When my health first started to deteriorate, I continued with my ‘normal’ way of living. Even though I was gaining weight rapidly, was tired all the time, and had many other issues- I kept on eating, thinking, and doing things the same way.
I was frustrated with my weight gain. I wanted things to go back to the way they were before. I wanted people around me to stop doing what they were doing, which stressed me so much. (The unfair things. Things I didn’t sign up for. Things that, by their actions and choices- my life was affected. Can you relate?)
Until one day, I finally got the revelation that I couldn’t keep doing the same things- being the same way- and expecting things to change. I had to change.
I made and continue to make changes- positive, healthy choices that have led to improved health, contentment, and now I help others too.
I teach about stress and emotional healing. These are two subjects that I’m intimately familiar with. You can read more about me here. Many people don’t realize how much chronic or ongoing stress is not healthy. Nor do they recognize that carrying baggage from the past impacts our present and our future.
Ongoing stress can lead to many health issues. Dwelling on past hurts- instead of pursuing emotional healing- can keep negative emotions stirred up, which is a form of stress.
Let’s say you know you need to manage the past and current stress in your life. You know you need to make some changes, but you aren’t motivated to do any of those changes. Or you might not even know where to start- it’s too overwhelming.
Or may you try to do what you need to do, and you do great for a few days- then you miss a few or mess up, so you feel you might as well give up altogether.
What’s the answer?
Setting goals is one part. The other part is the doing or action part. Sometimes, we aren’t motivated to get up off the couch and do what needs to be done.
So instead- we keep doing the same ‘ole things (bad habits) that got us where we are now.
“What got you here -- won’t get you there.”
Meaning to achieve your desired goal will require change. Changing from old habits, behavior, and beliefs that got you to where you are today (things that may even be unhealthy) and embracing new healthy habits, behaviors, and thoughts will move you toward achieving your goals.
“Motivation is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way and the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” -Lexico by Oxford
TYPES OF MOTIVATION
We can be positively motivated - receiving a reward, reaching the desired outcome, or achieving a goal.
Or negatively motivated- fear of (or increased) poor health, fear of staying the same, not achieving our goals, not living a life we enjoy, etc.
Motivation can come from within (intrinsic) an inner drive, a feeling of wanting to succeed, values, pleasure, or outside of ourselves (extrinsic) a reward, social recognition, and benefits.
When the above fades, unhealthy types of motivation usually become the motivating factor. Things like guilt, shame, anxiety, withdrawal, pushing beyond limits (out of balance), and “shoulds.”
The best motivators are a combination of positive inner (intrinsic) and outer (extrinsic).
Yet, some people may also need a good dose of negative motivation (or a reality check) as well.
For example, let’s say a farmer needs a donkey to plow or move from one grazing pasture to another pasture. As we know, donkeys can be stubborn and often set in their ways. To get the donkey moving, a farmer may dangle a carrot (positive extrinsic motivator) in front of the donkey but also may need to swat the donkey’s backside with a switch (negative motivation). The donkey may think (internal motivation), “If I want to eat that carrot, I’d better start walking.”
What motivates you now may change as you move closer to your goal and finally achieve your desired goal.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” - Jim Rohn
And, sometimes, ACTION is required first, and motivation will follow. We may need to be like Nike and “just do it.” For some people, motivation (feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, happiness) will come AFTER action steps are taken for meeting desired goals.
More action = more motivation.