You know when you are super excited about the possibility of a life change? You fantasize about this better version of yourself in your daydreams. You know you want this change to happen whether it is exercising more, eating healthier, doing more relaxation or meditating regularly-- or anything else you say and believe you want to do! You may start out with a ton of energy and enthusiasm! You’ve purchased a new exercise apparatus, cooking apparatus, meditation cushion, you feel set to make it happen…until…
One day the motivation is just zapped, it’s gone. Whether it’s when you are about to start moving forward towards this change or you’ve already begun making some progress and then suddenly you can’t seem to find the same energy you just had two weeks ago. Haven’t we all been there? What happens? Why does motivation go away?
I know for me it’s a negative space in my mind that tells me super mean things that zap my energy and motivation by appealing to my inner critic. These mean thoughts might be something like: “Why bother? What’s the point? You’ll never really stick with this because you never stick with anything.” If this mean approach doesn’t work, my mind takes on a different tone…enter the self-saboteur…
The self-sabotage mode thoughts are more sneaky, they make it look like they are looking out for me and using my own words against me—they say things like, “You are too tired today.” “You deserve a rest day.” ”You will do ____________ later because you really should ______________ right now.” “You need some self-care time.” Any of these sound familiar? You are not alone!
In my personal wellness journey, my current goal is to sweat more. When given the option between walking and jogging, I usually choose to take a walk. When given the option between a power yoga class and a restorative yoga class, I tend to choose restorative yoga. There is absolutely nothing wrong with walking and restorative yoga--they are wonderful sources of moving the body in a positive way. But they don’t cause me to break a sweat and my goal is to sweat for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 times per week!
I have allowed myself to ease into it slowly so I don’t shock my body and cause an injury. I have experienced the benefits--like feeling healthier, stronger, and less stressed. Then one day--it showed up—you know that part of yourself that works super hard to sabotage your progress. I call this part of myself the Deal Maker. It always has a deal, and it is super convincing.
My internal Deal Maker works super hard to get me off track! The thing is, when I fall for it and think I will take this great deal (exercise later today, exercise longer tomorrow…) with the Deal Maker, there is always another deal…
This is where developing the internal voice of your Inner Strength is absolutely essential for motivation. You need to have convincing comebacks prepared for your Deal Maker. Knowing what your Deal Maker looks and sounds like is key. Knowing what helps to get you out of your funk—or your Deal Maker thinking--will help you move through and past your resistance to change so you can continue to show up for yourself, your goals and your life consistently.
Here are 3 useful strategies to help you increase your Inner Strength. These strategies will help you build motivation, get you out of a funk, reassess your goals and get you back into consistent action mode!
1. Set a Specific, Doable and Desirable Goal with Action Steps
When you set a goal, you want it to be something specific, meaning measurable. You want it to be something that is doable within your daily life so you can make it happen. You want it to be desirable, you have to actually WANT to achieve the goal. The action steps are the little steps you take that move you in the direction of your goals. These steps are necessary to the process of creating the change you desire and to remaining motivated. They can also be simplified so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
2. Have A Comeback Prepared!
Having a specific comeback prepared for your Deal Maker will allow you to be armed and ready when it strikes! If your Deal Maker often uses the excuse, you DESERVE _________________, because ___________________. These deserving statements can be quite convincing and send you into a space of not following through on an action step- guised as “self-care.” This will inevitably be discouraging because you will not make progress if you do not follow through with your action steps. In order to stop these inner negotiations, you need to have a phrase or comeback prepared! Something like, “I DESERVE to reach my goals,” “I DESERVE to feel healthy,” “I DESERVE to feel successful.” When you have these prepared you are more likely to tap into your Inner Strength which will create the progress you truly desire.
3. Make Decisions Based on How You Want to Feel
How do you want to feel? Motivated? Strong? Confident? Healthy? When you make choices that align with how you want to feel, you are more likely to follow the action steps you’ve created to reach your goals. Action creates positive feelings, action alleviates fear, action makes change happen! If you want to feel healthy, you have to actively choose to make healthy choices. If you want to feel strong, you have to choose to access your Inner Strength. Try setting an intention each morning. Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” and let your actions, choices and decisions be based on this specific feeling. Notice the impact on your choices throughout the day.
These three strategies, when implemented together consistently is how you can make change happen. These three strategies will help you remain motivated and deal with any inner negativity that may arise, your inner saboteur, your inner fears. Action is the cure for fear. When you take consistent action, you will reach your goals.
Try these three ways to increase your Inner Strength and let me know how they work for you!