You know those super-charged, over-achievers who seem to possess an endless source of motivation, as bottomless as Donald Trump’s bank accounts? Ever wonder how they do it? How they keep going and going, sprinting towards their goals like there’s no tomorrow? Do you find yourself thinking: “It’d be so much easier to lose weight if I were as motivated as them?”
While such zealous enthusiasm isn’t necessary, you can always learn better ways to get motivated and stay motivated. With sustained motivation, you’re far more likely to reach your weight loss goals.
Three questions to get it
Motivation is all about understanding what’s important to you. Is it your health and longevity? Is it how good you look in a little black dress? Is it how much energy you’ll have?
If you can’t find strong motivational reasons for losing weight, food will continue to have control over you. Your taste buds and the psychological, physiological, and social satisfaction of eating will unite to keep you from achieving your weight loss goals.
To help with your motivational soul searching, there are three key questions you should ask yourself: What do I want? Why do I want it? And what am I willing to do to get it? Write your responses down – this way, you’ll have a reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing whenever your motivation wanes.
Once you have a good idea of what really motivates you, you can use this to spur you on your way to weight loss!
What do I want?
The answer to this is probably pretty simple: you want to lose weight. But to direct your motivation more effectively, you need to be more specific. Do you want to be a size fourteen, or a size ten? Do you want to change your entire lifestyle, or just a few unhealthy habits? Do you want to be able to run a marathon, or are you happy with a walk around the block?
You also need to confirm your wants are realistic. Do you want to look like Gigi Hadid? Is this realistic? If not, don’t throw in the towel completely, just aim for what’s possible, not the impossible.
Take a few minutes to think about what’s really important to you and get an idea of what “I want to lose weight” really means for you. Consciously realising what you want will help you stay on target. It’s logical – if you can see where you’re going, you’re more likely to get there!
Write it down! List five things you really want relating to weight loss and health.
Why do I want it?
It’s not enough to say, “I want to be a size 10,” you also need to understand why – you need to get to the emotion behind the desire.
The best way to do this is to analyse your motivations. Ask yourself these questions: What are the specific benefits or rewards of weight loss for you? What are the consequences of not changing? What will be different when you do change? What will you be able to do that you can’t do now? There are a thousand reasons people want to lose weight – what are yours? Here are some common ones:
- For better health and longevity
- To look more attractive
- To improve self-esteem
- To develop better self-control
- To be able to play footy with the kids
- To look good on your wedding day!
- To have more energy
If you can understand more specifically why you want to lose weight, you’ll find your goals are clearer and your motivation is stronger and more enduring.
Write it down! List five reasons why you want to lose weight.
What am I willing to do?
Once you know what you want and why you want it, the next step is to assess what you are willing to do to succeed. Are you willing to eat smaller portions? Will you eat healthier foods? Are you going to increase your activity levels consistently? No one can answer these questions but you.
Remember what you want should correspond to what you are willing to do to get it. If you’re not willing to do what it takes, then you have to accept you won’t get to your dream weight. It’s as simple as that. On the other hand, if you are willing, and can keep in mind what you want and why you want it, then you’ve got motivation – well done! Now, to keep it… (see Motivation for Weight Control: Keep it!).
Write it down! Write down five things you need and are willing to do to achieve your goals.