Thursday, September 6, 2012

Motivation- A to Z Weight-Loss Tips for Long-Term Success - Tip M

In previous blogs of this weight-loss series, I have been discussing tips on "how to" achieve long-term weight loss success. However, if you can't think of a reason to achieve it, then the "how-to" won't happen.

"providing with a reason to act in a certain way."

Motivation gives us the reason to change,  but finding the motivation to eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight can be challenging. We might know that we have to eat healthier and exercise:  "My doctor told me to lose 20 pounds!", but is that the motivation that gets us off the couch and exercising? Is that what helps us choose the piece of fruit over the cookie? Research says, probably not.
Research continues to tell us that autonomous motivation is the more powerful type of motivation, while controlled motivation is not as effective for long-term success. 
  • Autonomous motivation comes from within ourselves; we are motivated from internal forces (self-control, self-esteem, achieving our goals). 
  • Controlled motivation involves being motivated by external forces, such as perceived pressure from others, being told what to do, or feelings of guilt. 

Therefore, think of a specific, intrinsic, powerful motivating force (or forces) that can help get you started on your weight loss journey (and also keep you going). It should be something that motivates you internally, not something that someone else tells you to do or that you feel guilty about. 
  • Some people use psychological motivators: "I want to feel better about myself and have more self-esteem".
  • While others use physiological motivators: "I want to have more energy".
  • Setting goals works for some people: "I completed a 10k race and now I want to train for a half-marathon."
  • For some, the motivating message is clear and straight forward, and comes with a startling health event: "I now have diabetes and I want to start a healthier lifestyle".
  • Inspiring others can serve as a motivating force: "I want to set a good example for my kids by eating fruits and vegetables".
Notice all these examples start with "I", not "my doctor told me...." or "my husband says....".

Find your motivation. Do it for you, not because you feel pressured by others.

If you can't seem to find your motivating force, ask yourself what is really important to you.
What positive outcome could result from you becoming a healthier person? 
That one thing could be your reason to change; your MOTIVATION!


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