Sometimes… the only way to figure out what we want, is to determine what we don’t want.
Too often people set emotionally weak goals as their motivation.
I’m all for setting positive goals. When I ask prospective training clients,
“Why are you here? Why do you want to train?”
They’ll say any or all of the following:
“I want to… be thin, have 6-pack abs, have more stamina, feel sexy…”
Cut out the pictures of your favorite beach scene!
Get a picture of the clothes you want that are 3 – 8 sizes smaller!
Positive goals are great!
But let’s have a reality check. How has all of that worked for you in the past? How has the “Dangling Carrot Strategy” worked before? Perhaps those written list of goals on your nightstand worked and got you to the gym every morning…for the first 2-weeks. Maybe those motivational pictures of a beach body (presumably yours) and 6-pack abs (hopefully yours) on the refrigerator door motivated you to stock up on your 2-week supply of fruits, vegetables and the economy-size bucket of hummus. Perhaps it worked for a while. But how has it worked over the long-haul? Did you make it to the beach? Did you make it past your 1-pack abs? Or did you grow numb to the pictures on your refrigerator door as you open it everyday to reach for your beer and cream cheese dip?
If you have stayed motivated and reached your desired goals… AWESOME!!!
My educated guess is that you’re in the minority.
The FACT is that man’s greatest motivation is fear of loss.
That’s the reason bank robbers use guns.
That’s the reason many people come talk to me AFTER they’ve had their feelings hurt when they overheard the whispers about their weight.
That’s the reason many people get serious about fitness AFTER they have lost a friend or a loved-one to a heart attack.
That’s the reason my own father got serious about his diet and exercise AFTER he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
But we don’t have to wait until AFTER anything to get motivated.
The “Dangling Carrot Strategy” will work for some and I strongly encourage dreaming BIG and dreaming POSITIVE.
How about trying a different strategy?
Let’s call it the “Running Scared Strategy”.
While you’re figuring out what you want, let’s also make a list of what you don’t want.
Let me help you…
I don’t want a fat-roll hanging over my belt line.
I don’t want my clothes to feel too tight.
I don’t want to feel winded climbing a flight of stairs.
I don’t want to struggle getting out of a chair.
I don’t want a double-chin.
I don’t want to feel self-conscious about my image.
i don’t want to embarrass my family.
I don’t want to hate looking at myself in a picture.
I don’t want to stand out in a group photo.
I don’t want high blood pressure.
I don’t want high cholesterol.
I don’t want diabetes.
I don’t want to have a heart-attack.
I don’t want to live on medications for the rest of my life.
I don’t want to die young.
Knowing what you don’t want resonates more deeply and more quickly with your real emotions. Furthermore, knowing what you don’t want, what you REALLY don’t want, will overpower your short-term weakness. For example, when you’re are lying in bed on a cold, winter morning, it’s raining outside and it would be so much easier to stay in your warm bed than going to the gym. As you say to yourself, “I don’t want to get up!” a more powerful, inner-voice should say, “I don’t want be unhealthy and I don’t want to hate myself for wimping out on my commitment!”
Hopefully, you WILL CHOOSE the lesser of two evils.
Hopefully, what you really don’t want in your life will overpower your desire to stay in bed.
Knowing what you don’t want will be much more powerful than any long-ignored, fantasy picture hanging on your refrigerator door.
Stay positive!!! Keep your eyes set upon your heart’s desire!
At the same time, know what you don’t want and allow that to push you EVERYDAY in the direction of your goals.
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