Motivating ourselves can often be seen as something we just work at trying to do, but I believe to get the best out of ourselves we need a plan and to see the true end goal. With a planned approach to change, this can help our minds see the beginning, the middle and the end results of what we are working to achieve. If we don’t, our minds will be guessing what the end result should be, if we don’t tell our minds what we want, how can your mind positively help you? Our mind is always in search of previous patterns, so if we have tried and failed before then you can guess what your mind will be picking as an outcome! Yes, that’s right, it will pick failure, not because we must fail, more for the fact that our minds are just following the patterns of what we have done before. Always remember our minds aren’t really trying to sabotage us, our minds are just looking at patterns and continuing to follow them. This is what our unconscious mind does the best; finding patterns, putting them together and sending them back to us to help us make things easier. This is because there are so many things we do in our lives that are coming from the unconscious and we are just on autopilot with them. None of us really think about having to walk or talk anymore, it’s just something we do without thinking. The same is for driving, singing, moving etc. We don’t instruct our bodies to do these actions, our inner mind has remembered the patterns and just automates them for us. Now, this is amazing because who would want to learn to walk every day or drive every day? Not me, it was hard enough the first time. But if we are on autopilot for something we don’t want in our lives, we have to work much harder to break the automation and then create new habits.
This is why if we want to change and move our lives forward, we have to choose to motivate ourselves in the ways that support this process. Say if you want to lose weight and stay at that new weight, then it’s important to not see this as a diet. Because a diet is not a lifestyle change, it’s just a temporary state we go into to lose weight. This being the case we have to understand that the diet will end and our minds will be left to search for what comes next. If we haven’t set the goal as a target weight, then the messages to our mind will be unsure and confusing. Then guess where our minds will go? Back to what we have done before and for many of us over time we just get back to those old habits. Instead, it is time to set a new goal and work on our motivation to help achieve them. To get this we have to make the target weight the core of our goals otherwise we will be fighting against these old habits. Moving forward with whatever we want to change will work much better with a plan – a sensible achievable plan is the key. Don’t follow the old routes, carve out new ones, as the new ones don’t come with those old, learned habits of the past and changing will be easier. If it’s being at a target weight then it’s about focusing on changing the meals you eat and the lifestyle you need, to live life at this reduced weight. This will mean that maintaining the target weight is the goal, then the steps are losing the weight to get to that weight, by changing how you approach food and exercise. For many of us, we are often all in or all out and this is a big problem to maintaining a target weight or maintaining any healthy consistent habit. Take the time to work on finding that balance you need, not up and down, stop or starting, choose consistent change.
Helping your mind see what you want will stop those sabotaging old habits coming back to haunt you, if you’re looking at the long term and the bigger picture, you can use those as your motivators. Put pen to paper and set out your goals and what you want at the end of it. If you want a stable target weight, take sensible steps to get to that weight along the way, learning the new habits you will need to stay this way. If you want to be fit, create a plan of exercise that you can continue forever, not an extreme plan that you can’t maintain. If you want to be happier, then fill your life with new hobbies, a happier lifestyle that can help to bolster your mood and maintain a happier mood.
Moving forward will always start by understanding your destination, of course, there are times we don’t know where we are going and that’s fine too. But if we have a goal then follow the steps back to the beginning and start moving towards that goal. The more we start living our lives as if we have already achieved our goals, the easier it will be to make these our long-term outcomes. Remember that once you reach your goal then it’s about re-evaluating the goal into living this way forever. With that new goal set, then continue to support yourself in staying this way. Life can be distracting but don’t let it get in your way of you staying the way you choose to be. Don’t think giving up on your goals for a few days or weeks is the way either, as this will only bring back the old habits, not the new. Have things to help you through the hard times, get the people in your life to have your back and help you if you struggle.
Once you get to your goal, work on living each day as the new you, until this new you feels like the real you.
Enjoy your week. Sara