We’ve all reached that point. You know the one. The point at which we resolve to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight. Unfortunately, studies have shown that on average, a mere 8% of people succeed in reaching their weight loss goals, and 1/3 don’t even make it to the four week mark after starting a healthy eating and fitness plan. One of the ways you can beat those odds and strengthen your resolve is by finding your personal motivating factors.
You’ll find many resources here on Skinnyms.com that will improve your chances of reaching your goals, but one of the most important methods is to tap into deep, inner motivation that will keep you going even when it feels difficult, or you aren’t seeing instant success.
Willpower is like a muscle. You need to build it up in order for it to stay strong. If your actions are driven by desires that connect to your heart and relate to true life happiness, you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plans.
An excellent tool for unlocking the secret to deep inner motivation is called “The Five Why’s”. It’s a technique that was developed by Toyota to help engineers uncover the root causes of mechanical and manufacturing problems. But it has found popularity among coaches and therapists to help us tease out the most fundamental motivators for our goals.
Give it a try. Write down a goal, and then ask yourself why you’ve set that goal for yourself. Repeat until you’ve answered the question, “why?” five times.
Here’s an example:
I want to lose 15 pounds.
Why? So I look good in a bikini.
Why? Because that makes me feel good at the beach.
Why? Because when I feel good, I’m more confident.
Why? Because when I’m confident, I enjoy being among people.
Why? Having fun with others makes me feel connected and happy.
In this example, my goal isn’t simply to look good in a bikini. With further reflection, I start to see how losing weight will help me relate more confidently to others and have more meaningful and fun relationships. It’s easy to toss aside a goal of looking good in a bikini in the face of chocolate chip cookies, because this objective may not connect to my heart. But when I become aware that my true motivator is to achieve deeper connections with others, my goal becomes more powerful.
It’s also helpful to have more than one motivation for virtuous behavior. By doing this, you can use the tool to support more than one good habit. For example, now that I know that losing weight will help me be more confident in groups, I can use that motivator for both my eating goals and my exercise goals.
I can now add to my list of motivations that exercise helps my mood. A better mood means that I’ll get along better with my family. Plus, eating right gives me more energy and enables me to get more done. So now I have a three-pronged motivation to support my strategy, tripling my reasons to stick to my plans.
Once you’ve done The Five Why’s exercise, post your list where you’ll look at it frequently, and keep your reasons on your mind. And get ready to stick to your plans for good!
Another way to stay motivated is to keep up with the latest and greatest from SkinnyMs. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. And check out our Facebook page or follow us on Pinterest for tasty recipes, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.