Motivation From the Internet

I am a self-professed computer and internet junky.  I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, both at work and at home and it’s my go-to source for a lot of things.  Lately, I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to get more exercise.  I know that I’m falling behind in this important part of daily life, but I just haven’t been able to push myself to get going.  I know several other people who are in the same boat and we talk about how difficult it has been to get ourselves going.  This first step can often be the hardest step to take and once you get back into the habit, it becomes easier (at least a little).

All the thinking about motivation for exercise has got me thinking back to when I started exercising regularly for the first time several years ago.  One of the places I looked to the most for motivation and ideas was online.  So, I’ve turned my attention back to the internet to once again try to find some motivation for myself.  Here’s a summary of some of the different ways that you might look to the internet to help you with your own goals.

Join up with others.  There are a tonne of social network type sites out there now.  There are the big 2 – Myspace & Facebook which are great for finding people and connecting with friends and such.  You can join supportive groups and set up events and meetings there quite easily.

If you dig a little deeper in your search engine you will likely find a community surrounding whatever your interests might be.  There are a lot of message boards and forum spaces that are administered by individuals or set up by companies.  A lot of these sites will also have articles and various tools you can use to help you get even closer to your goals.

Also, there are sites out there that will help you get in touch with actual people.  A great one that I just found is Meetup.  It lets you find groups of people in your neighbourhood who are interested in a wide variety of things.  Or, you can start your own group if you want to.  I think it’s a great idea and I didn’t realize just how many different kinds of interest groups were meeting so close to home for me.

Bloggers.  If you’re reading this entry, that’s kind of like what you’re doing right now.  There are a lot of blogs out there that cover every topic under the sun.  I’m sure you could find whatever it is you are interested in and find advice on how to achieve your goals by reading about someone else who had done the same things.   A couple of nice features of blogs is that you can comment on particular posts and join in a discussion with a community of people.  Plus, a lot of people who blog are more than happy to point people in the right direction towards finding more resources, so they can be a great place to start looking for more help.

Magazines.  If you think there are a lot of magazines on the news stand you won’t believe how many more you can find online.  First of all, a lot of news stand magazines have started putting their content online as well.  Sometimes you only get partial content and sometimes it’s a little slower than it is released on the news stand, but other sites have bonus content online and you can find some that are just online only.

Research.  There are a lot of places to find information online.  Just be careful how much of what you read you believe.  Check the content creator and what kind of experience and designations they have to back up what they say.  Check with several sources to see if they all agree.  If it involves your health at all, it can’t hurt to run a proposed diet or exercise program by your doctor too!

Role Models.  As I mentioned in my post about finding Motivation from Inspiration, a role model can be a very effective way to find inspiration.  Searching online can be a great way to find out more information about your current role model, or to discover new role models.

Gold Stars.  By this I mean tracking your progress on your goal.  There are a tonne of online resources and tools to help you do this.  You could set up a wiki to keep track of your goals.  Or, just keep a to-do list with one of the many online sources to help remind yourself of what your daily goals are.  Many of the online community sites have their own tracking tools for fitness and diet among other things.  Or, you can customize your own chart for gold stars with Joe’s Goals or track your progress with Bellygraph.

You might want to try and look at one or two of the online resources listed above.  Not everything is going to work for everyone, but you might find one or two things that you can use to help  motivate yourself towards your goals.  One word of caution if you’re going to go surfing for motivation though, set a time limit!  Unless you want to have hours of your day sucked away in surfing.  Try to stay focused on your goal because losing 2 or 3 hours of your day to wandering the internet won’t get you any closer.

It was reading about different workouts that got me pumped up before so I’m going to try to spend time reading about different workouts and things to get some enthusiasm for it back.  I’ll keep you posted if I find a winning formula for myself.



  1. Jacklyn said,

    February 13, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Holy cow, thank you so much for introducing me to Joe’s Goals. I just signed up and I absolutely cannot wait to start using it today!

  2. Jennifer said,

    February 15, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    No problem! This is just the kind of thing that I’d never keep up to date if I had a paper calendar somewhere, but as soon as it’s stuck on a website that I can play with, I love it! Isn’t it funny how that works sometimes?!

  3. Jacklyn said,

    February 18, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    You need to install a subscribe to comments plugin. I forget to check back to see if you replied to my comments. 🙂

    I’m feeling a little bad about my Joe’s Goals. One of my goals is to dance 30 minutes a day (it’s way better than working out, IMO). I really haven’t kept up with it, I guess I just really haven’t been feeling up to much dancing the past few days. I’m scared I’ll end up hurting myself worse. Maybe this week I’ll do better!

  4. Jennifer said,

    February 19, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I didn’t realize that doesn’t have the ability to track future replies to comments. This is the first blog I’ve done with them and it looks like the only thing they’ve got is an RSS feed for all the comments. I don’t know if I’ve got the skills to try and host a blog myself though it’s a very tempting thought to my inner-geek.

    Don’t feel bad about your Joe’s Goals. I have a long string of red x’s in mine for working out. (Not to mention the fact that my overall score is still usually negative.) I’ve only just started doing a little bit better. Have you talked to your doctor about dancing while you’re feeling this way? I know that the last thing you probably want to do is stop something fun and healthy that you enjoy, but until everything is under control and you aren’t in any more pain, I wouldn’t feel too bad about missing some workouts.

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