3 Keys to Getting Motivated and Get Going Again

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Motivation – what a huge subject.  People have written whole books about the subject and still there is a lack of general knowledge about how you really get motivated.

So this will not be a “do all & end all” article where you can suddenly “whip” your lagging motivation into shape and right away find it easy to get in shape. No, this is more about understanding a little about how you can move in the direction of getting motivated and possibly actually doing that.

Key #1. If you are trying to break a habit, like smoking, eating and being overweight or getting off the couch and exercising, here is one simple piece of advice that will work in your favor. If you have never “tried” to quit or change a habit that is bothering you, then by all means start trying. Set a date when you will quit smoking. Set a date when you will walk for a mile. Then when the date arrives, DO IT. If you fail, don’t be hard on yourself. You are one step closer to victory. Remind yourself of that.

Key #2. “Count the cost” of your habit. You need to do this both ways – the pleasure you get from continuing the habit, and the price you are paying for diminished health by not being motivated to change. Let’s use smoking again for an example.

What kind of pay-back do you get by smoking? People say things like pleasure, relief from nervous tension, better concentration and a general feeling of well-being. Now figure out what it is costing your health. How much is it shortening your life? Are you prone to lung cancer or emphasima? What about your breath and the way people avoid you because of your “smell?” What kind of a fire danger have you already been the cause of?

If you want to be successful at quitting smoking, for example, your loss of health would need to be a stronger factor than the pleasure and the general sense of well being (though temporary) that smoking gives you.

Key#3. Dig up some good old FEAR! Yes, fear is a tremendous motivator. Fear of loss. You might lose your life, lose your spouse, lose your job, lose all your money, lose your sight, lose your sex drive or be diagnosed with cancer, diabetes or a bunch of other debilitating diseases.

If you think real hard about the health issues you face if you DON’T get motivated to start eating right, exercising, losing weight or stop smoking – what kind of fear does this create? This possibly could be the very best way to get motivated and to stay motivated.

One thing that I find that helps me a lot is the Slight Edge. I wrote about this in another post.  You can read about it here:  The Slight Edge


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Why No Motivation to Exercise?

Ok, I know! Don’t beat myself up for not getting out and running or walking in 15 degree weather. After all, we’ve only had 30 inches of snow in the past week.

So that’s my excuse. If I lived in Florida or Arizona I would be out there getting my exercise – at least that’s what my brain is telling me.

So, what exactly is my brain telling me? If you really want to know, it’s telling me what I want to hear.  Let’s take a look at this from a different angle.

What kind of a picture do I have in my mind about getting up real early next Thursday morning to go to a 7:00 am business meeting? I actually picture myself getting dressed, eating a quick breakfast, and driving my car to the meeting. You’re wondering now — So what?

Here’s what’s interesting — I picture myself actually doing the driving, actually “doing” the getting dressed. I am very much involved. I am seeing the action through my own eyes.

What kind of a picture do I have when I get up at 6 am and put on some warm exercise clothes and a warm coat and go out for a 2 or 3 mile walk at 6:30 am? In the snow? When it’s 20 degrees out?

You won’t believe this, but I don’t picture myself actually doing any of this!

What?? That’s right. I’m not involved. It’s more like I’m an outsider looking in on a movie of me getting dressed and putting on my cold weather warm-ups. So when the alarm goes off  — I just roll over and get another few minutes of sleep, knowing that since I don’t live in Florida —- blah blah blah blah.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Put myself in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to visualizing myself exercising in the cold weather. How do I do this? I actually picture and FEEL what it’s like to pull on my long wool sox. I push myself to FEEL the biting wind on my face as I round the corner on my walk. I feel the snow underfoot, and I also FEEL the excitement and thrill of victory, because I have beaten my old way of thinking.  I am a winner today.  Tommorrow I can be a winner again.

And that’s all it takes is one day at a time.

I encourage you to spend some soul searching and see what’s going on in your head. You are probably wired much differently than I am, so don’t expect the same pictures to work for you. You have your own movies to watch, and to discover why you don’t have the motivation that you really want – and that you really deserve.

What are your thoughts about getting “unstuck”?  I’d love to hear what’s working for you and any challenges you are facing.

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