“Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” — Zig Ziglar
“Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens
What motivates you? Is it the fear of failure? Is it the future? My answer is really simple. What motivates me is knowing that you are going to be looking at my pictures every day.
The accountability factor that is the daily photograph is what keeps me motivated and working hard. I used it today at the gym while working out. I was doing step ups and really wanted to give myself permission to quit at 5 reps, but I pushed on to 11 reps because I knew it would have more of an effect on my body. That gets seen through the pictures. Thus, the pictures indirectly motivate me.
The exercise is what is making a physical change in my body, but my insistence on beating my last workout is what continues to produce results.
“How soon ‘not now' becomes never.” — Martin Luther King
So many people put things off until later. I had that experience this morning. I woke up for the gym and it was freezing cold. I thought to myself “Not now, I can do this later” and actually sat down on the couch and pulled a blanket over myself. I would have surely fallen back to sleep but I kept thinking “Something is going to derail you if you act like this.” After just a few minutes, I got up and left for the gym. Once my feet were moving, it was easy to go the rest of the way.
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else, I only try to dance better than myself.” — Mikhail Baryshnikov
When I go to the gym, I don't try to do better than the guy next to me. For one thing, how do I know how long he's been lifting. He might be lifting more than me due to the length of time he's been working out. Without that knowledge, I have no way of knowing if I can do better than him. That's why I only focus on beating myself. I always have a week's worth of my workouts on a clipboard when I hit the gym. I look back at past workouts and determine what today's goals are going to be. I write those goals in the margine next to each exercise and then I go to work beating those goals. It doesn't matter if I lift more than the next guy or not–it only matters that I lift more than myself from the previous trip to the gym.
My advice to you is to figure out what motivates you and then use it to your advantage. Take every opportunity to make motivation work for you. Motivation is a very personal thing. Personalize it by doing the right thing for you.