All The Motivation You Need
One of my follows for diet and exercise on Twitter has a blog called Rogue Health and Fitness and sends out a (almost) daily newsletter on related topics. A recent newsletter looked at motivations for going to the gym in which he spelled out some of the benefits of going and then offered ideas on whether making it a habit could be more effective in getting people to go workout more consistently.
I've lifted weights almost non-stop since middle school (it was called junior high school back then), I've probably lifted 35 out of the last 40 years. Early on I did it to help with the sports I played and then along the way it was to simply "stay in shape" and now I would articulate it as obviously wanting to be healthy which I would describe more accurately as hoping I increase my healthspan. Healthspan is kind of like lifespan but it means being able bodied enough to do want you want to do for longer like when I talk about my former neighbor with a backhoe being packtested (being able to hike three miles in 45 minutes wearing a 45 pound pack) and actually fighting a fire at age 75. An increased healthspan might also mean spending far less on medical costs in my 60's, 70's and beyond.
Hopefully what I am doing is working in terms of making me young for my age and that it will continue to work as I get chronologically older. I am able to do a lot now physically and that is a front burner thought when I work out, I am helping my future self. The little bit of time I spend in the gym each week (two workouts with weights lasting 50-55 minutes and one 24 minute session on the stairmaster) and the very little I do at home (a ten minute session with the jump rope a couple of times a week) give me the feeling that I am achieving my objective, that I am preventing my own future problems and in the short run I can have fun fighting a wildfire which can be very grueling work. All of this is very empowering.
That is all the motivation (or whatever you want to call it) that I need.
So it is with putting money away for your future. I view exercising and saving money as behaviorally identical. When you save money you are giving yourself a chance to be able to pay for the things you like doing for longer (your entire life) or being able to not have the need for a new roof (we are getting one put on now) or something similar, wreak complete havoc on your finances. By putting money away you are achieving an objective and preventing your own future financial problems which is very empowering.
Let's talk a little more about the roof. We are getting a bunch of work done right now, the biggest project being the roof. All in I think we're going to spend $10,000 of which, half might go to the roof. We're getting 25 year shingles put on but it is unlikely we will get that much time before having to do this again due to how much sunshine we get here. Our contractor thought maybe 15-18 years. Maybe he'll wrong in a way that is favorable or wrong in a way that is unfavorable but sometime between the age 67 and 77, I am 52 now, we are going to need to pony up for another roof, or at least we should be prepared to.
Wherever you live you have something like this that will need to be fixed/taken care of more than once as you approach retirement and then after you actually retire. How old is you car? Even if you plan on driving it for 20 years, it will have to be replaced at some point. We will always have dogs in our lives, we're no strangers to surprise knee surgeries or the like which is at least $1000 and our vet is very reasonably priced. The list goes on and on.
The more you can save, the more problems you will prevent and hopefully that is all the motivation (or whatever you want to call it) that you need.