out of her comfort zone

My comfort zone includes a big cushy chair and a laptop.  Or a textbook and laptop.  Or just a laptop.  How’s my lap going to get smaller if I don’t put down the laptop?!

4.  Set goals in life

I am very good at setting goals in the rest of my life.  And, when I get started on the weight loss journey, I’ll be very good at it.  I’ve been successful before in the past.  I become highly focused and get ‘er done!  It was the day-to-day lifetime commitment that I had problems with.

5. Become highly disciplined

I’m going to have to do this over time.  That’s the challenge for me.  I can be disciplined for short spurts.  That’s why desire is so important, I guess!

If you’re a praying person, please pray for me.  I need to reorder my life a bit to make time for this very important pursuit.  I want to be around to play with my grandchildren and great grandchildren.   (See my blog on Priorities.)  What I’m praying for myself right now is that I develop a true desire, that I find a local friend who has a very competitive spirit who can push me to stay engaged, and that I go ahead and do what I already know to do!

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18 Responses to Blog: Motivation

  1. roseanne Roberts says:

    This is a beautiful post. Your pages are a great idea. I work as a Nanny swith 7 children, and I am looking for something to work with the 5 & 7 yo girls to impart better values (being truthful for a good start!). Can anyone point me to a programme.

    That aside, I so relate toyr comments on weight. I am 62 yo and have had a heart attack. This was a big wake up call for me and I really encourage you not to wait until the pain is to great. anyway it did inspire me to lose 10 kg – it took a year in the end, but 5 years of on and off trying. i finally did it with weightwatchers – this is a brilliant programme, because if you follow it, you will not only lose weight but doing all the right things for heart, diabetes etc – either prevention or correction – well somewhat!

    I have also worked out an exercise programe that works really for me

    1. Pilates – 20 m a day (Simply pilates with a stretch band by Jennifer Pohlman) This is so easy it is hard to believe it could be doing you any good but I feel stronger after just l day if i have been ‘off’ it for a while

    2. Lightweight strength training (I use Miriam Nelson’s books and exercises for this) Likewise very effective and very quick to feel the benefit – not too hard because u start where u are at and slowly build up the amount of weight – 15 m

    3. 20 m bikeriding

    If i can’t do all of these in a day i will choos l or 2.

  2. scrap4fun says:

    Thank you for your post. It is what I needed. I have been trying to get myself motivated to get back on track and make myself more of a priority. If I am not healthy… I will not be able to be there for my husband and daughters. Funny thing is I keep saying I am too busy with them to take time to exercise. Thanks for the post and I will be praying for us both (:

  3. Beachbum says:

    Carolyn, this came at the perfect moment for me! As I also struggle to get motivated to lose weight and tell myself “tomorrow” (in Spanish)….there’s always an excuse…..I NEED to desire it more, face the fear of getting out of my comfort zone and just get ‘er done. Thankfully I have my husband’s support now it’s up to me. Thank you for your honesty. You will be in my prayers…..Like all of the above I think we can be that friend online.

  4. p222page222 says:

    Thank you Carolyn for being so truthful, we often know the right thing to do, yet we make excuses. Your page is food for thought for me. This was meant for me to hear – Wise people change because it’s a good thing to do, the right thing to do. Foolish people wait until the pain of not changing is unbearable. I think I’m a pretty wise person, yet if I’m honest, certain areas I’m a little foolish. (See I had to throw in a LITTLE, so I wouldn’t think it was that foolish). Praying for us!
    Love your page

  5. lindiew says:

    A couple of years ago, I got the urge to lose 50 pounds. It was difficult and frustrating at times, however, I achieved my goal. Now the worst part is gaining back the pounds I lost and having to find the desire to relose the weight. I am working on that- at least to where I don’t gain any more back. I will pray for you having walked ahead, please pray for me as I rewalk.

  6. lizpropst says:

    Carolyn…I just can’t get this post out of my head. It keeps speaking to me. Many thanks for your openness in sharing!

  7. kathy says:

    Thanks for your words and the great idea for value pages. This is such a wonderful gift to our children.

  8. Maureen says:

    Oh and Carolyn, do I have permission to copy your page? I’d like to make that one for my daughter.

  9. Maureen says:

    Praying for you Carolyn – wisdom, direction, strength to stay the task. My mantra “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

  10. inekeloux says:

    Carolyn – Thank you for sharing these thoughts; one of those “I know I needed to hear/read this right now moments.” I have areas in my life where I need to get better motivated also. My husband had a fortune at dinner the other night that I thought was excellent — “Let your life be one of exclamation! rather than one of explanation”
    I’ll be praying for both of us.

  11. gayneal says:

    Carolyn, thank you – you gave words to the way my brain has been working.

  12. DeannaE says:

    I am a praying person. I will add you to my prayer list. I share your struggle. In order for me to become more disciplined over the long haul I have had to realize that it IS the long haul. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about developing a lifestyle that really works for me–not someone else. I am my own project. I realized I didn’t go from Kindergarten to 6th grade in 1 year or even 3 years. It’s kind of like the challenges in Storybook. 🙂 You look and see what someone else has done and you say, “Wow!” But in the end you make it your own and you make it work for you discovering many helpful things along the way. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I need to just make it past the first session of exercise. I’ve discovered many things about myself over the long haul. You will too, Carolyn…one movement, one thought, one day at a time. It’s all gonna be OK! 🙂

  13. AnnAlbums says:

    Your value page is wonderful. I might even suggest that you use your pages to put together a motivational book.
    On a personal note, I share your weight loss issues. I have put on about 30lbs in the past 2 years since my daughter died. I will keep you in my prayers, please keep me in yours.

    • Carolyn says:

      Oh, Ann. I’m so sorry about the loss of your daughter. Such heartbreak. It was a traumatic and stressful event that began my most recent climb as well. I completely understand how challenges can make a difference. I will pray. You can count on it.

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