There seems to be no shortage of motivational graphics available online.

Some good. Some bad. Some ugly. (Seriously, unless you are Shelby, lay off the MS Paint.)

And honestly, they are starting to lose all meaning.


Maybe I’m cynical, but the majority of these do nothing for me. Probably because I see so many of them every time I check Facebook or Pinterest or go through Google Reader.

Talk is cheap. And that’s what a lot of these are. Talk. Sure, a lot of the people posting them do back up the talk with their actions, and that’s great.

But if you really want to motivate me? Show me. Show me REAL people doing amazing things. Don’t show me a JPG of text. (Also, stop posting things you don’t fact check. Stop posting quotes attributed to people without checking to make sure they are accurate.)

What bugs me about a lot of these is that they are trying to shame people into taking action. A lot of these seem to have an undertone of “get up off your ass, you fat lazy slob, and be awesome LIKE ME.” (Or am I the only one who gets that vibe?)

Maybe that works for some people, but I think shame will get you only so far in motivation. (Time for some armchair psychology.) True motivation comes from within. Not from shame.

My motivation comes from setting my own goals and achieving them. Every time I think about my first half marathon, and how hard that was for me, but that I got through it, I am reminded that I can survive. I can achieve my goals, no matter how lofty they are.

And my motivation to sign up for a marathon came from seeing other people – people just like me – finish a marathon. I wasn’t shamed into this lifestyle by someone else’s talk or motivating catch phrases. I was motivated by action.

I also get irked by any us-versus-them “motivation.” Especially anything that pits different body types against each other, basically anything vs. skinny women – strong vs. skinny, fat vs. skinny, curvy vs. skinny. Skinny is not bad. Skinny people aren’t bad. Stop making them the enemy. Skinny people are real people too.

And please, stop with the “you either ran today or you didn’t” guilt-inducing “motivation.” Because if your plan doesn’t include rest days, unless you have perfect bio-mechanics, you are setting yourself up for failure via injury or over-training or burnout or all three.

What do you think? Do you like these motivating graphics? Do they actually motivate you? Or do they bug you? Are there any in particular that you love and/or hate?