There are two aspects to commitment, need and motivation. People come to me to lose weight. At the time of their consultation, they are often highly motivated to lose weight and often have a high need to lose weight. For example, a client who has two-hundred pounds to lose has many health risks (need) and is wanting to improve the quality of their life (motivation). They start out doing really well, exercising, drinking water, eating vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The weight begins to comes off and they lose 150 pounds. For the first time in years, they can sit on the floor with their grandchildren, they can tie their shoes and walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop and rest. They can’t imagine life getting any better and they quit – still 50 pounds overweight. They lost their motivation. They still have need, but the motivation is gone and they quit. I see the same behavior with people who have only 20 pounds to lose. So, what can we do to stay motivated?
I receive Tips For Extraordinary Living from a former coach of mine, Philip E. Humbert, PhD, and in his July 29, 2007 Tip (http://www.philiphumbert.com/TIPS/) he has five tips about how to stay motivated all the time. Here are his tips with my own thoughts relating to weight loss:
1. Be clear! You can hit almost any target if you define it. It’s hard to stay motivated for a vague or distant goal. Be specific. Be precise and concrete. You will be far more motivated to increase sales by 10% than to make “more” this month.
In the first weight loss session, I give clients written homework. It is a commitment that they make to themselves. They are to describe their life in 10 years, six years, threes years & one year at their ideal weight. I want them to begin to develop a clear picture of living Slender For Life. What are the compelling reasons to take the weight off?
2. Have an action plan. If you have a “map” and know the next step, you are much more motivated to do it. “Baby-steps” are always easier and more fun than “giant leaps.” It’s relatively hard to stay motivated over the years to put a million dollars in the bank, but it’s easy to start saving $500 this month. Have a clear, do-able and action-able plan. Then, take steps one after another.
Don’t focus on all the weight you have to release – focus on what it is that you need to do this next week to let go of 2 pounds, that’s only 4 ounces a day. That is doable!
3. Surround yourself with positives. Zig Ziglar made a wonderful observation that “people complain motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does a shower. That’s why I recommend both every day.” You’ve got to read, listen to audio programs, talk with exciting people and surround yourself with things that energize you! We live in a “bad news world.” It wears everyone down! To counter this, surround yourself (every day!) with things that energize, challenge and excite you.
Learn self-hypnosis and other tools that will suport you. Work with a professional or have a friend who will hold you accountable.
4. The “Breakfast of Champions.”With apologies to Wheaties™, you’ve got to re-commit to your most important priorities, goals and plans every single day. Personally, I begin every morning with about 20 minutes of focus on my major priorities. If I don’t, the day “gets away from me.” In the rush of the day, minor “emergencies” will beat strategic action every time. Start every day by reviewing and re-affirming your most important objectives.
I encourage clients to keep their commitment where they can easily read it and to use self-hypnosis with suggestions, five times a day, every day.
5. Have lots of cheerleaders!I think this may be the most important, easiest, and most-often over-looked. Recruit friends and family to hold you accountable. Teach them to support and encourage you. Pick their brains for good ideas, and report back to them regularly. Form and use a MasterMind team! With a good team of cheerleaders, you can accomplish anything!
Find people who will truly support you in your goals to cheer you on. Most importantly, make sure that you are your best cheerleader!
In his newsletter, Dr. Humbert also tells a wonderful story about a young man who wanted an interview with a famous guru. When they met, the man asked, “How can I find wisdom?” Without a word, the guru led the young man to a nearby lake and pushed his head under water. After the man thrashed and fought for a moment, the guru let him up, where he immediately gasped for air. The guru then said, “When you desire wisdom as badly as you wanted that breath of air, you’ll find it.”
Do you have a clear and compelling weight loss goal? Have you developed your weight loss action plan? Have you created the positives that will support you in your weight loss goals? Do you focus each day on your goal? Do you have people who will support you?
So many people come to me about weight loss, but they don’t have a clear goal in mind other than perhaps a number on the scale and even that is often wishy-washy. And seldom do they want it as badly as they want air.
How motivated are you to lose your excess weight? Do you want it as badly as you do your next breath of air? Are you motivated enough to lose weight that you are willing to eat healthier? Are you motivated enough to lose weight that you are willing to eat less? Are you motivated to lose weight enough that you are willing to exercise?
If you really want to lose weight, then create a plan for yourself with clear and compelling reasons to motivate you to reach your goal. Visit this plan often and make sure that nothing or no one gets in the way of your success. Want your weight goal as badly as you want air!