Motivation and finding your Motivators

Written by sheryl yvette on 4/25/2012 11:16 PM | COMMENTS (12)

Motivation is one thing people ask me about often - what motivates you? how do you get motivated? how do you stay motivated? how do you get motivation back? I'm no motivational expert, but I do have opinions and can write from experience, so I will. I first want to point out that there’s nothing special about me. I don't possess some magical motivational gene or potion. Everything I've done and continue to do is a result of things we all go through or can do. It's a combination of learning, self reflection, awareness, analysis, trial and error, setbacks, challenges, triumphs and basic life experience.


In regards to motivation, of course there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It varies from person to person and throughout your journey and your life, for that matter. One thing I've heard and agree with is that whatever motivates us at the beginning is often not the same thing that motivates us to keep going. There are few things that will motivate you forever, so it’s important to accept that your level of motivation and what motivates you won’t remain constant - it’s in a state of flux. But you do have the ability to harness it.


I think about motivation in two ways: external and internal.


External motivators come from outside oneself. Things like: summer, an upcoming event, a comment someone makes, a suggestion from a doctor, family member or friend, seeing another person’s success, photos/images of your former self or other people. I see external motivators as people and things that influence change.


Internal motivators are within you. Things like: wanting to be healthier (whatever “healthier” means to you), proving to yourself that you can stick with something, desire to meet your goals, determination to take control of your life, building your self confidence. I see internal motivators as feelings and thoughts.


I think most of us use a combination of external and internal motivators. But long term, I believe the amount of internal motivators needs to be greater than the external, because it's the internal ones that have staying power. For instance, it may not always be bathing suit season; but you will always want to be able to climb the stairs without being winded.


If you're not sure what motivates you, use this method to find your own personal motivators. Start off by asking yourself what you want. What are your ultimate goals? Write out all of them, big or small. Anything you can think of. Then next to each of those goals, ask yourself WHY you want each of those things. There may be multiple answers. List them all because all of those answers are your motivators!


Then take a look at your list to evaluate if those motivators are external or internal. If there are more external ones, spend additional time reflecting to come up with additional internal reasons. Think about why you want to change for YOU.


Then keep that list. Read it every single day when you first wake up to remind you why you’re making the effort to change. Read it when you find yourself making a series of unhealthy choices. Read it and update it often.


As for what motivates me? I’ve always said my greatest motivation is the simple fact that I know I won't live forever. I have other motivators but that will probably always be my strongest one. I spent enough of my life being unhealthy and unhappy and I don’t want to spend another day like that. I finally got to a point where I appreciate my existence and my body, so I want to treat it well. I’m motivated simply by the desire to be happy and healthy, to look good and feel great. I don't think I'll ever find a better motivator than that!

(Read here for Weight Watchers official take on Winning Outcomes and Motivating Strategies)



Categories: My weight loss

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  • Post Image solemsister68 (holly)

    5/14/2012 11:52 AM
    Oh have I missed your blogs!! I've been offline for 9 weeks recovering from surgery... I so needed to hear this.

  • Post Image jacquelinelweber76 (jacqueline)

    4/30/2012 4:15 PM
    Thank you so much for writing this. I have been struggling with motivation for a while now. I've been wanting to want to be motivated. Listing out why I want to be healthier, made me realize that I have a lot of reasons. I was just thinking about ending my WW membership because I couldn't get myself to do the program. I googled something about it, and your blog came up. I'm glad it did. I think I'll give it another shot. Thanks again :)

  • Post Image bellefonte5651 (kelly)

    4/28/2012 8:42 AM
    me too....kc

  • Post Image patplease (patricia)

    4/27/2012 8:32 PM
    Thank you Sheryl, your article hits the nail on the head. I've been 'bumming' around the last 2 years waiting for the bolt of lightning to strike my motivational chord. It happened this week, the whole "you won't live forever business" and I am so much in agreement it's got to be INTERNAL, not external. I can feel it again, the passion of wanting to take best care of ME while I'm still around!

  • Post Image patplease (patricia)

    4/27/2012 8:29 PM
    I agree 100% !

  • Post Image chaterjoi

    4/27/2012 7:02 AM
    I recently discovered your blog and I can't tell you how much you are helping me get my thoughts in order and really understand what I am about in respect to losing weight. Thanks so much!

  • Post Image jitkit

    4/26/2012 2:56 PM
    This is great! Thanks -- I'm trying to keep it in mind as I struggle with the last few pounds. It's hard when you've been on the plan for 6-8 months...

  • Post Image novaiazhizn

    4/26/2012 1:49 PM
    You were my external motivator to start running stairs! (and I kind of hate you for it; that shi.t is haaard!) :)

  • Post Image kimbolyard

    4/26/2012 11:15 AM
    What wonderful info...and very inspirational!!! A lot of what you said touch base with me and things I think about when it comes to motivation. This has motivated me to make that list!!!

  • Post Image kimberlysuerobinson

    4/26/2012 10:12 AM
    ...I need to find my list....thanks for the reminder!

  • Post Image emc27h (emily)

    4/26/2012 9:42 AM
    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to read today! : )

  • Post Image averill94

    4/26/2012 6:05 AM
    Here Here! Thanks Sheryl. Too much life has already been spent fat and unhappy! Thank you :)


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