Each writer/blogger has their quirks when it comes to sitting down to the task of writing a long-overdue assignment: Mine is clipping my fingernails (if I’m at home) or meticulously arranging files on my desk (if at the office). Consigned to doing the latter, I ended up browsing through our first anniversary issue of Women’s Health (April 2010 with Anne Curtis on the cover). There in the opening spread of the fitness pages, glaring at me were the words “Stay Motivated.” Ouch.
I read through it and found that there’s a common thread to why we fall by wayside when it comes to things we commit to—whether it’s a workout program, a weekly blog, or even a relationship.
One major factor: Your motivation to that commitment is externally driven. You lose the mojo to do a workout because it wasn’t you who wanted it, but your boyfriend or doctor who told you to do it. A relationship goes into the doldrums because you jumped into one for the wrong reasons (Bragging rights. Money. Sex. Fear of being alone.). My blog went unattended because I just saw it as another task on my to-do list, instead of taking to heart my stake in updating this.
A group of researchers led by Edward Deci, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York devised the “self-determination theory.” To quote our Women’s Health article, it goes—“The more you do stuff you like to do and not what you think you should do, the more you’ll keep doing it.” Deci and his group found that people who joined exercise classes because they “wanted to feel good” were those who were more likely to attend the class than the ones who said they just wanted to look good.
The fix to my dilemma is straightforward: I ask myself what do I really want? Ask yourself the same question too. If you’ve got getting hitched in your sights, is the boyfriend now the one you see yourself spending the rest of your life with? Did you just get suckered into getting a gym membership when the thought of 15 minutes on a treadmill is pure torture? Did I really want to be writing a blog?
To answer the last question: Yes, I want to write this blog. I wasn’t forced into doing this. I willingly jumped at the chance. Writing this weekly is a great mode of getting across my thoughts on the burning issues of fitness and weight loss, nutrition and health in a (sort of) real-time way. Yes, putting out a monthly magazine keeps me wonderfully, crazily busy, but if some of my friends ask me how I manage to stick to a six-times-a-week exercise schedule in spite of a fulltime job, and my answer is “Because I love working out. Because I absolutely enjoy it,” then writing this blog must become part of my nature as well.
Oh gosh. Just saying what I did is scary. I will not be a woman of my word if I don’t get with the blogging program.
But I promise, I will.
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