Thursday, February 2, 2012

Motivation and Exercise

To say that I loathe exercising would be putting it mildly.

I'm not particularly against exercising, I just like to be active as I do things I actually care about. For example, I love running around with Queen Tuffet's kids, dragging them back and forth across the backyard in their wagon, or chasing them at the park. I love taking dogs for walks (although I don't actually own a dog, so I don't do this often). I like playing ultimate frisbee (although I haven't done so in years), and I like climbing things I'm not supposed to climb (so I don't do that often either). I generally don't like walking unless a) I have no homework and no items on my to-do list (ha ha ha); b) I am walking with someone and we can talk and enjoy each other's company; c) I am on a treadmill and reading a book or watching something worth spending the time to watch.

In other words, I don't like wasting time on exercising. And yes, I know there are physical benefits and all that, I'm just talking about exercising versus stuff that I have to do. I'm not going to get a lower grade if I don't exercise, but I will get a lower grade if I don't do my homework.

Basically, I don't exercise, and I have a desk job. I've been trying to figure out now, for several months, how to motivate myself. I want to get moving, I just have no intrinsic motivation whatsoever. None. I am motivated by external factors, and always have been.

Then, last week, I got an idea. Last week, I purchased this:

Oh yeah.

Currently, this box is sitting on my coffee table, gathering dust. It is unopened, and will remain so until I earn it. I have a system I made up for myself*, wherein I give myself a point each for doing certain things: going to bed before midnight (never happens), eating healthy (also never happens), exercising... Once I get 100 points, I can reward myself with a prize, which is usually just a book or a movie. This time, however, the prize will be this box of Legos. I cannot touch it until then, though I can see it every time I pass from the kitchen to the bedroom.

So far I have exercised 3 days this week. Just think about that: months and months of nothing and then 3 days all in one week! What else could give me that sort of motivation? Must be the Legos!

*My system probably comes from when I was little and hated practicing: Mother Edit, who taught me to play the piano, gave me points for each song I passed off each week at my lesson. Then, when I reached 100 points, I could get a toy from the store that was $5 or less. I was so elated every time I got to pick out a toy. :o)


Heather Dixon said...

You go girl.

I need something like that. A Barbie toy maybe.

Katya said...

Nice. I have a complicated system of "points" for every time I exercise, and I'm working toward buying a new pair of pants. (Less exciting that Legos, but I could really use another pair for work.)