12.08.2009

Motivation

In 8th grade, I was in Mrs. Methot's 9th grade math class.  In this class, we were responsible for keeping track of our grades.  We had a chart to fill out where we would enter the scores from our homework and tests and Problem of the Week (I had a love/hate relationship with those).  The problem with this method was that toward the end of the term, I started calculating what my grade would be if I chose not to do certain assignments. 

And provided I would still get an A, I would skip the homework.

This, unfortunately, was the beginning of my downfall. 

Soon, a B was good enough.  And by my junior year, I wasn't even turning in enough math homework to get a passing grade.  In our school, one had to have at least 60% of homework turned in to pass math.  Even though with my test scores I would have had at least a C, I didn't have enough homework turned in by midterm to pass.  As failing was not an option, I would have to work my back end off doing homework for the second (and fourth) quarter to bring my homework score up above 60% by the end of the semester.  Those two semesters of precalc were the only Cs on my transcript, but at least they weren't Fs. 

My friend Mindy had (a much better grade and) pity on me, and would help motivate me to do my homework.  After determining that I worked better with positive reinforcement than negative, she made me a star chart, and provided stickers and would randomly bring rewards when I was doing well.  Without her, I may not have passed. 

But that is not the point of this post.

The point is, that internal motivation is not the easiest thing for me.  I do much better at accomplishing things that I know I am outwardly accountable for, especially when I have motivation such as point systems or star charts, and let's be honest, rewards never hurt. 

I know that things like homework and exercise have intrinsic value, and that alone should be enough to motivate me, but let's face it, I'm not that mature (yet?). 

So, exercise.  Eating well.  Not bingeing on sugar.  These things are really not that hard to do, but for me are hard to motivate myself to do. 

Which is why this health competition was so good for me.  It gave me the motivation to do the things I want to be doing anyway.  I hoped that after the 10 weeks were over that I would have created habits that I could continue, but that's easier said than done. {For the record, I came in second, losing 3 points when I went to California for my Grandma's funeral, and four more the last week, since I knew I wasn't going to win.}  Since it ended, I have slid back to my previous habits, despite feeling so much better when I exercise regularly etc.  So I'll be doing it again.  Starting Sunday, January 3rd, I will again be living by these rules.


Why so far out, you ask? 


First, because what is Christmas without dessert? and second, to inspire all of you to join me!  This is the perfect way to start off the new year, and I can hope once again that these habits will stick.  I will be sending out an email in the next week or so to recruit.  If you want to be included, either comment on this post or email me.  And I might just email you anyway. 

5 comments:

mrs. olson said...

i'm sorry...i can't do it.

But good luck. You'll rock it.

Chelsi said...

I want in. I have been trying to get up and workout in the mornings and I started last week, then got sick two days after I did it. I am still getting over the cold, but can't wait to start working out again. I really need motivation!

Mike and Tiffany said...

Oh man, this would be great if it was AFTER I had the baby. Seeing as your starting just before my due date, I'll have to pass this time. BUT, I'd love to join in on the next one! (hint, hint!)

Elisabeth said...

Include me :) I am going to try to do a triathalon next August and a half marathon in Sept. or Oct. so this will be good to get me started back on track!!

The Strain's said...

ewwwww problem of the month!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!! I HATE IT!! we couldnt figure one out so we gave it to my uncle's friend who had his phd in mathish stuff and he couldnt even figure it out! so i wrote my solution paper on how it was a load of crap and a mathemetician couldnt even do it!!! was ms. methot the one who really liked halloween decor all year? if thats her, i had her too, i didnt like her.... she was kinda creepy.... LOL. I gotta say, go you! but I'm totally out.... I am too weak for such things. I need my sweets, I'd rather work out twice as long just to eat them.