Friday, March 15, 2013

What motivates you?

Before I started the exercise challenges, when I was first trying to get back into doing exercise on a regular basis, I was trying out the reward system. I've tried many examples of this before; if I lose Xkgs I get thus and so. If I do blah blah exercise in this much time I'll do the other thing. This hasn't worked for me in the past.

I've since figured out I'm more of an immediate gratification kind of person.

On the picture below, above the coloured rectangles, you might be able to see strips of liquid paper. That's where I deleted "I cannot read any more books, or watch any more movies, until I reach 98kgs" and below the grid was "GOAL 98KGS!!!" This was initially designed to get me out of binging on books and movies which I'd substituted for food binges. No surprise there, it didn't work. I felt deprived and more inclined to binge.

The deprivation part of the message was clouding the reward part which was putting money aside each time I did exercise. Once I started exercising more regularly, I dropped the dollar amount down because I realised it was too much, both financially and as a token of my success.

See these coloured portions of the grid?


Each one of these rectangles represents 30 minutes of exercise completed.
Each rectangle means one dollar saved towards a reward for me.
A fitness related reward, because that's what floats my boat at the moment.
Equipment, or gym/pool membership, exercise clothes, the sky's the limit.
Each square I colour in, each dollar coin I put in the money box that's directly below the piece of paper hung on my bedroom wall--right near the light switch, so I see it all the time--is an investment in myself and my continued good health.
Picking up the pen and colouring in a square, followed by the rustle of the plastic coin bag then the clunking of the coin into the money box; that provides me with more satisfaction than I would ever have believed possible.

What are some things, big or small, that motivate you?

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