Keeping your motivation

Now in the third trimester, I have watched my body grow fairly quickly over the past few weeks.  And I know there’s much more growing to be done.  While I know this is normal, healthy and wonderful (my baby is growing!), as someone who is not used to being this size, it’s a little unsettling.  So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my goals post-baby.  Of course, it will take time to get back into a fitness routine and I can’t really plan ahead as my lifestyle will definitely change.   But thinking about my fitness goals has begun to be a pastime of mine as I wait for baby to make his appearance.

And as I think of this, I find I’m hearing a lot about people with decreasing motivation.  The end of January is near and the New Year’s Resolution buzz has slowed down.  So it’s normal for motivation to get a little low.  But there are some people who keep going long after the New Year’s buzz goes away.  Are they stronger?  Do they have more willpower?  What is so special about these people that they continue to work to reach their goals long after the rest of us have quit?

They don’t have super-powers.  They have a deep personal reason to motivate them to keep working towards their goals.

Many times when we think about health motivation we don’t dig deep enough into the why.  We ask ourselves or maybe a friend or relative asks us why we are trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Usually the answer is related to losing weight and feeling better about yourself.  Which are great reasons, but they really don’t go deep enough into the issue.  These reasons are easily overpowered by a delicious slice of cake!

To figure out your real internal why, you need to go through the 5 Why Process.

1.  Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?

2.  Why is that important to you?

3.  Why does that matter to you?

4.  Why or how does that effect you?

5.  Why or how will living a healthier lifestyle help you?

An example may be:

1.  Why do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?
I want to lose 20 pounds.

2.  Why is that important to you?
I gradually let myself go over the years and I no longer like the way I look in the mirror.

3.  Why does that matter to you?
I don’t feel confident in social situations anymore because I feel like everyone’s judging me based on my weight gain.

4. Why or how does that effect you?
It effects me because I tend to avoid social situations now out of fear of being judged.  When I do go I feel uncomfortable and tend to hide away.  This is not only effecting me at social gatherings, but in my personal relationship and at work.  I feel bad about myself so I try to avoid being noticed.  This has caused me to feel frustrated, sad and angry at myself, and I don’t enjoy a full life like I used to and want to.

5. How will living a healthier lifestyle help you?
By living a healthier lifestyle, I will lose weight and gain self-confidence.  Not only will I be finally taking the time to care for myself, but I will be bettering my mental state and that will better my life in all areas.  I will improve my relationships, my work life, my social life.  By being more confident about myself, I can enjoy my life the way I want to.

When you dig deeper, there is much more reason to follow through with your plans than if you stay at the surface.  When faced with temptation, gaining weight (or not losing weight) is usually not enough to keep most of us on the right track.

But when your reason to avoid the temptation is deeper, such as improved self-confidence, relationships, work and social life, then it becomes much easier to make the healthy choice.

So what is your why?

the 5 whysAnd the next time you are tempted to make a bad health choice, remember your answers.  Remember what you are working towards.  And making the right decision will all of a sudden seem like an easy thing to do!



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