Your Hunger to Change must be Greater than your Hunger to Stay Still
So how can this be accomplished?
It is easy to say and and accept mentally, and most people do WANT to get to that motivated state where they are almost effortlessly able to pick themselves up and go to the gym, or not fuss about their adapted diet, but getting and staying there usually isn’t that effortless.
The reason for this is that we have more than one “voice” inside us, or emotional pull, and they all compete for our outward behavior. We have the drive to change our bodies and start implementing what needs to be done, a true desire. There is also a “lazy” voice in us that we sometimes aren’t as aware of, because it’s not always that flattering to our ego to admit that part of us would prefer to not put in the effort required to change.
But, if we wish to advance our agenda of creating the health and body we want then we’re going to first have to become more aware of this “lazy voice” and allow it to speak. The best way to do this is to sit quietly and focus while asking yourself the question, “do I really want to be putting myself through all of that?”
The change part of you will have a “yes” answer. The lazy part likes the idea of change, but not if it has to do that much work. Both voices can be found in even in the most highly motivated of us so there’s no need for judgement here.
Next you’ll try to measure the amount of pull that the “lazy” voice has compared the optimistic one. If it’s 50/50 or even 60/40 for the optimist, then it’s not nearly enough. To push yourself forward and have the fortitude to go through the big changes in your lifestyle that you will need to accomplish this feat, will require a high level of motivation that has the optimist at 80/20 over the lazy voice at least.
If that’s the case and you happen to be a “normal” individual and not one of those die-hard, keener, A-type personalities who wouldn’t miss a workout if they were about to give birth, then you’ll need to do some thinking and written exercises that were specifically created to allow people to change their psychological state in a more permanent way than abstract thinking alone does.
Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” While that’s true, the good news is that it’s worth it and that you only have to do it a few times to create the change in state that you need.
Below you’ll find the 3 written exercises, alluded to above, that need to be undertaken:
1- The “What If?” Question
– Ask your self the “What if” question. What if it was possible for you to change your body into your own version of the woman in the picture above. What would you need to do to get there diet and exercise-wise? What kind of sacrifices would you have to make and can you see yourself making “some” of them? It may be a long way off, but the most important part of this exercise is to imagine the possibility. Can you see yourself getting beyond just losing a few pounds? If so, how about a few more, then a few more after that? Imagine it and see the road there, then write it down as a sentence. The purpose of this exercise is to show your brain that the possibility exists, and so your scope of what you can now accomplish is now greater.
2- Path A
– Next you’ll need to take 30 minutes to write down what would happen if you did nothing for the next 5 years to improve your body. What your body would be like in appearance, fat-muscle ratio, tone and feel. How would your health be affected? Think about your heart, arteries, lungs etc. Now imagine what your energy level would be like and how that would impact how you would experience your day to day life. What would your overall level of confidence and happiness be?
Then imagine what that would do for the people around you, to watch you stagnate and even deteriorate a tad, and think about how they would be effected by your decision to do nothing. Really take the time to think about how your life would be, by doing nothing to change your diet and exercise lifestyle, and write it all down. Allow yourself to become anxious at the potential, but very possible path you just envisioned.
3- Path B
– The last step is to take another 30 minutes to write down what your life would be like 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and then 5 years from now, if you pursued that image you created in your mind based on the ideal at the top of this blog post. Imagine how your body could change and how much more you would be able to develop, compared to your past expectations in the time increments previously stated, and write them all down. Imagine what your mood and level of happiness and poise would be like every day that you are living this new positive change. How would that affect the way you feel about life in general?
Once again, how would your change be inspirational, even if only mildly, to others around you when they see your ongoing success and increased health benefits. What about mobility and ability? What worlds now open up because of that; hiking, adventure trips etc…? Again, really make this stand out CLEARLY in your mind and FEEL it.
Now that you’re done, take a minute to feel the reality of the choice to do nothing and see how frightening or depressing it can be. Immediately after, see the positive future path you’ve created and see how it excites you as a possibility. The purpose of the last 2 steps are to have one force inside of you pushing you away from what you fear and one force pulling you forward, toward what is motivating and exciting.
Daily 1 Minute Use
Everyday thereafter take a minute to think about what you wrote (in the 3 steps above) first thing in the morning, and that will keep you MOTIVATED for a long time to come.
This method is used by cognitive therapists and other professional, therapeutic practitioners, and is not merely some new and trendy internet motivational meme, or made-up goal setting practice. It’s a method that has been thoroughly tested and has shown great promise in the psychological realm, so go through it seriously and take from it as much as you can.
Use it to your advantage.
It’s a powerful tool.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford
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