Just recently I was asked about how I stay motivated. This person had lost the desire to exercise and let “life” get in the way of her health. She admitted that the best time in her life was when she ate better, exercised, and saw the positive side of things. She missed those good old days and wanted it all back but she lacked the motivation to begin. I’m sure she’s not alone. Many people express their desire to make positive changes in their lives but they either lack the motivation to begin or the will to continue once they get started. The following exercise is simple to do and can help you find that spark to get you going.
In my experience, motivation comes from an emotion that is attached to a goal. Motivation comes from discovering the real reason for wanting to achieve that goal. Before I explain any further, please take a minute to grab a pen and paper, and get ready to answer a few questions. This is a very simple yet valuable exercise that can help bring instant motivation.
To begin, determine your goal and the steps you need to take in order to achieve it. For example, if weight loss is a goal, you’ll need to exercise more and eat better. Be clear on what it is that you want to achieve. The next step is to determine why you want to achieve that goal. For example, why do you want to lose weight? Is it to look better in the mirror? Is it to feel better in your clothes? Or is it to receive nice comments from others? Be as specific as possible and keep asking yourself “why” until you have found as many answers as you can. Take a minute to write down your thoughts and answers.
Recognize that if you don’t begin to take the necessary steps to reach your goals, such as exercise more and eat better, all those things that you just wrote down won’t happen.
Now imagine yourself 6 months from now. If you started to exercise and eat better, how would that make you feel? What would you see when you looked into the mirror? What would you hear others saying about you? Take a minute to think about this and write down your thoughts. Do any of these questions stir up emotions that inspire you to get started?
The Bottom Line
Remember that your goal must be tied to an emotion. Using myself as an example, after each of my deliveries, I couldn’t stand the way I felt or looked. I felt gross and I hated my shape when I looked in the mirror. That post-pregnancy feeling and appearance was enough emotional motivation to get me to exercise on a daily basis.
Whenever you find yourself making excuses, remember the “feeling”, “sight” or “words” that push your emotional buttons and you’ll instantly get motivated to make a change. It’s as simple as that.
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