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The Art of Motivating Yourself

24 Jan Posted by in Motivational Speaker | 6 comments

We live in a world where many people look out to find something to motivate them – when motivation comes from within.

I hate working out. I have been exercising on and off since I was in my twenties. Step aerobics in a zebra-print leotard. Fast walking around the inside perimeter of a shopping mall. The dusty bike in the basement that cried with me through Gray’s Anatomy. The stairmaster that made me question my faith. The jazzercise class that stopped on time, which is more than I can say for my butt which was still moving three days later. And the lovely trainer who, after six sessions with me, decided he would rather stock shelves at the Big Lots.

So don’t tell me I haven’t given it a chance. I’ve given it plenty of chances, and can say with one hundred percent confidence that I was not born for exercise. Show me a clearance table, and I will break into a sprint that would put Rocky to shame. I could be crawling on the floor with some tropical disease that has taken my hair and my vision – but wave a Snickers in front of my face – and I will break out into dance. There is no way I will ever hike unless there is a mall at the top. Or maybe if I’m in a plane that crashes in the mountains – and even then it will only be because I am hungry. But show me a gym, or even mention the word “gym” in a sentence – shoot, introduce me to someone named Jim – and my blood turns cold and I break into a sweat. Ironic, that I do more sweating thinking about the gym than I actually do inside the gym.

But still I persist. Why? Open my underwear drawer and ask the fifteen layers of Spandex. Get a front row seat in my bedroom when I engage in battle with my pantyhose. Take a peek in my mirror as I figure out that I will look a whole size smaller if I just pick my stomach up and pull it out over the top of my jeans. Good-bye muffin top – we’re now into the whole biscuit. Anyway, I guess I make myself get up and go to the gym over and over because I know if I don’t, it could get a whole lot worse. And being a motivational speaker, I am determined to put a good spin on this whole exercise thing.  And I have finally found the one true secret to exercise that keeps me going to the gym every day – find a way to make it fun.

Sorry if you were hoping the answer involved a remote control and your couch. But I have finally realized that I’m never going to like working out – nobody is going to do it for me – and if I’m going to keep at this, I’d better find a way to make it bearable, or even (gasp!) fun.

What’s my secret? Music. Lots of it. And none of this elevator work out music where someone has created four hundred songs using three notes on an electric keyboard. I’m talking Aretha, Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Wicked, Mama Mia, and some of that foot-stopping homegrown gospel music.  I have finally found something I can do to make my workout fun. And I recommend that you do it too. Will you choose the same songs that I do? Doubt it. Maybe for you it’s looking at super models in a magazine. Maybe it’s getting behind the cute guy with the rock solid rear end. Maybe you want to bring a friend to join you so you can point out the thighs that are bigger than yours. No matter what you choose, my point is still the same – choose something. Make it fun.

So I hate exercise. And maybe you hate your job. Or maybe you hate your mother-in-law. Or maybe you hate cold calling. Well, for starters, complaining doesn’t do any good, except for making everybody else around you miserable. And continuing to hate it will just make you doubly miserable. And nobody will come along and make it fun for you – so quit blaming everybody else. As Nike so eloquently says: Just do it. Motivate yourself.

Just like the fairy tales on which we were spoon fed, many of us wait for the charming prince to come save us so we can live happily ever after. Or we wait for the fairy godmother, or for our husband to take out the trash, or our children to show just one ounce of appreciation for what we do. We wait for the people we work for to recognize the value we bring to the workplace. We wait for the world to discover our talent. And some of us are waiting for God to swoop in and turn our water into wine. (Hey, a girl can dream.)

But at some point you’re going to realize that it is up to you to make your life fun. Nobody else can or will do it for you. And it’s not their job. Happiness, peace, fulfillment, joy, even faith – is not a feeling, it’s a choice – and if you choose it often enough, the feeling will come. So today, I hope that you will choose to make it a great day – and tomorrow – and the day after – until one day you wake up, and it just is.

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  1. Sue Falcone01-24-11

    Hi Kelly,
    From one of your “ravin” fans and tribe member! Loved this! We can all learn to be “Happy to Do It” as Randy Draper shares! I am blessed to work out and love it with music! Have a great week!
    Hugs and Blessings,
    “Simply” Sue:)

  2. kelly01-24-11

    Thanks Sue! You have a great week too!

  3. Catherine02-03-11

    I love dancing, but it is hard for me to find a program that I like for women my age, where I won’t get a stress fracture moving my hips. So I agree with you that music really helps. There’s a club going in by my home that does a rotation to music like Curves – but it is Curves on steroids. The coach (an intense man) has a room full of professional body building machines and weights and you rotate the room with him motivating you for an hour. There’s music and pain so it reminds me of my marriage, so I simply must go check it out! I’ll let you know what happens.


  4. kelly02-04-11

    I love the line “There’s music and pain so it reminds me of my marriage.” That is HILARIOUS. May I use that line? And, yes, let me know what happens! Thanks for commenting.

  5. key note speakers05-09-11

    Hey there, I really apprecitate your insights on becoming a key note speakers. I read plenty of blogs in the business but, I have to say the majority are garbage. It is nice to see that your able to write some thing of value on this subject. As I’m certain you know there is plenty of so referred to as motivational speaker “experts” but, I seriously wish far more men and women took this seriously mainly because, becoming motivational speaker truely does effect peoples lives and has a massive impact on how they really feel. think how a person feels on the inside is the most critical factor in life a lot more so than cash or fame.

  6. kelly05-10-11

    Thank you for taking time to respond to my blog. It’s nice to know that there is at least one person out there reading it and finding some value in it. And I agree with you one hundred percent – how you feel about yourself affects everything you do in life. I always say that the finest sailboat with the fanciest parts and prettiest paint job, will never get anywhere without wind in its sails – just as all the talent, skill, and money in the world will get you nowhere if you aren’t motivated to act on it. But if you are determined enough – you can go far in life, even if you don’t have the talent, skill, or money. Thanks again for posting. Make it a great day!

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