Expat Writer gets Motivated for 2014

Nothing like the eve of a New Year to get us thinking about what’s ahead. Though I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I do find beginnings quite motivational.

Anyone who’s ever started a new job, a new relationship, a new hobby, etc. can relate. It’s an opportunity to start afresh and perhaps believe in the ability to achieve that life long dream or just do something that needs to be done.

In any case, instead of writing about New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d have a look at motivators for the New Year. Certainly in this inclement weather in London, those of us here could use some motivation.

As the sky bursts into tears of madness followed by roaring thunder, it is tempting to curl up in bed and pull the covers over one’s head.  But in a world full of conscientious objectors opposed to listlessness, fat chance!

All around are gadgets, devices, classes, even books that tell us to just do it! No wonder I feel inspired. Thus, as we head for 2014, I’ve shortlisted four ways to get motivated.

1) Topping my list, of course, is the Nike Fuel Band. It so happens that I got one for Christmas and have been wearing it since, figuratively. I do take it off for sleeping and showering, though some people leave it on. It’s apparently waterproof. I’ll find out soon enough when I take it out for a run in London.

In the meantime, however, let me tell you how it works. First, you charge it quite easily as it has a USB port that plugs right into your computer, set it up, (providing personal information including weight and age), set a daily goal, and sync it with your phone. It has an app for the IPhone. Then just wear it!

The fuel band clocks your movement, registering your energy burned in Nike fuel, as well as steps and calories. You will never feel good about being a couch potato again. Never!

So far, I’ve dragged out the Wii, skipped roped nightly, ran around the house and taken stairs instead of lifts on a few occasions to meet my goal. Looks like I’m on my way to gym soon.

2) But first let me tell you about the next on the list– the Run Keeper running app. There are many good running apps out there; Run Keeper just happens to be the one that got my attention. The motivating factor here is twofold – a personal champion while I am running and the data that it registers.

With this app tracking my moves, I don’t miss goals. In fact, I surpass them more often than not.

3) For those who have no interest in sports and little understanding of technology, taking a class is a sure way to get you moving in whatever it is that you want to do.

I’ve been known to take writing workshops, running lessons and chocolate making classes. The benefits here are mixing with people and occasionally competing with them. Nothing like competition for incentive, which is one of the reasons the apps mentioned above both encourage subscribers to participate in the relevant community.

4) Still, there are a few luddites who prefer to be alone. Books are tried and tested motivators for this bunch. Occasionally, I settle down with a good how to book, even if it is on the Kindle, and before long find myself ready to make a move—to juggle, to play chess, to meditate and so on.

This holiday season, I bought my dad a book relevant to something he needs to learn about and need I say more but I will. He now knows more than the rest of us all put together.

Inspiring. Now to go to the gym to rack up some fuel points all I have to do is get past the rain, the dreary feeling inside. Actually all I have to do is look at my fuel band. So I have. And I’m off now to just do it.