Back when I wrestled in highschool, I had no intrinsic motivation. I was able to lose weight but only temporarily. The weight would always come back because I lacked intrinsic motivation.
Back then I used to viciously blame myself for lacking motivation. I thought motivation was something that was my “choice”. If I wasn’t motivated, that meant I was lazy and pitiful. I treated myself despicable.
I was really hard on myself back then. And I still am hard on myself (just being honest) but now I treat myself much differently and it’s made all the difference.
Here’s the key – I no longer blame myself for lacking motivation.
I see that external motivation (which is the exact opposite of intrinsic motivation) is what most people rely upon to lose weight.
- Lose 10 lbs (when you secretly don’t like dieting)
- Exercise more (when exercising makes you compare yourself to others & feel insecure)
- Eat healthier (when eating healthier becomes a chore)
The problem with external motivation is that you get bored and stop caring.
Losing weight becomes boring when you are relying on external motivation. Now I did a podcast on this very topic, which you can listen to here!
Eventually you stop caring, you give in, you feel guilty, and your momentum is gone. Soon your New Year’s Resolution is down the drain and you’re left with a feeling that you’ve done this before.
So you must focus on intrinsic motivation instead.
And if you’re not sure what your intrinsic motivation is, you must discover it! Don’t do thing the usual way if the usual way doesn’t get you lasting results. Do things differently!
This is really important here. I see so many people trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They keep trying to force themselves to lose weight. They keep trying to force themselves to exercise more, eat healthier, and just be better.
Yet this doesn’t work!
Really, really focus on intrinsic motivation. You must make sure your weight loss process makes you feel good. For example, I enjoy exercise. But just the other day I went to the gym and didn’t feel like exercising. I got to the gym, was exhausted, and didn’t feel like exercising.
This for me was a big warning sign.
I know that if I rely on external motivation, I’ll quit not too shortly afterwards.
So that day in the gym I just walked on the treadmill (as opposed to lifting weights). I listened to American Pie by Don Mclean and quietly sang to myself while I walked at a slow pace. And then I left the gym, without a sweat, but with my spirits rejuvenated.
I guess that’s what I’m trying to get at here…
Your New Year’s Resolutions – doing your New Years Resolutions – must make you feel rejuvenated.
So be relentlessly aware and honest. Don’t be afraid of doing things differently. Do it your way. Make sure you feel rejuvenated by what you do.
PS One of my resolutions this year is to communicate more frequently with you. We’ll get to see if I am intrinsically motivated or not 🙂 But hey, I rather enjoyed this email. Like when I came across the word “rejuvenation”. That just clicked with me! I guess you could say my writing process rejuvenated me! Looks like I discovered some of my intrinsic motivation by writing … hmmm 😉