I read something the other day about motivation (sorry, I can’t remember where). The article was about getting kids to behave the way they are supposed to, but it really clicked with me about weight loss.
The gist was that there are two ways to motivate yourself, positively and negatively. Positive motivators are all about rewarding yourself for your accomplishments, while negative motivators serve to remind you of what you are doing wrong (or something like that).
For example, if you have a child that is misbehaving all the time and you are constantly correcting them for what they do wrong then you are focusing on the negative. All they hear is “no, no, no, no…” Which isn’t wrong, but you should also reward them when they do something good. For example, when I wanted Big Girl to stay in her room and not wake me up we rewarded her with cold hard cash. Of course you only want to do this until the behavior becomes habit.
I realized that this is what I do with weight loss. I beat myself up for gaining weight, curse myself for being out of shape, talk trash to myself about the way I look… I’m sure you get the idea. While I was reading that article I had a light bulb moment. What if instead of telling myself how much I suck for being where I am I reward myself for where I’m going. (How many of you just thought “duh?”)
With that in mind I’ve of come up with a list of carrots to dangle in front of my nose… so to speak:
- 20 pound loss – I will get a pedicure. This is a reward because I hardly ever do this during winter.
- 30 pound loss – I will buy myself a new outfit that does not have a purpose. Huh? Most of the time I buy clothes because I need them for something. This will be purely something I want for no reason other than I like it.
- 40 pound loss – Book a massage appointment. This is something I love to do, but always tell myself, “I’ll do it later. I don’t have the time/money.” Not anymore.
- 50 pound loss – I will buy myself a pair of cowboy boots. I’ve been wanting a pair for over a year and I keep talking myself out of it.
- 60 pound loss – I will get a fancy apron. I know that seems kind of like a silly reward, but that’s the point. I’ve wanted one for awhile, but won’t spend the money on one.
I think that’s a good start. Mostly because that’s all I can think of for right now. After I reach this point I’ll come back and update my list.
Seeing the numbers go down on the scale, like they did again this week, feels great, but it also helps to have something to work towards as opposed to something to work away from.
If you are trying to lose weight, or are trying to reach some other goal, what would you choose for motivation?
Loss this week: 1.8 pounds
Total loss: 14.6 pounds
For more of my weight loss journey check out the Losing It tab above.