Friday, August 14, 2009

Is Motivation Overrated?

If the world of weight loss, health and fitness, we keep talking about motivation or lack of motivation.

In my private training or boot camp classes, many clients and members initially came to me or the group with the hope of getting motivated.

I realize that most people know they need to exercise, eat healthy, etc, etc, etc. You set the goals in New Year vowing to exercise more and eat better. Then one by one, people start to slack off. Only half people are still on some type of program and routine by June.

So the question is why you can't motivate yourself to do what you want to do? Why some people can stick to it and some fall off the wagon so soon?

Is your mindset to blame?

How an you harness your brain power to become an unstoppble self-motivator?

There are two motivators that we do what we do or don't do.

1. To avoid pain (fear of failure)
2. To gain pleasure (promise of reward)

You are naturally geared toward one of these motivators. To figure out which, think of the last time you accomplished a task and then ask yourself the following: While doing the task were you thinking about what would happen if you failed to finish, or were you thinking about what you would gain when you finished? Take note as to which motivator works for you - fear of failure, or promise of reward.

Set Your Goal

The first step toward unstoppable motivation is to determine your goal. You know for example, that you're unhappy with your body, but what exactly do you want to change? Why is it important to you?

Perhaps you can relate to one of the following goals.
  • You need to lose weight for your health. Your doctor scared you straight or maybe you've had a recent health problem that landed you in the hospital. Your goal is to move away from the pain of sickness.
  • You want to look and feel incredible. You've always wanted to feel vibrant and attractive. The idea of having more energy really excites you. Your goal is to move toward the pleasure and reward of a fit body.
  • You're worried about your kids. They don't eat enough vegetables, they drink more soda pop than water and they play video games constantly. You have decided to model a healthier lifestyle and to encourage your kids to participate. Your goal is to move away from the risks of a sedentary lifestyle and to propel your kids toward a healthy future.

Train Your Mind for Weight Loss

With your clear and important goal in mind, let's take a few minutes to train your mind to achieve it. You know that weight loss comes as a result of eating right and regular challenging exercise, so let's use your mind to conquer both.

Eating Right: Use this exercise to distance yourself from the self-sabotaging foods you really wish you didn't eat, and to naturally begin selecting healthy foods. Take a moment to review your current eating habits. Identify the foods that you should stop eating (hint: sweets, anything fried, refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks). Identify the worst food that you eat regularly but know you shouldn't. Now imagine the healthy foods that you should eat (hint: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein). Identify the healthiest food that you know you should eat regularly.

Now with the image of these two foods in mind, find a quiet place and do the following exercise (seriously this stuff works).

  • Draw up the image of your unhealthy food item. This image will likely be quite vivid, with smell, taste and bright color. In your mind, fade this picture to black and white and distance the image until it is dull, fuzzy and remote.
  • Draw up the image of your healthy food item. This image will likely be fuzzy and faded. In your mind, bring this picture to life with smell, taste, sound and bright color.

Regular Exercise: This technique can be applied in a way that encourages you to crave exercise rather than avoid it.

Take a moment to imagine how you feel after a great workout (notice the emphasis on the word after). Remember the physical satisfaction as well as the sweet feeling of accomplishment.

Now bring to your mind the aspects of exercise that you dislike. What is your biggest reason for avoiding exercise? Are you too tired? Do you not have enough time? Is physical exertion too much of a hassle? Pinpoint your greatest complaint about exercise.

Now with the image of these two aspects of exercise in mind, find a quiet place and do the following exercise.

  • Draw up the image of your exercise complaint. The image is likely to be clear and accompanied by the sounds, smells and sensations. In your mind, fade this picture to black and white and distance the image until it is dull, fuzzy and remote.
  • Draw up the image of the wonderful feeling you have after accomplishing a great workout. Magnify this image in your mind. Fixate on how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. View the experience in bright colors and add a sound track of inspirational music.

Why It Works

If this was your first experience with training your mind (also called Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP) it may have felt a little odd. Many of the world's top achievers regularly use techniques like these to accomplish astounding goals. The techniques above work because they train your mind to bring your behavior in line with your values. Think about it, you value health, you desire to be fit and attractive and you want to instill healthy habits in your kids. These techniques encourage you to avoid self-sabotage and to make choices that line up with what you truly value.

Now that you are ready to accomplish your goals, the next step requires action.That's where we come in. You see, our clients have taken the step foward to keeping themselves accountable to their goals with our help. The only difference between you and our hundreds of success stories is that they took action. They made the call that changed their lives and helped them to feel successful. Make the call to us today and feel successful.

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