One of my biggest struggles is being supportive and motivating to my husband, Nick. This is especially hard for me as I’m very non-confrontational and I don’t like to make people dislike me, unless you’re my children in which case I’m awesome at it. I know Nick wants to be healthy, I know he wants to workout more, eat better, and get into better shape. However, when I bring it up it’s not always rainbows and puppies and smiles, it’s often frustration and trying to motivate without coming off as “nagging” or “harping” or “sarcastically commenting on their lack of drive”. That last one NEVER happens….never….ever…..crap. As someone who loves to workout and has goal after goal after goal to reach towards, helping someone you love find their motivation and a goal can often be shaky ground ripe with land mines. Especially if you’re a guy and you’re trying to help your gal get in shape even when she says “I’m so fat, I just want to be in shape” or “I hate that I’m not losing this baby weight!!” its a delicate line between helping them and coming off as a jerk when you explain to them what they actually have to do to accomplish those goals. It’s easy to find excuses NOT to start or stick with it but harder to accept the truth, that it takes hard work, dedication and commitment. My coach’s favorite quote is ” Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.” And it doesn’t have to just apply to working out! It can be reading the bible more, getting involved in church, starting a home improvement project, or striving to get that promotion or raise at work.
I wish I could say I have it figured out. Nick will say that he is very contradicting when it comes to it because he doesn’t want me to encourage him during the workout, or even to push him too hard to even do a workout but then he wants me to acknowledge and praise him after the fact. I tend to lean more towards a hands off approach so as not to rock the boat but I also want to help him achieve his goals but keep our marriage happy and strong. What I’ve learned is that everyone’s motivation is different. For Nick it’s not enough to just go workout and feel good about getting stronger or healthier. His motivation is what I, myself, can reward him with, be it a thong bikini at the beach (for me to wear not Nick….oh heavens, imagine that visual…or don’t, please don’t) or a quick trip to get away together for some quality time. Other times it’s a matter of taking a step back and waiting for them to really truly WANT to make that change, that effort and then stepping in and really encouraging and giving them that positive reinforcement to reward that behavior. Yes, it not only works on kids but husbands and wives as well. (Just don’t tell them that!!!) And sometimes just asking them to join you, spending that time together to grow closer and sharing your passion with them. Just remember that words have the power to build others up or tear them down. I vote for building up, but that’s just me. And remember that we, the motivators, need to strive to stay positive about the whole thing regardless of how long it may take, cause the moment we start to get frustrated is when we undermine any progress our loved one has made, even if we haven’t seen it. Keep up with the encouragement, keep building up. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Terminator out.