What Motivates You?

What Motivates You? | RachelCooks.com


(if you’re here for food it will be back next time)

As I put in some quality time on the treadmill, I got to thinking. What’s my motivation? What is your motivation?

As I thought about different sources of motivation, I found myself hitting the up arrows on the treadmill and really, really pushing myself.

Occasionally I’d slow down to write a thought on my phone–otherwise I knew I’d forget to write this post.

So what is your motivation?


Is it:

  • I want to lose this darn baby weight. (This may or may not be part of my motivation.)
  • I want to look great in my wedding dress.
  • I want to look great in my skinny jeans.
  • I want to look great in my bathing suit.
  • I want to look great in…nothing.
  • I want to lose ____ pounds.
  • I want to fit into a size _____.
  • I want to live long enough to meet my future grandchildren.
  • I want to live long enough to meet my future great-grandchildren.
  • Heart disease runs in my family.
  • Stroke runs in my family.
  • Cancer.
  • I want to feel more confident at work.
  • I want to feel more confident at the gym.
  • I want to feel more confident in the bedroom (yeah, I went there.)
  • I want to play with my kids on the playground without becoming short of breath.
  • I want to look good in pictures.
  • I want to look good for my husband.
  • I want to look good for me.
  • I want to run a marathon.
  • I want to run a 5K.
  • I want to run a mile.
  • I want to walk a mile.
  • I want to climb a flight of stairs without becoming short of breath.
  • I want to be a good example of health for my children.

When I am at the gym, I typically think to myself that I want to fit into my old clothes, etc. The minutes on the treadmill draaaaaaaag by.


When I started to think about my kids today? WOW. The minutes flew by. I watched the calorie count rise and I didn’t want to stop. I kept pushing and pushing myself.

I thought, I want to see my kids grow old.

I thought, I want to be the one cooking meals for my kids.

I want to be the one greeting them at the end of the school day.

Kissing their boo-boos.

Giving them baths.

Reading them books.

Cheering them on at sporting events.

Bragging about them when they get accepted to a great college.

I want to be the one. The one that is there. Involved. Healthy. A good role model.

I want to be the one.

And God willing, I’m going to be.

‘Cause I’m sure as heck going to do my part to make sure that happens.


Will you share your motivation with me?

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  1. Pingback: Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf » Rachel Cooks

  2. I love this list. Its so nice. And those are such great motivators to keep healthy. I want to stay healthy for my future kids too. I want to be able to run around with them, play with them and keep up with them when they grow up too. Also, I posted a picture of myself the other week, and although it was just to show my outfit, I got a couple people telling me I looked like I had lost weight. I certainly dont feel like I have lost weight, nor was I looking for that praise (or any praise for that matter), but it sure felt nice to hear people say that (what girl doesnt like hearing those words?), and that gave me the motivation to not gain any weight LOL. I hope that doesnt sound petty, bc I dont mean it that way, but it did give me a boost of motivation that I think I needed :D I think you are doing a great job Rachel!!!

  3. Half marathon is my motivation! But I love everything about this post.

  4. Beautifully and perfectly said Rachel!

  5. GREAT post!! All of those you mentioned are fantastic reasons. I love being strong. To see the amount I can lift each week go up makes me happy. Its fun to have comments from big guys at the gym say ” Damn your warmup weight is my max” ha ha. I also know the days I don’t work out I don’t feel AS good. I have a shorter temper with my kids, my focus isn’t as good and I just generally get a little down. The days I do workout – WOW! What a difference. So much energy, I feel better and I am way more patient with my kids. I take care of myself so I can be a better mom and wife. I also make better food choices the days I workout knowing I am refueling my body from the work I put in at the gym ( or at home with my kettlebells) if I don’t take care of myself first? I don’t take as good of care of my kids – they aren’t neglected by any means but their fighting and screaming and yelling is a little more tolerable. ( I actually just had to go break up a fight between them and come back to my comment) So I am my own motivation to be a better person for others, my family and friends. Plus my kids know that I go to the gym to be healthy and strong, and I want to lead a good example for them.

  6. All of the above are my motivation too but most important ones are to be healthy and great shape Sonu could achieve all that  proud of your workout

  7. I’m not going to lie. Part of my motivation is the skinny jeans and flat abs again. More important though I want to be a healthy role model for my girls. This world puts so much pressure on females to look a certain way. I want to show my girls how to have a positive self image and be confident in who they are. I want to show them how to make healthy choices not worry about dieting.

  8. When I get lost in thought on a long run, the time passes so much more quickly. Sometimes I am creating recipes in my head, sometimes I am writing articles, and sometimes I am thinking about my loved ones. But what truly motivates me is staying healthy. Having always been fit and slender, finding I had pre-diabetes came as a huge shock. My health motivates me the most, I think. And you wanting to be a good, healthy role model for your kids is just the best motivation of all.

