It is week 3 of 2012 and we are working on keeping our resolutions on track. If you fell off the horse this week, get back on. One fall doesn’t end it.
It is not unusual to lack motivation after three weeks. Motivational roadblock can easily be overcome:
- Replace enthusiasm
- Use constructive motivation
Motivation not enthusiasm
By the third week of working toward a goal, you may no longer feel excitement about reaching that goal. You have lost your enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is a short-term intense, emotional feeling. It is a feeling of excitement, but it does not last.
Only true motivation will get you to the finish line.
Years ago, I managed a telemarketing office (this is exactly what MOTIVATED me to finish college, by the way.) Every hour our team would stand up and cheer (like the cheers at a football game.)
Although this activity did get the adrenalin pumping, it had to be repeated each hour. The enthusiasm did not last. Just as the excitement from the last hour began to dissipate, it was time for another cheer.
Cheering didn’t motivate the team, it excited them. It made them enthusiastic enough to get back on the phones. One of the cheers was “Boy, am I enthusiastic.”
They were motivated by the paycheck, not the cheers.
If you are no longer enthusiastic about your goals, look beyond the short-term excitement and focus on the long-term goal and its rewards. Look at the paycheck, not the sale.
Motivation is the energy that is used to move toward a goal.
Without this energy, no movement takes place. Lack of motivation is like trying to start a car that is out of gas.
This energy comes from the creative subconscious when the picture in our head does not match reality.
Once we set goals and attach rewards, the motivation, the energy and the movement are automatic. You will reach your goals as long as you keep moving.
The law of focus, therefore rules motivation. We move toward what we focus on.
In order to move toward a goal, you must focus on the reward and then you will automatically move toward it.
The reward can be either real or perceived, but it must be something that excites you.
Restrictive v. constructive rewards
Restrictive motivation is not effective. When you take the “do this or else” approach, you will subconsciously push back against your goal. If you tell yourself – do this or else, you will subconsciously engage in procrastination and creative avoidance (doing everything BUT what you need to do to reach your goal.)
Restrictive motivation causes a subconscious battle against your own best efforts. Your goals always lose this war.
Instead, use constructive motivation and reward yourself as you begin to achieve.
Build on small victories
Goals are achieved one small victory at a time. To overcome the roadblocks that drain your energy, you must build on small victories and make success a habit.
Make little things a big deal. Choosing fruit instead of a donut for breakfast is a little thing but a big deal. Give yourself a pat on the back. Wallow in this success. Remind yourself how awesome you are to be able to triumph over that donut.
By giving yourself little rewards, you are reinforcing the behavior that will move you toward these goals. You begin to feel good about what you are doing and you begin to SEEK behaviors that get you these little rewards.
The goal must first of all be your idea. If you are trying to lose weight because your boyfriend threatened to leave you if you don’t, not only is he a jerk, BUT you are not in control of the decision and you will push back. HE CANNOT MOTIVATE YOU.
Motivation is internally generated energy. It cannot be supplied from the outside. You must pump your own gas.
To lose weight, you must WANT TO. You must want to feel better, be healthier, look better, have more energy, whatever the reward, it must be yours.
I teach business courses at a local college. This term I will once again teach Principles of Management. The wonderful textbook has an entire chapter dedicated to “How to Motivate Your Employees.” Imagine the surprised looks on my student’s faces when I announce that this chapter is ridiculous.
You cannot motivate anyone and cannot be motivated by someone.
Don’t even try.
While outsiders can attach consequences to certain behavior, only YOU can provide the energy needed to seek or avoid a goal. You are the only one who can motivate yourself.
Even if your reasons for losing weight are so that your boyfriend doesn’t leave; this is still your reason. You are motivated to avoid the pain of a breakup. (You may want to rethink your relationship – I’ll save that for another blog.)
Stay away from negative people
I know that I sound like a broken record, but it takes 11 positive people to undo the damage from one negative person.
Just one comment from a negative person can set you back to square one if you let it. This is another reason that rewarding small victories is so important.
You can get started replacing your Negative Nancy’s by reading the related posts listed below. Subscribe to their blogs and get a positive boost every day. I know I do.
- Just Because (Optimism and Me)
- Are You the Leader You Think You Are (Koach Konsulting)
- Turn Your Desire Into Destiny (Pops of Life)
- Line of Serenity
Mental Health Food is looking for great positive blogs to include in our related posts. If you have a great positive blog to share, like us on Facebook and tell us all about it.
What motivates you the most?