Most of us start a health and weight loss regime full of enthusiasm, convinced that this time it’s going to work.
If we are lucky this feeling can last a few months but inevitably motivation slips, enthusiasm wanes, goals get forgotten. For the lucky few who reach their target the effort of maintaining a new lifestyle proves to be too much and gradually the weight creeps back on.
Until the next time. What’s going on?
Have you ever asked yourself “where has my motivation gone” as though it was something tangible? I have heard this question many times when working with clients. Some even think I can find it for them!
So, what is motivation? The Cambridge definitions are:
- Enthusiasm for doing something
- A need or reason for doing something
Humans are emotional creatures and we need to tap into our emotions to be able to imagine and feel excited about the future we want. The reasons why we do something are an important aspect in our chance of success.
Some of us are motivated by imagining something we want in the future, we can see it and feel excited by it. Motivation is very high at this point.
Some of us are more motivated by something we don’t want in the present, such as tight clothes, aching joints, heartburn etc. Again motivation is very high at this point.
There is a subtle difference between the two however. One of them is more likely to sustain the motivation levels for longer.
Imagine you are someone who didn’t want a tight waistband. You wouldn’t have to lose too much weight for the waistband to feel more comfortable. When that happens what will sustain you to carry on? The immediate discomfort has gone hasn’t it?
The person who is excited about the future has a much better chance of long term success – they are constantly moving forward in the direction they want to go and more importantly, they know what they want and why.