Intrinsic motivation is essentially self-motivation. Having the inner drive and the inner belief that will motivate you to achieve your weight loss goal.
So, what are the 5 key elements of self-motivation that will make losing weight easy?
1. Your goal
You can only be motivated if you are looking to achieve something. Setting yourself a weight loss goal gives you something to aim for and something to be motivated by. Just ensure it's stretching, but not impossible. Also give yourself a relatively short timescale to achieve it in. Goals over the longer-term lose their sense of urgency.
2. Your plan
Having a weight loss goal is great but you need to know how you're going to get there. Coming up with a plan of action gives you a sense of direction – how you're going to reach your goal. It's particularly helpful to think about what has worked for you in the past. Make what has worked for you in the past the cornerstone of your plan.
3. Action – take action, any action
It's hard to feel motivated by something, if you have not even started it yet. As you start to take some action towards losing weight, however small, you will feel your motivation grow exponentially.
A great example was a client of mine recently who kept saying that she just could not find the motivation to go to the gym. When she did, this is what she wrote to me:
"I went to the gym today and I absolutely LOVED it! Going again Thursday!
I think you get the point!
4. Your engagement
When you're really engaged in a task, you're not thinking about whether you should do it and you're not perceiving it as a duty or a chore. You're in full flow and you're just doing what you're doing because you want to be doing it.
Some of you may be wondering right now how on earth you can be really engaged in the process of losing weight, but you can be. For example, you could:
• Educate yourself on how your body works and on nutrition – it's a fascinating subject.
• Immerse yourself in recipe books and find delicious low GI recipes to try out.
• Find exercise you really enjoy and want to do more of.
• Track your progress – watching your progress can be really stimulating.
5. Stay positive
Last but not least, stay positive. Nothing impacts intrinsic motivation more than negativity. Negativity leads to apathy; apathy leads to inaction; and inaction leads to disengagement.
Look for the positive in everything. Make sure you learn from your mistakes and remember there is NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE. You can only fail if you stop trying. If you keep on trying and keep motivated, you will eventually succeed.
Intrinsic or self-motivation has been scientifically proven to be much more motivating than extrinsic motivation.
So, set yourself a weight loss goal, work out how you're going to get there, take action (any action), engage yourself in the process and stay positive.
Before you know it you'll be flying towards your weight loss goal and loving every minute!