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At some point, everyone working to lose weight gets frustrated. And some of that frustration can be normal. But if you find you’re continually feeling exasperated perhaps it has to do with your motivation, the reason are you going through the weight loss proves.
Ask yourself WHY you are going through the process of losing weight. What is the reason? The reason can provide some insight to your inner motivation. And with the right type of motivation, you can enhance your ability to reduce some frustration.
Take a minute, think about it and choose the closest answer below.
I am losing weight because…
- I would feel bad about myself if I did not
- I feel like I have to because others want me to
- It feels important to me personally to attain this goal
- It is a challenge to achieve my goal; it feels good
Which one did you choose? If you answered one of the last two reasons, you may have better results long-term.
Study after study shows just how crucial the right type of motivation is to the effectiveness and maintenance of a weight loss or exercise program.
The last two responses illustrate the two best types of motivations. These are called identified and intrinsic motivation.
It feels important to me personally to attain this goal. This is called Identified Motivation.
You chose to lose weight because you value it. You have a positive view of your decision to lose weight.
It is a challenge to achieve my goal; it feels good. This is called Intrinsic Motivation.
Your motive to lose weight is done for its own sake because you value being healthy. You eat healthy and do some sort of exercise for the pleasure of the activity and you value these behaviors. There is a strong sense of personal importance and meaningfulness. You feel you are on a mission and this produces invigorating emotions such as focus, attention, satisfaction, and challenge.
These types of motivation are more likely to keep you motivated for long term and reduce some frustration.
To help you tap into those types of motivation answer the following questions. I recommend you sit down with pen and paper and write out your answers.
- What is the best thing you could imagine that could result from changing?
- What will be different if you reach your weight loss/health/exercise goals?
- What would be the good things you would attain as a result of exercising more/eating healthier/sticking to your program?
- If you make changes, how would your life be different from what it is today?”
- How would you like things to turn out for you in 2 years?
- What are the positive things you get from working out and eating healthy?
Chose to lose weight because you value your personal decision to do it. Focus on the feelings of importance and meaningfulness you get from eating healthy and exercise.
Focus on developing healthy daily habits. What habits will push you towards your goals?
Develop a plan of daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals.
Some goals you could choose include
- packing a healthy lunch to take to work
- eating half your plate full of vegetables at lunch and dinner
- doing cardio for a determined number of minutes
- doing a pushup fitness test and setting a goal to increase how many you did in a month’s time
- scheduling a hike with a friend once a week
- strength training a determined number of times per week
- logging all food and exercise intake in an online journal
And then remember to reward yourself for your accomplishments by praising yourself, relish feeling good about doing what you set out to do.
So now go back to the questions with pen and paper and consider your motivations for getting healthier and start setting some goals that will get you there.