Which Comes First: Motivation Or Motion? 

Today I was pondering the idea that “motion leads to motivation.” Not the other way around, as we may often think.

At one point in the day I had this little block of time before my next commitment, and I felt overwhelmed because there were so many things that needed to get done but nowhere near time for them all. Where should I start? Those situations can be paralyzing, can’t they? We can end up doing nothing, and then the list just gets longer…a vicious cycle. However, whenever I JUST PICK SOMETHING to do (this time, sweeping the floor) and start doing it, I feel this sudden burst of motivation right away. This energy and focus appear seemingly out of the blue. I finished the sweeping job and did something else and ended up getting way more done than I originally thought I could.

We know that exercise makes us feel happy and motivated, but isn’t it interesting that motion in general has the power start the positive wheels turning? Have you ever experienced this?

Motion leads to motivation. Hmm. Motion = Motivation? So that would suggest that creating a positive habit like regular exercise starts with just doing it, not necessarily “feeling” like doing it or even “wanting” to do it. The motivation comes later, after experiencing the benefits. Then, once we’re set into motion, we can draw on that wonderful memory of tangible benefits should we ever get stuck in that paralyzed spot again. Suddenly a vicious cycle turns into a positive one.

Of course, that “just doing it” part can be tricky. It’s not always so simple, is it? I needed a friend to invite me. Years ago, I wasn’t in a physical or emotional place where I could just “decide” to exercise. I had limitations that led me to believe exercise was impossible for me. I needed help with the first step, and I needed ongoing community. And then, honestly, exercise didn’t feel good right away either. I was too de-conditioned and in too much pain. It was many weeks, maybe even months before I really started feeling happy and better. It’s different for everyone. They don’t always tell you that part. Now, it’s better than I ever thought it could be. Now, I’m in more pain when I don’t exercise. Talk about motivation.

If any of you out there is in that overwhelmed, paralyzed spot and you don’t feel like moving or don’t know where to start, know that you’re not alone! You have a community in Body & Soul Fitness. Allow me to invite you. We have classes all over the country and world. If there’s not one near you, we can help you start one. Follow our Facebook page and visit our website for ongoing encouragement.

Start moving and keep moving, friends. Start at whatever level you’re at today and never stop. The motivationwill follow your motion. You can do this! We can do it together.

(And if you’re already in motion? Invite that friend who’s stuck. She needs you!)

Paula Huss is a certified group fitness instructor with Body & Soul Fitness, and also serves as assistant Western Regional Director. She currently leads classes at Mt. Olive Ministries in Milpitas, CA, where her husband, John is Senior Pastor. They have three creative kids: Max, Gina, and Drew as well as two energetic rescue dogs. Paula is passionate about encouraging others to keep moving, eat well and enjoy healthy, renewing rest. She also loves to sing, and listen to crashing waves.


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