Start Today…

I love it when I read a quote and it really clicks with me (or when it makes something really clear that I should have been aware of already).

Similar to last week, I’ve been finding a theme in my work over the past few days. Being a wellness coach is an interesting job because there are two separate but related main tasks. First, I am a resource for information and planning, and second, I’m a facilitator of motivation (or I try to be). These two tasks are so different from each other, and they both have their challenges…but cultivation of motivation is often more complicated.

Motivation really is an interesting concept. I studied motivation and lifestyle choices for my dissertation research—and between my work with that and my work as a wellness coach, I’ve learned that although I can help someone travel through the process of readiness for change—I certainly can’t make it happen for the person. (Sometimes this can be really frustrating—but I’ve learned to keep it in perspective). I like this aspect of the process, even though it feels challenging, because it puts the responsibility where it should be—it’s just like the “lead a horse to water” concept.

I can’t make a horse drink the water (or a person change her habits), no matter how much I care about her and want her to be healthy.

I often tell my clients that I will always be the first to agree with them that establishing a new lifestyle habit is difficult. It’s hard work. There are sacrifices involved, and barriers to work around. At the end of the day, our bodies and our health don’t care whether we tried hard, or if it was easy to make good choices—what really matters is what choices we made and how we felt when we made them.

My Mom sent me a quote today that captured this concept amazingly well. I wanted to find where the quote came from, and I think I’ve concluded that it’s two different quotes (the first one from an unknown source)—but they go perfectly together!


Motivation is of great interest to me, and I am constantly working on ways to word questions and thoughts differently to clients (and myself) to try and move along the path from thinking about change to actually making the change happen (and then establishing it as a lifestyle).

How do you get and stay motivated?

Right now I’m trying to get motivated to finish my work and go to bed! Today was a great day—it’s always a good day when I spend it talking to clients. Not that everyone is happy or healthy or making progress all the time. But I figure if they’re talking to me about it, it’s a step in the right direction. Today seemed to be particularly positive though. Lots of good blood pressure readings and even a few weight goals reached!

I’ll be pretty focused on work for the rest of the week, but I’m also going to visit my grandparents and hopefully Matthew too. Really—what would all the work be for if I wasn’t doing the really meaningful important things too?


16 thoughts on “Start Today…”

  1. great quotes! we go through days when we are really motivated and getting a lot of things done, which is always a great feeling. but we do have those days where we struggle to get moving or motivated. but we usually just dig deep and find a way 😉

  2. The things I do religiously are things I enjoy. Luckily, I am totally addicted to the “high” of exercise or physical activity, so that’s easy. Likewise, I am addicted to feeling well rested so it has motivated me to go to bed easier. Now I need motivation to to weights…

  3. hooray for such a positive day! thanks for sharing about your experience in coaching, lisa. it must be SO rewarding to see the small – and big! – steps that your clients take on the road to better wellness. this sentence really struck me, today: “our bodies and our health don’t care whether we tried hard, or if it was easy to make good choices—what really matters is what choices we made and how we felt when we made them.” that is so very true!
    i am easily motivated if i am interested!! i love the feeling of accomplishment and i just get satisfaction from checking off to do lists and i know in my heart when a decision is right despite not really wanting to do it. (diet coke?!).
    have a great day! we’ve got another warm one!

  4. Gina (Candid RD)

    Great post.  I love this quote!  I consider myself a highly motivated individual, and when I set out on a goal, I don’t stop until I achieve it.  I think the issue is that some people make new goals before they achieve their old ones.  You can’t do that! You need to do one, then the other, or the other one will just get thrown out (at least that’s the case for me).  I write down my goals and revisit them often. It’s a method that works well for me!

  5. I once heard a rehab director say, ” you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. You can, however make him really thirsty.” 😉

  6. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Great quote and I think it’s so true. I get so frustrated when friends ask for help/advice for working out, staying motivation all that. I get excited that they want to try to start a routine, get healthy. But it doesn’t ever seem to last. It’s hard to watch.

  7. This is a beautiful post my dear.I LOVE the sentiment behind it – you and your  mom are SUCH very wise women!! I’m big on motivation too, and for some reason, it’s easy for me to self-motivate, but I think that’s partly just  my nature and partly because I love to always be working towards a better me so I’m easily motivated to do so. It makes me sad when I see friends and loved ones hang their hat on excuses — because you’re right, until they are ready for change, it’ll never happen. They have to be ready and willing to commit, to enact that change on their own. I battle this with one of my sisters all the time who desperately needs to lose a big chunk of weight to get healthy again. She is so resistant to any change, it’s hard for me to sit back and watch, even though I know that’s really all I can do for the most part.

  8. Great quotes! I believe by them as well. Motivation is tricky with people. I agree that you can only do so much to help people get healthy. They have to do all the hard work themselves, but can have you to support them.

    My motivation to work out is just to always think how great I feel when I’m done. It sure it hard to get up early some mornings, but I just remind myself how good I will feel after. It usually works, but sometimes my warm bed wins me over and I’ll plan an after work, work out.

    I think it’s all about making small realistic goals slowly. Trying to get too healthy too fast usually doesn’t work.

  9. That’s a great point—skipping ahead to newer goals doesn’t work for me either. There’s definitely something to focusing on one thing at a time!

  10. I love these quotes—it just puts into words how I feel and what I try to say to my clients (but not always so eloquently). I think the hardest part really is when I realize that I want something for a person more than they want it for themselves. Sometimes (like maybe you with your sister?) I just tell myself I’m leading by example…that has to count for something too on that long road people sometimes take toward readiness…

  11. I am such a huge fan of quotes :). This topic is especially relevant to me today because I am training for a half marathon with a friend who does not seem to be particularly motivated. I am getting frustrated…and this is a good reminder that someone else’s decisions are out of my control! I can only be there to support. 

  12. That’s awesome that you had a good day and got to spend it doing what you love!  I love those quotes — both of them!  It is hard to motivate people – it does have to be a personal decision. I don’t know how you can work with people day after day when you WANT them to make the right decision and probably most times they don’t want to make that decision!

  13. Love this post about teaching and motivation.
    Crazy thing is that I’m reading about that very subject right now as I prepare to homeschool my kids!! 
    Perfect timing… love your optimism =)

  14. I love that first quote too, it really speaks to me…especially early mornings when it’s time to get up and workout, lol!  The second one is beautiful too, thanks for sharing.

  15. Sometimes I beat myself up for not getting enough “work” in because I have meaningful things going on like plans with friends/family – then I realize that’s silly! I am motivated to work hard but am also motivated to make every day a special one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *