Are you tired of losing the same ten kilograms over and over?
Have you ever set health goals that you’ve reached, only to find that a couple of months or years later, you diet has once again gone back to what it was or you’ve stopped exercising or your signs and symptoms have returned because you’ve fallen off the wagon?
I’ve lost the same ten kilograms at least five times in my life!
About ten years ago I decided that I was never going on another punishing diet in my life (you can substitute your own health issues in place of my weight issues here). I made a vow to myself that I was going to find out why this kept on happening because once I did, it would help me help myself as well as help my patients.
I realized that my motivators were a problem. I’d become motivated to clean up my diet, exercise more etc. when I become uncomfortable. I’d either be motivated by wanting to get rid of signs and symptoms (or the ten kilograms) because they were interfering with the things I wanted to do, or because I thought that if they were no longer there, I’d feel better about myself. What I didn’t do was deeply connect to how I wanted to feel emotionally.
Every external goal has an internal motivator and that motivator is not about how you’re going to look but about how you’re going to feel.
Everything we do is motivated by the feelings we’re after.
If I want to lose weight, the question is why? Finding the ‘why’ might look something like this:
- If I lose the weight I’ll feel more confident.
- If I feel more confident, I’ll be more outgoing.
- If I’m more outgoing then I’ll make more friends.
- If I make more friends then I’ll have more support.
- When I have more support, I’ll feel more secure.
In this example it’s ‘security’ we’re after and we think that losing the 10 kilograms will possibly provide that. So if instead of connecting to the idea of ten kilograms less, we connect to the feeling of security, our motivation to do what it takes to reach that goal will increase.
Connecting to the consequences of what will happen if nothing changes, gives you a realistic picture (subjectively of course) of what will happen if you don’t change your habits.
We are very reluctant to dwell on the negative and many personal development books, workshops and teachings lead us to believe that focus on the negative is going to spell disaster.
Focusing on the consequences of not changing is not the same as focusing on the negatives. Focusing on the consequences is getting out of the fantasy in your mind that things will be fine no matter if you make no effort and grounding you in the reality of what your future may look like if you don’t change anything. This reality can be a powerful motivator.
When you keep the true ‘why’ in mind as well as remind yourself of the consequences of not changing, you become more focused, disciplined and focused to reach your health goals.
Joint me for Whole Health Habits – How to Make Health Habits Stick in order to change your health now and into the future.
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