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How to Create & Maintain Motivation

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When most people ask me questions like, "How can I get motivated to eat healthy and exercise?", what they are usually asking me is "How can I make myself do something that I really don't want to do?".  This is a very faulty line of thinking and is exactly why many people are struggling with motivation.  This line of thinking gives motivation a very demotivating definition.  Let me explain...

There are three definitions of motivation: Standard (Implied), Basic, and the "Bikini Mindset" definition of motivation.  I already touched on the Standard (Implied) definition of motivation.  For teaching purposes, that official definition is "taking forced action or inaction" ("How do I make myself do something I don't want to do"). This definition requires the constant use of self-control and willpower to get something done.  

The problem with always relying on self-control and willpower is that they are both very limited resources; they can be applied to only one or two areas of life at any given time.  So if you're having to white-knuckle your way through the work day because you can't stand your job, you are using a majority--if not all--of your available self-control and willpower.  If you do have any left over, it isn't very much.  Most people have to white-knuckle their way through their workday and daily tasks that are tedious and menial (dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc).  After all of this, there isn't enough self-control and willpower left to make yourself do anything more than what it takes to simply survive.  

Do you understand why relying on self-control and willpower is actually very futile and even counter-productive?

This brings me to the Basic definition of motivation: every action is motivated by either the desire to achieve pleasure or avoid pain. Either you're doing something because it feels really good, or you're not doing something because you think it sucks.  

"But losing weight is very pleasurable!"  

Ah, there's the problem (which we're about to clear up).  There is a difference between an outcome and the actions that must be taken to achieve that outcome.  Of course losing weight feels good, but doing the things that it takes to lose weight doesn't.  Very important distinction.  If you were to sit and write down every action that is required in order to achieve weight loss and categorize each action as being painful or pleasurable, you'd get a thorough understanding about why you're struggling with motivation to lose weight, even when you're desperate for weight loss!

Which brings me to the last definition for motivation: The Bikini Mindset definition of motivation.  This definition is "to take inspired action or inaction; the desire to take action or inaction that is in alignment with your belief patterns (which are housed in your subconscious).  Now, I'm not going to go into the subconsious--but you can get a very brief explanation by watching the video above at about 39 minutes in).

When I'm talking about taking inspired action or inaction, that inspiration (or motivation) comes from within; it isn't something you have to white-knuckle your way through.  You may not thoroughly enjoy doing what you're doing, but it isn't a fight to complete.  Think about brushing your teeth or taking showers; do you have to struggle with yourself to do those things even though they're not exactly tasks you look forward to doing?  Most likely not, in fact, they've become so much of a habit that you might even forget you've done them!  You do those things because of the inherent benefit related to taking showers and brushing your teeth.

Somethings you are very passionate about, therefore you do (or don't do) them with ease.  Pretty much the same thing.  The important point here is the absence of forcing yourself to do something.  The actions and inactions involved in losing weight can be just as easy to complete, you simply have to find a way to enjoy them or understand all the inherent benefits involved with taking each action.

My next blog article will take you throught the exact steps to how you can do just that: learn how to enjoy doing the things that need to be done to lose weight and keep it off permanently!  So stay tuned!

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Michelle Estrada is a leading expert in teaching others how to overcome Food Cravings and Emotional Eating.

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