Let’s talk about motivation. I think this is one of the questions I get asked the most. How did I stay motivated to lose 350 pounds and how do I still continue to stay motivated now? Where does your motivation come from and how can I have it too!? Well, let’s start with the definition of motivation. “Motivation is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a certain way”.
Where to find Motivation
If I am having a difficult time staying motivated I like asking myself, “why am I doing this?” I like figuring out what my “why” is. These “whys” are your motivation, they are why you want to make the changes and pick a plan to make those changes happen. For me, I ask myself, why do I want to lose weight? I came up with a whole list of reasons as to why I wanted to lose weight. I came up with all of my “whys”. Yes, one of the reasons was to “look good” but that wasn’t the sole reason I wanted and needed to lose weight. Many of my “whys” had to do with my health, wellness, and overall wellbeing. I knew that I needed to change my lifestyle in order to be successful. I knew that what I had been doing was not working and would not get me where I wanted to be.
Starting Out Super Motivated
After I figured out why I wanted and needed to change, I needed to figure out the “how” part. I came up with a “plan” as to how I would lose the weight knowing that this plan needed to be something that I could do for the rest of my life. I had tried different diets in the past and I always found myself gaining all of the weight back, then some. This time I needed a plan that was going to make reaching my weight loss goals a reality. Everybody’s plan is different and that is ok. What worked for me may not work for you.
After I had this plan, I felt inspired and motivated to reach those goals and make all of those reasons why I wanted to lose weight a reality. When I first started off, I found myself feeling very overwhelmed but super motivated. I wanted to be successful so badly and I was so ready to do whatever I needed to do in order to lose the weight. I was excited and so ready to tackle this HUGE task and conquer my mountain, I was not going to stop until I reached the top.
Losing My Motivation
After a while, that excitement turned into fear, I found myself feeling overwhelmed. I started thinking, I am never going to reach my goals. This is too hard and it will take way too long. I am not good enough to lose this weight. I don’t want to fail, I just don’t think I am strong enough to keep going. Maybe it is easier to just quit, I have lost enough and this is good enough. That intense motivation that I started with was gone. I was letting my own self-doubt, maybe even a little bit, the opinions of others too hold me back. I found myself focusing on how hard it was and because it was hard I was thinking I could not do it anymore, I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up.
Sometimes I am Motivated, Sometimes NOT
But that is the thing with motivation; sometimes it’s there and other times it is not. When we feel motivated and have that strong “why” we feel like we can do anything and conquer the world. But when that motivation leaves, you feel like you cannot go on. These feelings are what the actual definition of motivation is all about. Motivation comes and it goes. Period. The truth is, you are not always going to feel motivated. Just because you don’t feel motivated at the moment, does not mean you just completely give up, or never start. These moments when you lack motivation are the times when it is most important to remember “why.”
What About Now? “You have lost the weight. It must be easy to stay motivated.”
During the moments of my journey I was struggling, I thought of my “whys”. Why am I doing this and Why is this important to me? Why did I start this journey in the first place? I had to think about my choices and ask myself “Will giving up ever get me to reach those goals?” There were more times than I can count that I had to remind myself all of why I was making the changes. Those “whys” that I wrote down before I started, those were the reasons I was making changes. Was it easy to push onward? No, absolutely not but I did it anyway because I really wanted the results and the “finished project.” The funny thing about this is that now that I am where I am on my Journey I have come to realize that there is no “finished product” and that this journey will continue on for the rest of my life. I will always have to have the talk with myself and ask myself why I am making the choices that I am. I will have to think about what result I want.
My overall health and happiness was and still is the most important thing to me. If I continued on my old path, who knows how much longer I would have lived? If I wanted to live a long life, I knew needed to change. These changes weren’t easy but they were important to me and that’s why I needed to make them. My whys were so important to me that I was not going to let anything stand in the way of reaching my goals. No matter how unmotivated I might have felt in those moments, I always remember my why and kept pushing forward on my journey. Reminding myself why I was doing this helped give me the power and the strength to keep going. Since it does come and go at any given moment, we must be prepared. We need to have a plan just like when we started this journey.
Healthy Habits and Discipline are Key
When it comes to weight loss being successful and reaching your goals is all about creating healthy habits and being disciplined. For me, when I created my plan on how I was going to reach my goals, I also designed a schedule that I would follow. I knew, waking up at 5 am every day to go to the gym before work was not going to happen. I knew I was not going to wake up and go. So I had to come up with something that worked for me. Something that I could stick to and do over and over again. I made sure it worked for me and made sure that it was something that I would be able to maintain so I could be successful and get results.
Create Habits that Work for You
I knew that I would not wake up early and go and I also knew that if I went home after work and went to the gym later that I wouldn’t do that either. I knew that if I made it home that I would find myself on the couch or in bed and not want to leave to go to the gym. It was important to create a schedule where I go directly to the gym after work and then head home after going to the gym. This was what worked for me and was something that I could see myself doing for the long haul. It does not matter if I feel like going or not, I created this schedule and I need to follow it. I know it works for me, so I have to do it. If after work I am just not feeling it, I still go because that is part of my routine. It has become a part of my everyday life.
Of course, there are days that my schedule needs to change or that I cannot make it to the gym. It is important to be aware of this because the more you change, and find excuses to miss and not follow your schedule, the easier it will be to break those “good” habits and break your routine. Your routine will become about always finding excuses. You will have excuses to not go workout, or eat right or take care of yourself. None of these excuses will help you reach your goals. Instead of creating “good” healthy habits, you will be creating habits of making excuses and reasons why you can’t.
It Takes Time
Remember in order to see results, it takes patience and dedication. It takes doing something even if we lack motivation and don’t want to do it. If you eat right and exercise for one week, you will probably not see results. But if you do it consistently, that is where big changes happen. That is when you see results. Results do not happen overnight. It takes time and it takes being disciplined enough to keep doing it over and over again. It takes making healthy habits a part of your lifestyle and your routine.
Create those habits and be disciplined enough to stick with them, even when you don’t want to. Make this a healthy lifestyle so when you have days where you just aren’t feeling it, you are disciplined enough to do it anyway, out of habit and routine knowing that it will help you to reach your goals.
Motivation can come from others and it is amazing when you surround yourself with people who have similar goals. These people help keep you motivated and inspire you to be the best you that you can possibly be. They may help to pull you along when you lack motivation on a particular day. Ultimately it is up to you to motivate yourself for the long haul to reach your goals.
Remember Your Why
It is so much easier to stay motivated when your original “why” comes from within, and not because someone else told you why you should do something. That drive and desire to want to reach your goals will be so much stronger when you create it for yourself. After you have that motivation, you have to create your own healthy habits and routine that not only works for you but will help you reach your own goals. Remember, it is all about choosing between what you want now and what you want most!
Comment down below what helps you stay motivated and what some of your goals are and what is your “why”.