Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Motivation: Show Me the Money

(Please make sure that before navigating away from this blog, you check out the Life For Lily Virtual Run page - wherever you are, you can help make a difference for a family whose daughter is fighting cancer for a second time.  Our steps can make a huge difference in this fight for her life)

Some days, getting up before the arse crack of dawn to go for a run that will end before said arse crack is hard.
And some days, when the front-room-slash-office-slash-home-gym-slash-game-room is completely trashed, with blocks, dolls, and other toys strewn about so that even Zooey can hardly manage to find her way across it to bark at a dog outside the window, getting a good yoga workout in is hard.
And some days, finding five minutes to pee without a feline, canine, or human audience much less fit in some upper body moves is hard.

It's easy to make excuses, especially at the end of a day wrought with impromptu meetings, crazy phone calls, emergency grocery store runs because we're out of milk AGAIN, and pre-bedtime tantrums.  In the seven point two minutes between the time my head hits the pillow and I fall asleep with the TV on, I get some quiet time to relax before my alarm jerks me awake for the next round in the morning.

So sometimes I have to look for new ways to motivate myself to get out of bed and get it done.

Regardless of the charitable events in which I participate, at the end of the day, I have to run for me.  I run for the quiet time; I run for a better night's sleep; I run for better health; I run for a smaller jeans size.  But overall, I run for me.  While I can dedicate my runs to others, as I do through my participation in important events, I can only run for me.  Not my husband, not my daughter.  Me.

Well, "Me" needs rewards and prizes sometimes (clearly "Me" isn't as altruistically driven as "Me" would like to think).  That smaller jeans size isn't here yet, and sometimes, regardless of how tired I am, Zooey is bound and determined to keep me from sleeping through the night as only a coonhound can do (I'm pretty sure she thinks "Are you f***ing kidding me?" actually means "Oh boy, Zooey, let's go potty right now!" since once she's woken me up and gotten that reaction, shes' really excited about things).

I need a reward that I can see accumulating more quickly than inches shed or a healthier digestive tract.


There's now more money in the jar, but I got tired of taking pictures.
Every day that I am active - by running, cross training, stretching and doing yoga, or even taking a long walk with the family - I put one dollar into the jar.  At some point, whenever I want, I'll take the money to get myself a reward.
Yes, if it's something I really want, I can probably scrounge up enough money to get myself that reward whenever.  But giving myself permission to earn it through moving my body makes the saving kind of fun, kind of like how some kids save up to buy The Perfect Toy.
I am being rather strict with what I'm "allowed" to buy with this reward money.  It can't be food.  It can't be running gear, although other clothes - ones that I'd wear out to dinner or lunch with The Husband, for example - are permissible.  It has to be for me and not for HRH, which is where the majority of my money goes.  It can't be combined with money in my wallet or on my debit card.  It has to stand alone to earn that reward.

Yes, the feeling I get when I get out for a run is a reward in itself, and I continue to revel in those daily rewards nearly every morning, especially now that it's once again cooling off at night, making for wonderful, fall-like morning jaunts.
But sometimes, a massage can feel even better than that.

What do you do to reward yourself for a job well done (or a race well run)?


  1. Brilliant plan! Seriously. Don't feel self-centered about one single part of treating yourself for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You've earned it.

    1. And I'm sure you know the "I'm the mom and I am always my last priority" feeling, so this is a way to "guarantee" me some sort of treat for doing something good for myself. :) Thanks, Kirsten!