Why commitment is better than motivation when it comes to weight loss success

commitment versus motivation

Have you decided that this year is your year to get your health back on track? I discovered the secret to weight loss success and it’s probably not what you think.

When I weighed 100 kilos, New Year was always a time I’d renew my pledge to lose weight. I’d start out pumped to get started and make it happen, but in a very short space of time I’d run out of motivation. Sound familiar?  But one year I did finally stick with it – I lost 35 kilos and have been in my healthy weight range since 1993. So what changed?  I’m going to let you in on my secret – it’s not motivation that will keep you going, it’s commitment and here’s why:

Motivation doesn’t remain constant

Motivation is an emotional roller coaster – up one day and down the next. It all comes down to feelings and we know that if we rely on feelings to get us out of bed in the morning to exercise, it’s probably not going to happen.

Commitment starts with the end in mind

Commitment is a tangible goal and you can see what you want to achieve. It’s a dedication to improve yourself – the goal post doesn’t move; even when your emotions are getting tossed around. Motivation will come and go but the object of our commitment remains the same.

Here’s my three-step process to staying committed

  1. Decide what you want to achieve. Write a goal. Don’t just say ‘I want to lose weight’, be specific about how much weight you want to lose and the time frame. Then break your goal into small achievable pieces – I usually recommend breaking it into five kilo lots, so you’re only ever focused on losing five kilos at a time.
  2. Identify the actions required to achieve your goal. Adopt a healthy  eating plan. Be specific, write a menu plan and shop accordingly.
  3. Take action. This is the hardest part but the key is to just get started. There will be days you’ll get home from work and are too tired to cook, but you must eat, so cook the meal anyway. And sure, there will be days when you don’t feel ‘motivated’ to exercise, do it anyway! These are the days you’ll feel most proud of yourself.

Make it a habit

When you stay committed to your goal and repeat the actions required to get to your goal weight each day, it becomes a habit. I still write my evening menu for the week ahead, it’s a habit I started when I was losing my weight and now I’d be lost without it.

There’s a quote by Jim Rohn – ‘Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.’ Develop good habits that will stay with you for a lifetime. Remember this is a healthy lifestyle change, not a diet that ends when you reach the magic number on the scales.

And finally

When New Year’s Resolutions are a distant memory, commitment will see you through this month and beyond with far greater success than motivation. Stick to my three-step process above and you’ll be sitting pretty when everyone else is wondering what happened to their motivation.

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