Do you ever look at someone who seems highly motivated, unshakeable, and gets up every morning without fail, whatever is happening in life, to do a workout no matter what the weather, and you think, “hmmm they must have so much motivation and willpower!”
In the time we are in right now there are so many shifts, for most of us the daily routine has turned itself on it’s head and focus, schedule, freedom and choice seem to have gone out of the window. It takes more discipline to keep healthy both physically and mentally right now. How do you keep motivated?
Motivation is when you do something you really want to do. If you think about that sentence, it’s no wonder we don’t do whatever “it” is, because we genuinely don’t want to!
If you are told “you must make exercise part of your life for ever!” and you hate the thought of exercise…you might think you will have to motivate yourself for the rest of your life! Not so, – once you start to enjoy the habit, it requires almost no motivation at all. Motivation gets you started – but habits are what keep you going.
So, what must happen to change from ‘not wanting to do something’ to actually wanting to do it and make a pleasurable habit out of it?
The chemical formula for motivation is based on producing Dopamine. We need to activate the pleasure centres in our brain and attach a happy emotion to something to want to do it again and again. One of the easiest ways to activate the pleasure centres and increase Dopamine production, is to use your imagination and visualise the result.
To do this you must be really clear what the benefits of the changes you want to make are going to be. If you want to lose weight – why? If you are keeping your eye on your prize – what is the prize? How do you want to feel in one month’s time…..two….three months time? How do you want to get through the stresses of the day, each day?
Imagine how amazing it would be if you had already achieved what you desire and cashed in on the benefits. The thing about change is, you have to have a compelling reason to do something a different way; when you have a great reason, change is absolutely possible.
We have essentially two ways of thinking, one immediate, instinctive and totally reactive, and a second which is more analytical and slower. We use both systems of thinking all the time in different situations, for example if you see a face you perceive as angry coming towards you, it evokes an immediate response, whereas if you’re presented with a complicated anagram to solve, then you have to do some processing before you arrive at your answer.
When we’re exposed to every day triggers, like children being at home, bored and demanding, or stressful news constantly on the TV or on our phones, or cupboards full of foods you’re trying to avoid, and not being able to buy the healthier foods of your choice…often our quick thinking automatically evokes a response and strong desire for some ‘comfort’ or ‘distraction’. However, if we can take a fraction of a second to visualise how we want to look, feel or adapt, and see ourselves having achieved all that we want to (which is the difference between using fast or slow thinking) then we have the ability to keep our eyes on the prize and not ‘give in’ in that moment. Visualisation and keeping your eye on the prize engages our slower thinking.
To be healthy, you must do healthy things…. most of the time! Not all the time mind you, there is room for indulgence and imperfection. No one ever gained a stone from one pizza or one cream cake, but it’s easy to gain a stone if you eat them regularly, in fact it’s pretty much guaranteed.
The problem is that you can be stuck in a rut with the habit of making bad choices, particularly when you have restrictions, as many of us do right now. As I said above the best way to stop making a bad choice is to actually ‘STOP ’in that moment and visualise with all the joy and emotion that is embedded in why you want to lose weight, keep calm, stay fit, change the way you do things etc…. and focus your eye on your prize to break the pattern of thought.
To reinforce this habit one of the best techniques you can use to prevent or stop self-sabotage in any way is to tap the time travel technique.
Every cell in your body has a polarity, it’s one of the ways things get into and out of cells via positive or negative charges. Our polarity can affect us emotionally, if you are negatively charged or out of balance then self-sabotage and negativity are a natural state. The good news is, this reversal is really easy to correct.
Given that the brain functions on chemical and electrical energy, it makes perfect sense to take a few seconds several times a day to keep it in positive charge, so that we are more able to make positive decisions and choices.
Here’s a quick video demonstrating the technique, or as a reminder if you have seen me teach it before. Do this daily or as often as you can fit it into your life and change will happen.