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Your Motivational Moment

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Your Motivational Moment

What helps you meet your goals?
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Sparkguy Downie More by this author
Dec 20, 2010 at 09:00 AM

Other people’s lives matter to us; we’re inspired by their examples of courage and perseverance. Exposing yourself to motivational and inspirational stories—whether they’re directly related to weight loss and getting fit or about accomplishing other great goals—is a powerful tool.

In our Secrets of Success survey, the most successful Spark members reported using the inspirational strategies that we call “motivational moments.” For example, of 100-pound losers, 71 percent read inspiring stories on, and over 60 percent regularly read motivational stories and books and watched motivational movies and films to keep themselves inspired. In our survey, even we were a little surprised at how much people utilized these tools and how highly they correlate with success. The key is converting the power of these motivational moments to help power your overall program.

How many times have you watched an inspirational movie or heard a rousing speaker and felt as if you were ready to move mountains? But then a few hours or days later you were back into your normal routine with no lasting changes. Now we want you to be more mindful and cherishing of these moments. Notice whenever you’re moved by a speech, a book, a movie, or a special experience. Write about it in your journal so you can hold on to the power of your inspired feelings.

Here are some suggested strategies for finding your motivational moments and harnessing their power:

Read about Other People’s Success

Reading about the bravery and perseverance of my own personal heroes—from Viktor Frankl to Ernest Shackleton—has had a huge impact on my own life. So it was no surprise to me that the number-one technique our 100-pound losers used was reading other people’s inspiring stories of successful weight loss and of reaching health, fitness, and other life goals. You, too, can benefit from these success stories by logging on to our website at

Watch an Inspiring Movie

Who said changing your lifestyle is all work and no play? The best part of drawing inspiration from a movie is that there’s one out there for everyone. Some of us draw inspiration from cheering for the underdogs, especially in sports films. Others find inspiration in stories of courage or of triumphing over personal setbacks. A movie conjures emotions unlike any other form of entertainment, making us understand what the characters are going through and how we can aspire to be more like them.

Be Inspired by Music

Staying motivated by music is one of the most common inspirational techniques successful SparkPeople use. Music is such a powerful motivator because it can reach out and touch your soul and move you to take action—all with only a few minutes of beautiful sound. Build a list of motivational songs. Listen to one of your favorites as you get up in the morning and let it “ring” in your head throughout the day. It can be as energizing as a morning cup of coffee. Music is also a great way to prevent boredom. Download a few new songs to jazz up your next trip on the treadmill!

Read an Inspiring Quote

When you need a jolt of inspiration, take note of the wisdom of others. Meaningful quotations may only take a few seconds to read, but they can have lasting effects on your mood and performance. Go to the bookstore or library and leaf through books of quotations or check out SparkPeople’s motivational quotes, along with commentary, online at Once you find a quote that works for you, use it. Hang it on your mirror. Keep a copy in your wallet. Tape it to your computer monitor.

Write in a Journal

Writing in a journal is a great way to learn more about yourself. Here are two types of journal entries to consider: the action journal and the success journal. The action journal is an inspiring way to track your weight-loss experience by keeping a before-during-and-after journal that chronicles your journey to a new, healthy lifestyle. If you’re already keeping a journal or using one to track your food intake, you can use the same book to record your whole experience this way. Include writing and photos from all stages, showing how you felt and looked all along the way. This can end up being a mini-autobiography, a book of your life that traces your challenges and commemorates your success.

Another idea is to keep a journal that focuses on all the positives in your life—a place where you record what you’re proud of and what you’ve accomplished. Think back as far as you can, and record often. One technique is to write down a highlight from every day. The more you focus on what you are good at, what you have done, and what you are capable of, the more motivated you’ll be.

About Author
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Downie is the founding force behind SparkPeople. He used proven health, goal-setting and motivation techniques to co-found an early Internet company, which became eBay's first acquisition. With the freedom and the capital to help other people r Continue reading