Very simply, motivation works in two ways, to avoid pain, and increase pleasure. Michelle Bridges calls motivation: “the bad boyfriend, because it is never there when you need it”, but you can create motivation so it is there when you need it, if you spend some time creating it.
People struggle with their motivation to exercise, get off the couch or commit to eating healthy because they don’t know what their goal really is, what they really, truly want and all the good things that will happen in their life when they get it.
Also they are not clear on the negative consequences of not taking action either. Without being super clear on the pain and pleasure at either end, you will struggle to be motivated. Get clear on these and set up the habits that overcome inertia and create good feelings, and you’ll find more motivation than you ever thought.
My Top Weight Loss Motivation Tips:
- Becomevery clear on the goal that you are aiming for. Write it out clearly and imagine the moment of achievement daily. “I want to lose 10 kgs” is not clear enough! Pin it down to a moment of success in your future, where you can visualise it like a movie in your mind.
- Write out at least 20 reasons why achieving this goal will make all the other areas of your life better. How will it improve your energy for work? Your ability to enjoy and be there for your family? Your sense of confidence and self-worth?
- Understand and think about the consequences and future pain if you don’t make this change. What will you miss out on? What will you not get to do? How will your health, energy and confidence suffer?
- Create an inspiration board with your goal, a some pictures of yourself when you were slim and fit if you have them, or pictures of others who inspire you, add in pictures that represent your reasons why, pictures of your family or a new, sexy, slim outfit. Be creative and allow yourself to be playful. Add in your goal and words that inspire you like courage, focus, determination, fun, health, energy, and vigour. Put the board somewhere you will see it daily. You can make one on Pinterest or cut out pictures from a magazine and stick them onto a big piece of cardboard.
- Create a mantra for yourself that you repeat when you look at your inspiration board. Something short, punchy and inspirational like “I can do it! I am getting stronger and fitter each day.” Repeat this to yourself every time you see yourself in the mirror, especially when you’re naked or getting changed.
- Aim to master one habit at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once.
- Don’t expect perfection or even aim for it. This is a recipe for disaster and throwing in the towel. Do your best, aim for 80% – 90% healthy choices, and be compassionate with yourself the rest of the time. This is your life, not a diet.
- If you can, shift your daily routine so that you exercise on the way to, or from work, that way you completely avoid the inertia of the couch!!
- Each night, put your alarm clock beside your gym shoes, at the front door, with your training clothes laid out, if you need to create a habit of morning exercise.
- Use your physiology to create energy when you need to, if you’re tired, take 3 deep breaths and force yourself to jump up and do 5 star jumps or push ups to get the blood flowing. You are in charge of your emotional and energetic state! Just begin to take action towards your goal and the good feelings will come.
- Acknowledge yourself every time you do a workout or eat healthily. Celebrating the small steps is a critical factor in lasting motivation. Repeat your mantra when you make a healthy choice, and allow yourself to feel good. Breathe in the good feelings. Congratulate yourself! You are one step closer to your goal.
- Before every choice ask yourself: “Will this action take me towards or away from my goal?”
- Visualise your goal and repeat your mantra when you need to inspire yourself to move when you really don’t feel like it.
- Create a playlist of your favourite feel good, get up and go workout songs. Start your playlist with your favourite 3 songs that youreally love to dance to, this will get you feeling good and switch your energy on even when you are tired.
- When you shower, imagine thanking and giving love to each part of your body as you wash it. Every day this body is what allows you to experience your life. Stop judging it and start loving it.
- Treat yourself to a new pair of training shoes with a Nike plus watch or a heart rate monitor so you can keep track of your exercise intensity.
- Aim for a personal best in some part of your workout each day. Just a little bit better. One more rep, just a little bit faster. Enjoy watching yourself improve.
- Take your before photos. In your bikini. Look at them.
- Get a subscription to a health and fitness magazine that inspires you. I love the online subscription to US Oxygen. It’s super cheap, just $25 a year for the online version & I read it on my ipad. It’s inspiring and has great workouts and clean recipes. (Just don’t get fooled by all the fatburner pill ads.)
- Take your measurements at the end of each month and keep a record of your centimetres lost, focus on the measurements, and your shape change, not the scales!
- Print out a monthly calendar and stick it on your fridge. Write your goal on it. Add a tick when you eat clean the whole day, and add a big smiley face to every day you exercise for more than 20 minutes.
Kylie Ryan is leading the revolution of inspired, action taking women creating health from the inside out. Kylie teaches women who’ve “tried it all” why their past diet efforts end in self-sabotage at the bottom of the biscuit tin, and how finally to kick judgement to the kerb and begin a romance of self-loving kindness.
Her website is http://mymindcoach.com.au/