Motivation: I think there are two different types of motivation (maybe even more). One type is the minimize pain and maximize pleasure side of motivation. The other is the desire type, reaching for the goal/ideal/state of being. Most people combine the two for the initial motivation. Setting a goal makes you accountable and achieving the goal provides confidence/self-worth. The means to reaching the goal can be something that is a low-pain high pleasure way (weight watchers anyone?) but in the long run it is slowing you down.
Intrinsic Motivation: The incentive to undertake an activity based on the expected enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than external benefits that might result.
Extrinsic motivation: The performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome.
The two question are:
What motivated you? (Reasons)
What are your goals? (Results)
In the case of the motivation we need for exercise I believe Extrinsic Motivation is more helpful. You can learn to enjoy the activity and enjoy the "pain".
I made a post-it note that sits in my cubicle in 2008. It says, "Willpower is the spearhead of self-discipline." Then I added a list of words:
Peace, Love, and Respect (Think about these as they apply to your our body and negative thoughts and emotions)
When you learn to live outside of your comfort zone it can become almost addicting. You begin to wonder/think, "alright I did it, what can I do next?"
Me personally, I could have stopped and felt content in September of 2009 when I had my last training session and reached my goal my trainer set of 190lbs. I had just bought a house, I had been dating my girlfriend for 3-4 months, I was about to win $100 in my families biggest loser challenge. I was "comfortable" but I was not satisfied. For 18 months I had been focused on the scale and lost 55-60 pounds but I was not at the shape I had imaged I would be at my goal. I began to search online for a new training plan. I found the workout plan Brad Pit did to get in shape for fight club. I joined bodyspace, the social profile part of bodybuilding.com. I lost another 5 pounds the next month. I bought a body fat monitor and realized I had lost 10 pounds of lean body mass during my weight loss. I searched article upon article about how to gain muscle mass until I came across a bodybuilding.com article called "How I won the 2003 Body-For-Life challenge." I joined the BFL site and posted in October 2009 in the guestbook (pre-forum days) that I was thinking about starting a challenge and someone told me on the . "Make sure to get the book!". Man that book was motivating. It was as if Bill was speaking to me. I decided to start a challenge between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I think I went on a ramble within a ramble there but my point is to challenge yourself to set realistic measurable goals and think/live outside your comfort zone.