What gets you moving?
Deadlines work for me. I don’t like letting others down and will do my utmost to fulfill my obligations, shoulder my responsibilities, and get the job done on time.
But what happens when no one’s waiting for me to finish a project or task?
My motivation falters, and my productivity drops.
Five weeks ago I received my osteoporosis diagnosis. I knew I could no longer sit idly by as my bones became less dense. I needed to take action.
I did. I joined Curves and began working out three days a week and walking on the others.
It takes 21 days to form a habit, so I was motivated by the goal of not missing a single day of exercise for the first three weeks on my new regimen.
Day 22 arrived. I’d met my goal. Suddenly working out didn’t seem quite as exciting. I walked into the gym, got into position on the first machine, and thought about going through the circuit week after week for the rest of my life. Suddenly something I’d been enjoying threatened to become drudgery.
I had an intermediate goal of showing improvement on the bone scan scheduled for November 2012, a long-term goal of arresting or even reversing my osteoporosis, and a somewhat nebulous goal of getting stronger. But I lacked a short-term goal.
I needed something to serve as motivation, and I found my answer in the Curves Smart program. What it entails is the use of a computer to monitor a member’s progress on each of the machines on the circuit. Once a participant is programmed into the system, she gets ongoing feedback on each machine as she operates it, including range of motion and energy expended. Green lights appear when a goal is being met, and yellow when it’s not. At the end of the workout, a member gets a report.
Upon learning of the program, I knew I’d found what I needed to spur me on. I signed up, got my cute little avatar, and set about working out.
I’d love to tell you that everything was wonderful from the outset, but I don’t like to tell tales. Well, I do like to write stories, but you get my point.
The first workout after signing up for Curves Smart was brutal. I was tripping over my tongue after completing only half of the first of two trips around the circuit. In the past I’d been able to dance jigs on the recovery boards stationed between each machine. That day I struggled to walk in place.
But I had a goal. Each time I got into position on a new machine, I knew I’d see those green or yellow lights, and I wanted to see green. Actually I wanted to see blinking green lights, which is what appears when I’ve exceeded my goal.
Once again I have a short-term goal and am motivated.
My intermediate goals have become twofold. When I reach the step machine with its heart rate monitor I don’t want to see red, which tells me I’m exceeding my target rate. At the end of my workout, when I go to the computer, I want all the dots on my cute little avatar lady (who looks as young as I feel =) to glow green, telling me I’ve met my goals for each muscle group indicated.
One week into Curves Smart I reached that milestone, and the entire room knew it because I let out a rather impressive squeal for a person my size. Now I go for green each time I workout. Having goals serves as motivation.
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What motivates you?
Do you find that having goals gets you moving?
Are you a fan of setting short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals?