Towards Motivation and the Magenta Dress
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
When I started working with a personal trainer I had a lot of weight to lose. I was highly motivated. But as the pounds came off I became increasingly more comfortable in my own skin. As my weight loss slowed, my trainer asked me what was motivating me to continue to lose weight. I told him that it was the same as before: I want to lose excess weight. His reply was that my “away from” motivation was no longer strong enough to overcome the much more comfortable state I was living in. He suggested I choose a “towards” motivation so, combined with my “away from” motivation, I would once again be spurred on to reach my weight-loss goals.
Just that morning, on the way to the gym, I passed my favorite clothing store and noticed a fabulous magenta dress in the display window. Now, by favorite clothing store I don’t mean one I shop in often. In fact, my size was larger than their largest size so, although I love the store’s merchandise, I simply stood outside and pined over all the beautiful clothes I couldn’t wear. Fitting into that magenta dress became my “towards” motivation. I took a picture of the dress and placed it on my fridge.
That specific magenta dress was eventually removed from display and sold, but I kept the photo up for what it stood for…one day fitting into a smart dress from my favorite shop. That photo seems to have been on my fridge for so long that I scarcely notice it anymore, but today I did. And I realized that I was there! I can go into that shop now and try on anything I like. I took a moment to pat myself on the back and, WOW, did that feel good!
Without realizing it I had reached my goal and moved on to a new “towards” motivator: running a 10K. I’m training for a summer run now, and expect to be ready on race day. I have a training schedule and, for the most part, am sticking to it. So today, as I noticed that photo of the magenta dress, I realized that it now represents not where I’m going but where I’ve been. I remember dreaming of a day when I could fit into the dress. It took a lot of time and effort, but it is no longer my dream; it is my reality.
Although the photo is no longer an image of something I am working towards, it is going to stay right where it is as a reminder of what I’ve achieved.
I hope your “towards” motivator soon becomes a milestone to remember.