Standard goal setting questions are like this:
What’s your goal? What will it mean to you to reach the goal? What stops you from achieving it?
The purpose is to help you get to your “why,” or your motivation to achieve this goal. Motivation will keep you going when you get frustrated. Motivation will help you make better choices. Motivation is everything.
So, what’s your why? Has it changed over the years? Has it been strong enough to get you back up if you’ve fallen off track?
For my 40 years on the Diet Yo-Yo, it did at times, and at other times, it didn’t. In 2012, my motivation became transformational for me.
Like many of you, in my teens, my why was more often about wanting to fit into a smaller size so I’d be thin like my friends, although for a while, it was a way out of my brother’s friends calling me “The Linebacker.” Later it became more about health, but even that didn’t stop the yo-yo. I’d lose some, sometimes a lot, but it crept back on far too quickly. Even if I reached my goal, my motivation evaporated – until the next time. Know what I mean?
Common Motivators don’t seem strong enough for long-term weight loss. Some say the greatest motivator is fear, but have these common fears worked for you?
Fear of Failure: Probably not. We get used to failure in trying to lose weight, so the idea of failing at weight loss is more expected than feared. It’s just part of the cycle.
Fear of Consequences: Um, not so much. In the last 30 years, we’ve had acollective shrug about weight and its consequences. We fear it at times, but our national rate of obesity has increased from 30% in 1999-2000 to 42% of adults in 2017-2018. The pandemic and lockdowns increased it for many people. More than 19% of our children are obese, and if we look at teenagers, obesity has increased to 24%.
If we do reach our goal, we don’t expect long-term success as only about 20% who lose weight are able to maintain that goal weight. Many no longer want to try but instead to embrace the shift in perspective. Social acceptance of larger sizes reduces the social pressure—although it hasn’t been eliminated.
For My Children: People often say they’re losing weight for their loved ones – their spouse or so they can be around for their children. It sounds great, sounds like it would be truly motivating, but it seldom is. “Well, I want to be around for my children and grandchildren, but this one time won’t hurt.” That one time becomes two or twenty-two, and the goal falls by the wayside.
The only true motivator is our own desire. We want our goal because WE want our goal. The magic bullet for weight loss is the power of your intention. Want it? Great, let’s set up a chat to make it happen this year. Few of us can manage it long-term without some external help. It made all the difference for me. How about you?