Motivation is an interesting thing. My motivation is cyclical. It doesn’t matter what I am motivated about, it comes in waves: starting strong, keeping steady, and then eventually dropping off. When it’s work related I get through the slumps and make up for them when my motivation starts to peak. Sometimes I wish I could be more consistent, but usually there are external factors that spark up my motivation such as deadlines or events.
My motivation in relation to my health and struggle against binge eating is the same.
I just did some reading about the cyclical nature of motivation.
Motivation = driving state > behaviour aroused > behaviour directed towards goal.
This is an interesting theory: homeostasis, which explains the “stability of inner environment”. So when our “internal state” is not right, it motivates us to do something to fix it, once it is fixed we return to homeostasis.
I guess if I were to apply this thinking to how I have approached dieting or trying to lose weight in the past it would be:
I am not happy with my weight (internal environment unstable)
Dieting and exercise (internal environment becoming stable)
Behaviour towards goal:
Dieting and exercise to lose weight (internal environment becoming even more stable)
So, even if I haven’t reached my weight loss goal my internal environment becomes more stable because I feel like I am doing something to reach my goal. Therefore I lose motivation because I am in “homeostasis”.
What is the solution? Is there one?
Maybe the goal is too far away and my efforts need to be so long term that I eventually lose sight of the goal.
So, lesson here, make the goal:
- Not about weight loss because like I’ve shared previously that’s tough for me
- More about health and wellness and something I can control
This is easier said than done because even though when I write this blog I always say my current focus is on being healthy and getting past binge eating (which I am, I’ve been doing pretty well with it) I still weigh myself everyday and am disappointed!
I totally need to stop weighing myself, at least on a daily basis!
In my motivation research, here are some good tips for staying motivated:
1. Shift your vibe
Get rid of the negative self-talk by recognising it and squashing it! Replace it with something positive.
2. Stick with it
Recongise that motivation is cyclical and come back to it. Don’t give up!
3. Immerse yourself
Eat, sleep and breathe your goal.
4. Start small
Keep goals small and achievable.
PS – if you are reading this because your motivation is lacking, stick with it! You’ll get there!