Motivation vs. Inspiration

There is a big difference between these two expressions, especially regarding our health and wellbeing.

How often have you said or heard: "I am just not motivated to do_________" or "I have no motivation"?

That is a common reason we don't do things that we know we should be doing for our wellness. Eating right, exercising, meditating, self-care. We act like it is a job to do. We feel like we must be motivated to do things that will make us feel good in life! Why is that?

Let's discuss these two words.

Motivation comes from the word motive, which means something (such as a need or a desire) that causes a person to act. We believe we need the motivation to act or do a certain thing. The term "need" is key here. We should not "need" to eat right, exercise, meditate, or take care of ourselves. This is something we willingly would want to do, right? Why would we not desire to feel better? Motivation is a push. A force, something that we believe "makes us" take action. I am not sure about you, but I know I don't want to be forced to do something or feel like someone (even if it is myself) is being made to do something. That is often when I get adamant and forceful right back, although it is for my own good.

I agree motivation has its place. Coaches, trainers, and speakers can motivate you in a way that makes you feel that force to take action in your best interest. Nevertheless, motivation is not a lasting sentiment. And it is something we continue to seek to support us.

Inspiration, on the other hand, springs from an entirely different position. The word inspiration derives from the words "in spirit." The definition is to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence; to draw forth or bring out. When we are inspired to do some activity, we generally do it with more enthusiasm, more umpfff. We do this because we desire to! It feels good, it feels right, which is ultimately what we desire in our lives, that good feeling, sensation, correct?

Do you see where I am taking this?

Motivation is the push. Inspiration is the pull. Inspiration attracts you and draws you in. When we think of being inspired to begin exercising or eating right, it just feels better. While you are in the gym doing those last 5 sit-ups, you might need your trainer to motivate you to finish. Let inspiration get you going. Let motivation see you through.

Don't go searching for motivation to do something to feel better. Discover methods to be inspired to do better for yourself. Remind yourself that it is acceptable to take care of yourself. In reality, if you don't, then someone will need to take care of you.

Here are 4 ways I find inspiration to do better in my health and well being:

1. I choose my regret. When I am lying in my bed at 4:15 am, and the alarm goes off, and I hit stop, and I'm contemplating returning to sleep, I ask myself, what will I regret more? Not staying in bed or not going to work out. Yes, even at 4:15 am on most mornings, I choose the latter, and I am up immediately and go work out.

2. 15 more minutes. When I am craving something that is not healthy, and it's not time for me to "splurge," I play the 15 more minutes game. I tell myself to give it 15 more minutes and then check

if you are still craving _______, in 15 minutes typically I have normally discovered something to take my mind off it and I can go on about my day, or I do another 15 minutes and occasionally another if the urge is that bad. I set a date and time on my schedule within 3-5 days to permit myself this treat. By the time the date comes around, I will not crave that dish, snack, or meal anymore.

3. Before and after images. Because I concentrate on weight loss as part of my well-being, I get inspiration from before and after photos. I love to look through these individual

s that are doing their transformations in a way that I believe is healthy and realistic. I glance through those that are doing weight watchers. It assures me that I am not alone and that we all have starting points.

4. Daily Intention. This creates a big distinction in my day! I am human, and some days slip by, and I don't make an intention. I do more than set a daily intention; I write the word down and place it where I can view it on my desk. I've even written it on my palm a time or two. For instance, I will say today's intention is focus. Today I will stay focused on whatever task is at hand, workouts, cooking, work projects. Whatever it is, and this keeps me inspired and reminded to stay focused throughout the day.

I hope you can find a way to find your inspiration!

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Shannon Cunningham

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