  9. Love this post, Rachel! I wish I would’ve been working out before and during this pregnancy. Now, all I can do is pray that I get through each day until this baby comes, as I’m purely exhausted by just 2 in the afternoon! :) All those things you listed about your kids resonates well with me. And, I want to add that I want to be there and grow a healthy “old” with my hubby. He can’t cook, so I need to be here for him! ;)

    • Thanks Nikki! I didn’t work out during my pregnancy either because I was so sick and tired. Tough getting back in the routine. And you’re right about the hubbys…I shouldn’t have left mine off this list!

  10. Love this post! I so bad need to get in better shape. Turning 40 is my current motivation and I’m so stressed and so tired all the time. I know exercise will make me feel better and I just have to do it! Thanks for sharing and it is encouraging!
    Love the photos of your sweet kids!

  11. Such sweet babies you have, Rachel!!

    I love this post! My motivation is my health. I used to be able to do 3 miles on the treadmill a few years ago, and now I can only do 5 minutes (if that) a day due to chronic illness. So I’m motivated to get myself back to where I once was. A little weight loss would be nice, too… But first and foremost, I’m after energy. ;)

  12. I feel the same. It can be so hard to get your butt off the couch and move, make it to the gym, or put on an exercise DVD. I’m motivated by many of the reasons you listed. I want to be a role model for my daughter, I want to be healthy for her and to be there for her as she gets older. I’m also motivated by my mother-in-law. She’s going to turn 50 and with two teenager daughters, she still gets asked if she’s there friend, not their mother. She looks amazing from years of exercising and eating well. Ever since the first day I met her I have always said I want to be like her when I grow up. It takes time and effort to eat well and it’s something struggle with, I admit, I could certainly eat less cookies! Great post, thanks for reminding me to work out today!

  13. Rachel,

    I love this post. I starred it as a favorite in my reader. I can absolutely relate to everything you said. I just wrote a guest post that I’m sharing over at “At Home with Kim” next Wednesday, and one of the things I share about is my motivations. After my second daughter was born in 2002, I couldn’t believe I would get out of breath just walking them to the car with that big old car seat and strapping them into their car seats. REALLY? I had about 30 lbs of baby weight left to lose, and I just had it. Enough.

    And ever since then, even through my third pregnancy, birth and losing that baby weight I’ve managed to stay fit and healthy. Not always at my goal weight, but definitely close enough to feel comfortable in my own skin, exercising moderately and healthy. It’s a mindset that I don’t ever want to lose, and now that I’m raising 3 girls (14, 10 and 5), I want to be that healthy role model for them. ;)

    Thanks for sharing!! Love the baby pics!

  14. Great post Rachel!! I think it’s so important for people to exercise for the right reasons. In fact, I think motivation is often what differentiates people who stick to a workout routine for a few weeks then give up and those who maintain long term healthy lifestyle changes. Although a smaller size or skinny jeans are a nice perk, it’s usually not enough to keep you going for years and years. Such a great message you’re sharing!! xo

  15. Thank you for this post! I needed it. I have been struggling with my fitness goals lately and I had completely lost sight of what motivates me—my children! This post reminded me that I want to teach my children, especially my daughter, how to live a healthy, active life. Thank you so much!

  16. My motivation is always health — especially mental health. I just always feel like my outlook on life is so much more optimistic and positive when I’ve worked out for the day! Not to mention I have more energy. :)

    Beautifully written post!

  17. Your priorities are spot on. My motivation is not weight related although I could lose a few pounds :) but to always be there for my kids. It’s hard growing up and I want to help guide them on the same path my parents guided me…give or take a few different turns.
    Have an awesome weekend!!

  18. I have a lot of different motivations, some of which you touched on in your post. Who doesn’t want to look their best, right? But what really motivates me, deep down, is not the deadly diseases like cancer, but the non-deadly ones. I want to be healthy so that I can live free of aches and pains and fatigue and enjoy my life as I age. I don’t want to just be alive, I want to be able to live to my fullest. I love being able to run up a flight of stairs without gasping for air, or lift a heavy box without asking for my husband’s help, and I hope I can continue to do those things for as long as my heart desires it. If a side effect just happens to be looking good in skinny jeans, I won’t complain ;)

  19. Seriously, this is amazing..I started to get goosebumps and tear up…all those thoughts about your kids are the same ones that go through my head too..its awful and heartbreaking to think that it would be someone else..I love this so, so much..thank you rach xo

  20. I always get some good thinking like this whole on the treadmill :) love this post.

    I think what motivates me a lot (other than the clothes & feeling good) is not wanting to be in unnecessary pain when I age. I see so many people around me grumbling about aches & pains and suffering from it, and it gets so much worse as you really age. I want to take care of my body, and feel fit. When I did my first sprint tri years ago I met a 70 year old woman who was in our training group. She didn’t look 70 to me, she looked healthy & fit and full of positive energy. She will forever inspire me, I want to be her when I grow up :)

    • You are so right! As a physical therapist, I see people all the time who haven’t taken care of their bodies and are paying for it. Definitely a good source of motivation. (PS: Thanks for tweeting this post!)

  21. I joke about weight and exercise so one would think my motivation would be pounds or appearance. To be honest what gets me moving… I want to live a long happy healthy life and I want to teach my kids what tools they need to live a long happy healthy life as well. I want to teach them balance and perhaps learn a tad more of that myself as I go ;)

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