What is motivation?
Motivation is the drive to achieve our goals and dreams and to become more of the person we aim to be.
But sometimes motivation seems really hard, especially when it comes to changing our habits and losing weight. We want to eat healthier and exercise more, but mustering up the strength and desire often feels like a struggle.
But what if you can change that belief and see motivation as a positive experience?
Here are some tips to boost your motivation for greater weight loss:
- Create a Vision: Manifest your weight loss by first holding a vision of what you want. Instead of rushing through your days and life, take some time to pause and set a vision for how you truly want to see yourself. What does your body look and feel like? Create a mental snapshot, set the tone, and embody the vision by first seeing it.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Focus on goals that are truly attainable. Since you know your life better than anyone, only you know what is truly possible. Move away from unreachable goals that could lead to disappointment and be authentic and realistic with yourself. Think of one area you hope to improve and start with setting one realistic expectation in that area.
- Set Small Goals: Once you have a vision and realistic expectations, set a small smart goal that is specific and measurable. Focus on how you see that goal occurring including time, place, and duration. For example, if walking more is your goal, set aside 20 minutes to walk in your neighborhood on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at five O’clock. Once you reach one small goal, build upon that strength and sense of accomplishment for the next goal.
- Get Support: Set yourself up for success by sharing your goal with a support system. This could be a family member, co-worker, neighbor, coach, journal, or tracking device. Put your goal out there so that it expands beyond your private mind, and into the field of greater potentiality. Discover how support will help you to be more successful and use it to your advantage. For example, notice how sharing your goals will help build motivation and clarity.
- Have a Plan: Be intentional with your goals. Once you know what you want to change, where, when, and how; see it through to its full expression. Be deliberate and intentional by scheduling your goals and desires in a calendar or somewhere visible. This will help you become more self-efficacious and successful.
- Be Mindful: Pay attention to what you are doing in each moment. Becoming more mindful of your habits helps to create awareness away from auto-piloted patterns that often lead to unnecessary eating and weight gain. To move towards healthier choices, it is important to know what you are doing, and why. Notice the motivation behind your choices.
- Make it Fun: Creating change is a good and positive thing that deserves celebration. Be happy that you have reached a time in your life when you are ready to set new goals and feel better. Enjoy your healthier habits. Make your exercise fun! Talk positively about your goals and progress. Love the healthier food that loves you back. And congratulate yourself along the way for wanting to feel better! How you talk to yourself matters!
- Reward Yourself: Create a reward system that allows you to enjoy the process more. Think of a small reward for every goal achieved. For example, associate new habits with rewards such as a manicure, bubble bath, or new clothing item. Incentivize your progress and work with yourself in a way that facilitates positivity. Change your mindset away from the feeling that achieving weight loss goals is hard and restrictive. Believe it can be a positive experience, and it will!
- Have Patience: Know that a slow and steady approach to weight loss is more sustainable. While you may hope for faster results, know that it took years for weight to come on, and may take time for it to come off. Having a patient and steady approach will help you feel more calm and approach the journey with greater ease. A patient and controlled mindset reduces the desire for instant gratification and yo-yo dieting.
- Forgive Yourself: Weight loss is not a perfect road and does not always move in a straight downhill direction. Forgive yourself for the ups and downs. Have self-compassion as you learn a new way of living. Losing weight and changing habits is a process of slow change and awareness that comes with bumps in the road. Forgive yourself for any mistakes and learn from the challenges and setbacks. Become solution-oriented versus self-punishing.
The good news is you can train your brain to feel more motivated. You can change the script that tells you you can’t do something. Stay focused on trying new things and new ways of thinking. Keep trying even if it feels like hard work at first. Know that you can learn throughout your life. Fuel your motivation productively. New habits come from intention, repetition, belief, and practice.