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OCT 18, 2023

One Day or Day One: The Power of Motivation

Exploring the phrase that puts procrastination in perspective and lights a motivational fire to achieve whatever you set your mind to.

“One Day or Day One. You Decide.” It’s a powerful phrase originally coined by Paulo Coelho, but it’s also been quoted on motivational speakers, health nuts, and even The Rock. “This quote has helped me over the years, I keep it very close to me. I keep it written down in many places. I have it in my office, and the quote is very simple.”

But what does it mean?

Put simply, it puts procrastination in perspective and lights a motivational fire to achieve whatever you set your mind to. Rather than saying “I’ll get around to that one day, I’ll stop putting it off one day, I’ll improve myself one day,” it flips the onus and instead says, “Today is day one.”

It doesn’t mean you have to achieve it overnight, or that whatever task you’ve got your sights on will be easy. But today is the day one of changing your life. With that in mind, let’s talk about how you can harness motivation as a tool, and put your best foot forward on day one.

The True Power of Motivation

When we talk about motivation, it can feel a bit loose and intangible. After all, it’s that incandescent spark fueled by a combination of internal desires and external influences. And it can spring from multiple sources:

  • the inspiring story of a friend who overcame obesity

  • a compelling documentary on the miraculous workings of the human body

  • the aesthetic appeal of an athlete at the peak of physical fitness

  • a single powerful quote, like the one above

That said, motivation alone isn’t enough. That’s because motivation is often transient. It’s a fleeting impulse that needs to be nurtured and sustained. Yes, it's where the journey begins, but to go the distance, it needs to be paired with the intrinsic qualities of self-determination to become the steadfast companion on this arduous yet rewarding path.

The Essence of Self-Determination

Alright, I have my motivation, what’s this self-determination I also need? If we think of motivation as an external influence, self-determination is the silent, unwavering force that stems from within. It’s characterized by an unyielding commitment and an indomitable spirit. So, while motivation may light the torch, self-determination is perseverance: the fuel that keeps the fire burning through challenges and adversities.

When it comes to exercise, health, and fitness, self-determination manifests as a resilient adherence to routines, a mindful consumption of nourishing diets, and a holistic approach to wellness that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. This makes it a personal commitment, and a choice to embrace a lifestyle that elevates your existence to heightened planes of wellness.

The Symbiosis of Motivation and Self-Determination

Like weights either side of a dumbbell, motivation and self-determination are a balance that complement each other, making both indispensable. Motivation provides the initial push, the emotional and psychological impetus to commence the journey towards better health and fitness. It is the voice that whispers the possibilities, the allure of a transformed life, and the tangible and intangible benefits of a healthier existence.

On the other hand, self-determination is the anchor. It’s grit, resolve, nerve. It holds you steady, instilling a discipline that transcends momentary challenges and temporary desires. It’s not swayed by shifting emotions or external circumstances. It’s a resolute commitment to the journey, regardless of how tough the path will get.

Practical Strategies to Cultivate Motivation and Self-Determination

In order to build a bridge between the aspiration for a healthier life and the realization of that goal requires tools and strategies that are both effective and sustainable. Thankfully we’ve laid them all out for you with practical steps to harness the dual powers of motivation and self-determination in your wellness journey.

Set Clear, Achievable Goals

This may sound obvious, but you have to appreciate your goals will take time to achieve. So begin by defining what success looks like. Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-conscious.

Develop a Routine

Consistency is the bedrock of self-determination. Develop routines that embed exercise and healthy living into your daily life. Over time, these routines become habits, reducing the reliance on waning or fluctuating motivation.

Seek Inspiration

Regularly immerse yourself in sources of inspiration. Whether that’s by following fitness enthusiasts on social media, reading success stories, or joining fitness communities – these sources have the power to reignite motivation and reaffirm your commitment.

Personal Accountability

Hold yourself accountable. Track your progress, celebrate the milestones, and assess the areas that need improvement. Accountability bolsters self-determination and keeps the journey objective and progressive.

Holistic Approach

Remember, health and fitness are not just physical but also encompass mental and emotional wellbeing. Integrating practices like meditation and mindfulness amplifies motivation and roots self- determination deeper.

Unlocking the Benefits of Motivation and Self-Determination

Now you understand how One Day can be transformed into Day One, as well as a way to actually achieve that, let’s talk about some of the benefits. What are the rewards behind One Day or Day One thinking?

Physical Revitalization

  • Enhanced Stamina and Strength

Motivation kickstarts the journey; self-determination sustains it. This relentless pursuit carves a physique boasting enhanced stamina, agility, and strength. Every muscle toned, every limb invigorated, is a testament to this powerful pairing.

  • Health Amplification

Chronic illnesses and health anomalies are often eased with the help of a lifestyle shaped by motivation and self-determined actions. We’re not talking about wishing yourself better, but the right attitude can aid you in taking the necessary steps to improve your situation or, at the very least, speaking to professionals to get you on the right track.

Mental Fortification

  • Cognitive Enhancement

A physically active life can have a direct impact on your mental functions. Enhanced concentration, sharpened memory, and elevated cognitive functions are the by-product rewards earned through motivation and self-determination.

  • Emotional Resilience

Each drop of sweat, every exerted breath, strengthens not just the body but your emotional core. This journey you're on ingrains resilience, endurance, and a robustness that transforms life’s tumultuous waves into gentle ripples through very real, lived examples.

Emotional Harmony

  • Confidence and Self-Esteem

Each milestone conquered and goal attained adds a layer to your self-esteem. More than just a toned physique, you will end up with a profound and lasting confidence that can be transferred to other interactions or endeavors.

  • Mental Health Enhancement

Anxiety, depression, and stress are very real struggles for many of us but there is a helping hand in the form of an endorphin-rich atmosphere created by a powerful workout routine.

Social and Professional Upgrades

  • Relationship Enrichment

It’s an old cliché but to know and love yourself before trying to know and love someone else is so important. How many relationships have you heard about (or maybe experienced) that fell apart because you weren’t in the right frame of mind? Figure yourself out so you can be there for others.

  • Career Advancement

This may sound a bit farfetched but stick with us. Earlier, we alluded to transferrable skills of motivation and self-determination. And nowhere is that more useful than the working world.

Discipline, commitment, and resilience fostered in your fitness journey translate into professional excellence and are attributes employers are always on the lookout for.

Unlocking the Benefits of Motivation and Self-Determination

Never forget, “day one” is just that. It’s the first day of a new life, a new attitude. And you may stumble and find yourself back at day one. But that’s where the power of both motivation and self- determination is so important. If you think of your workout goals as painting a masterwork, every drop of sweat is a stroke of paint, every conquered milestone an additional layer of detail, and every day of unwavering commitment a step closer to filling in that blank canvas.

And as you stand on the brink of this journey, at your ‘day one’ marker, remember - every step taken with strong motivation and self-determination isn’t just a stride towards physical wellness but a leap towards a holistic, enriched existence. So stop procrastinating. Stop saying “One day” and take the initiative. Chart a course for success and say to yourself “Today. Today is Day one.”

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.

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