I often hear people saying “I don’t have the motivation for that just now”. So what is motivation and does it just suddenly appear before your eyes or do you need to make it happen for yourself?
There are two kinds of motivation, they are “towards” and “away from”
Imagine that you suddenly see something that frightens you. It could be a spider, a mouse, a wasp or a rat. You feel frightened or horrified but you don’t have time to think. You have to move and fast! Which way do you go? The direction does not matter to you at all as long as you get away. Remember that “away” is not a direction. “Away from” motivation does not have a direction, and once you get away from whatever has frightened you and it is out of sight, then what has happened to your motivation to move? It has gone.
Therefore if all you have is “away from” motivation then you have nowhere else to go. If you are an “away from” type of person then you will stay where you are until something else that frightens you comes along and makes you want to move.
You can apply this to weight loss. If you do not like yourself at your current weight, and you reach a point where you feel so bad about yourself that the only option is to move away from that pain, then you move “away from” the feelings that you have about yourself. You probably don’t have any real direction, you just know what you don’t want and that you have to move. You start to make changes, lose some weight and possibly do really well for quite a while. Friends and family start to notice that you are changing and they compliment you and say that you look great.
What happens next? Your weight loss starts to “plateau”, you hear yourself saying “this is just not working anymore”, “I can’t lose the last 10lbs” or “I’m really fed up”.
You really needed this kind of motivation to get you going, but you feel and look much better so there is no incentive to move forward.
This is the tipping point! It is very easy to start sliding backwards at this point.
The second type of motivation is “towards”
If you have “towards” motivation then you know exactly where you are going. You know what you are aiming for and if you get knocked off track then you get back up and aim again. As you get closer to your goal you become more motivated. Mistakes will be made but you will learn from them, become stronger and keep going until you hit the target.
We can also apply this “towards” motivation to weight loss. If you have a really clear picture of how you want to look, how you want to feel, and when you can scroll forward and focus on the benefits to your health, well-being and mental clarity that becoming your healthier future self will bring, then you will have the “towards” motivation that will take you to your target.
You next question might be “which type of motivation do I need to lose weight and become a healthier version of me?” The answer is both! You need to get started and you need to keep going until you get to your final goal. The “away from” is needed to get you moving, but you need more of the “towards” motivation to keep you going on a direct course. Without the “towards” you will be lost and will be easily knocked off course.
“How do I get this vision of me?” you might ask. Close your eyes and get a really clear picture of what your future self could look like. Imagine looking at her in a mirror in a years time. Who is she? What does she look like? What is she wearing? Is her clothing colourful? Look at the expression on her face, look at her eyes, how is she feeling? What is her posture like? How much slimmer and healthier does she look? Is anyone with her? Is she happy? Can you hear any sounds? What good things does she have in her life? Really look at the detail of how her life has changed and get a crystal clear vision of what she is like.
Make this picture really big and bright, turn up the colour, make it 3D and add some sounds. Take a snapshot of the picture and store it in your unconscious mind.
Open your eyes and take a piece of paper and write down in detail every little thing that you noticed about your future self.
You now have the motivation that you need to get you started and to keep you going until you hit the target!