Motivation: How do you find (and keep) it?

mo·ti·va·tion/ mōdəˈvāSH(ə)n /

noun

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. Synonyms: motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, inducement, incitement, spur, reason
  2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Synonyms:  enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise

    For many, motivation can be hard to grasp and even more difficult to hold on to, especially if it’s something that requires a fair amount of effort, such as a lifestyle change. For me personally, my “reason” was myself and my future. I had been overweight my entire life. I had accepted this as the inevitable truth and that nothing could change the fact, no matter what I did. I had it ingrained in my mind that bad genetics were against me and, although I had lost weight in the past, I was doomed to a life of obesity since it always came back on…and then some. 

    But, October of 2013 was the final straw. I was 340 pounds and in need of a new wardrobe; size 26 to be exact. I almost cried when I realized this. I remember thinking, “I am only 29 years old, I can’t afford to give up now!” So, I made minor changes. I ate smaller portions, cut out unnecessary soft drinks, and just exercised moderation. I was shocked that nearly 25 pounds had seemed to just melt away. Little did I know at the time, this was my first dabble with Flexible Dieting as well as a caloric deficit. 

    The following year, I joined Weight Watchers, and I had great success with that. I had even started walking at least 3 miles per day to start my exercise journey and to aid in more aggressive weight loss. The thing was, nobody had really noticed my weight loss or, if they did, they never said anything. Did this bum me out? Yes! Did I let it bring me down? No!  

    You will have situations in your life where you are working to achieve a specific goal, personal or professional, and nobody will notice. I am here to say that it will still be okay. 

    The harder you work when nobody’s watching, the less you bleed when it’s time to perform.”

    Brandon Jennings

    One of the biggest keys to success is consistency. If you struggle with motivation, consistently remind yourself WHY you started. If it helps, create a motivation board of encouraging and inspirational quotes, photos, role models, etc. 

    If your goal is health and fitness, get your loved ones involved. Make plans for family activity nights, maybe one to two hours outside or in a gym, away from television and cellphones, to engage in an activity that interests everyone involved. Work on meal prep or weekly menu ideas together. Encourage and applaud one another when a short-term goal has been met. 

    Another tip: treat yo self! Depending upon your budget, establish a reward system for various goal achievements. For example: when I dropped 100 pounds, I purchased a new pair of wireless headphones as a way to applaud my accomplishment. 

    And last, but certainly not least, designate an accountability partner. If you ever feel yourself straying from your goal(s), reach out for help to keep you on track. Nobody ever said you had to tackle a specific goal all by yourself!

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