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Incentives and Motivation

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Because I work at the university, I get a few perks.  One of them is called the Working Well Incentive.  I exercise for 150 minutes per week for six weeks in a row, turn in a log of my activity, and in return I receive a $75 pre-paid MasterCard debit card.  Sweet, huh?  So I turned in my first log in January and got my card about six weeks later.  Then I turned in the second log… and waited and waited.  After about six weeks (during which time I was filling out my third log), I emailed the Working Well office and asked about the status of my card since I hadn’t received the second one yet.  The gal in the office replied that they’d processed one in January, but that if I hadn’t received it, she could have MasterCard cancel that one and send me a new one.  I responded that I’d gotten that one, but that I’d sent in a second log and hadn’t received anything for that one yet.  She then informed me that I can get only one incentive per calendar year.  I had totally thought I could get one every six weeks!  I was bummed.  Still, for eighteen weeks, thinking I was going to get that incentive helped me to get moving on days when I really didn’t want to.  Even if it was just walking the dogs for a mile or lifting weights for ten minutes, thinking about that $75 encouraged me to exercise.

Now that I know I won’t get any more free debit cards, I need different motivation.  I’m planning to sign up for a 5K that takes place in April, and for a half marathon that occurs in October.  That’s motivation — I’ve got to train in order to be ready.  Plus, even though it’s cold and dreary as I write this, we’ve had a few nice days over the last couple of weeks, and I’m hopeful that with spring just a few days away, more pretty weather will come.  I love to be outside in nice weather, and going for a run is a perfect way to enjoy sunny warmth.  And while I’m not obsessed with my weight, keeping those numbers on the scale at levels I’m happy with is just one more thing encouraging me to lace up my running shoes and get out the door.

Something’s got to motivate me.  And when the free-money incentives are gone, I’ll have to find something else.  Races and weather and pounds will have to do it for me.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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