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Lifestyle Change Strategies



What Will Keep You Motivated?

What Will Keep You Motivated?


In Man’s Search For Meaning, author Viktor Frankl survived years in German concentration camps due to what he felt was a good reason to survive: he was determined to finish his life’s work in psychology. Risking punishment or worse, he secreted away paper and notes, planning and preparing for the day when he could continue. Eventually, he was liberated and went on to pen one of the century’s most influential books on leading a meaningful life.

Meanwhile, Viktor saw that fellow inmates who did not have a “calling” (whether it was a family, a career, or a cause) seemed to have nothing to live for and usually died. The right motivation was literally the difference between life and death.

That’s the power of motivation. Given the right reasons, people have changed lives, changed history and changed the world.

“Sure, that’s great,” you say. “But all I’m trying to do is lose weight.” That’s the old, misguided way of looking at it. You might not want to change the world, but you do want to change your world. Anyone can lose weight. To keep it off – to make that permanent lifestyle change – it takes something more. It takes the right motivation.

The right motivation is a potential diet deal-breaker. Recently, 32% of SparkPeople.com members said that a “Lack of Motivation” was their #1 weight loss hurdle. Motivation is what separates Dieters from Lifestyle Changers. That’s why it plays such a key role in everything you’ll do during Stage 3.


What To Do With Your Motivation?
Motivation happens in two stages. First, you find out what motivates you the most about weight loss. This is different for each person and even different situations. Second, you turn that motivation into a tool by surrounding yourself with it, immersing yourself in it.

Motivation can be useful and inspiring at the same time. Not only is it important to do things for the right reasons, but it’s just as vital to find creative, timely ways to remind yourself of those inspirational reasons. This week’s Action Steps will help you do both.


What Is Your Right Motivation?
The right motivation is whatever it is at any point in time that keeps you going for another day. Today it might be the mirror. Tomorrow it might be the look in your child’s face. Next week, it might be a picture of the vacation you want to look good for. Surround yourself with as many of these motivating options as possible, since inspiration could come from different sources each time.

The right motivation will get you out of bed in the morning with pep in your step and an eagerness to meet the day.

The right motivation is a vision, a picture of what life will be like after you’ve lost weight.

The right motivation won’t let you quit. Oh sure, you may have setbacks and you may get discouraged, but it will never stop you from taking two steps forward.


What Types Of Motivations Work?
Some types of motivation are more effective than others. Most people spend too much time worrying about extrinsic motivators, where the standards are set by someone else (the scale, the mirror, negative comments from a spouse, fashion magazines, etc.). Instead of thinking about what’s important to themselves, they think more about what’s important to other people.

You’ll be more successful if you pay more attention to what’s important to you as a benchmark. Want to have more time with the family? To have more energy? To feel better about yourself? Those are the motivators that will keep your new lifestyle in play for the long run.

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