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The qualities are in you!
We often say that the way Be Strong works, is that between us all, we build each other up, so that we have the confidence and self-belief to achieve our goals.
Some things in life require a dose of talent, and ability. For instance, if I wanted to be a dancer in the Royal Ballet, I would need an element of natural talent and ability to bend and move my body in a particular way. If you wanted to be a Premier League footballer, you couldn’t just rock up at Old Trafford for training, you would need to have some ability with a ball.
Whilst you can learn skills, some things still require a natural talent or ability, which we may or may not have. But, when it comes to changing our lifestyles we don’t need any particular talents. We just need a good dose of four qualities that we all have in us.
And those qualities are: Motivation, Commitment, Dedication and the ability to Sacrifice. This week we are going to look at what these qualities mean and how we can find them within ourselves, to give us a good chance of achieving our goals
Definition: The state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something
I don’t know one person that isn’t motivated by something. We all have a reason that we get out of bed in a morning. Whether that’s because of your job and career, a hobby that you enjoy, your family, or your friends. We all have something that drives us. We call this our purpose. If we can link whatever we want to achieve with our purpose, then we can link to that deep, emotionally rooted reason to be the best version of yourself.
If you don’t know what your purpose is, you just haven’t realised what it is yet, or you maybe you just haven’t put it into words. I have mentioned my purpose many a time in our articles and discussions, and it is simply to be the best example to my kids, that I can be. My children drive everything for me. They are the most important things in my life. And I hadn’t even realised this until Rick and I started Be Strong and we started looking deeper into the psychology of our behaviours. For me, the reason I do everything is to set an example to my children about how I want them to live their lives in the future.
For Rick, his purpose is to lead and motivate others. He wants to be the best version of himself, so that he can help other people do the same thing. And you can see this in him. It oozes out of his every pore.
To find your purpose, you just have to keep asking yourself why you are doing something. You keep asking ‘why?’ until you get to that really deep emotional meaning, that might even bring a lump to your throat. When you get to that point, that is your purpose!
Another way to generate motivation is using reflection. Take some time to reflect on a time in the past that you have felt really motivated and ask yourself why you were so motivated then? What was it that put that fire in your belly? And can you draw any similarities with what you want to achieve now? Can you ignite that fire again? What did you do then? Can you do anything similar now? Can you remember how good it felt to be that motivated and engaged in something that you would have walked over hot coals to ensure you achieved it? Return to that moment, feel that fire, the excitement, the determination and motivation, capture it and take it with you to your new goals.
In some of our Psychological workshops in our group sessions, Chiara asks people to do just this, and the act of focusing on a previous state of motivation can reignite that feeling once again. Try it!!
Definition: The act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
Commitment is the point where we stand up and say, ‘This is it! I am doing it!’ for some people (me included) we have made many a commitment that has come to nothing. This time we want your commitments to mean something.
When making your commitments, there are ways to make them stick. The first is linking it back to your purpose, that we mentioned above. Another, is to write your commitments down. Whether that is in your diary, as a screen saver for your phone, on a sheet that you leave on your fridge, or publicly on social media.
I find the public commitments really help me when the going gets tough. I have a thing about letting people down (I am a people pleaser!), and I worry deeply about what people think of me. So if I make a public commitment I can’t lose face and not go through with what I have said I will.
We are all capable of making that initial commitment. We just need to decide what that commitment is and make it stick!!
Definition: The state of being dedicated: to devote wholly and earnestly, as to some person or purpose.
Dedication is where we show how committed we really are to something. The definition puts it very succinctly for me – ‘to devote wholly and earnestly’. That is really clear isn’t it? We are giving it everything.
Our levels of dedication are reflected in our efforts and in turn our results. For instance I could commit to running a marathon in October. That there is my commitment. My dedication will be reflected in whether I stick to my training plan, complete my planned runs each week, and show up on the start line, to feel the glory of completing a marathon.
We could measure our dedication in coins or ‘dedication dollars’. How many dedication dollars are you willing to spend to get you a bit closer to your goal? and can you keep spending them until you get there?
Definition: To surrender or give up something, for the sake of something else more valued.
We are all capable of sacrifice. There will be many times throughout all of our lives where we have had to give one thing up for the sake of something else that we want more. Whether that’s money, sleep, time, social events, food, drink or quality time with family. Lifestyle change and achieving our health and fitness goals is no different. We have to give up something to achieve it.
There is no doubt about it, we are going to have to sacrifice certain foods and drinks if we want to lose weight. And if we are trying to get fitter, we will have to sacrifice energy, time, sleep and perhaps even quality time with our friends and family to achieve our goals. But it will be worth it. Go back to that definition, ‘giving up one thing for the sake of something more valued.’
Before you start sacrificing everything that you hold dear to achieve your goals, have a good long think about which aspects of your life are non-negotiable. The key is in the definition. What we are trying to achieve should be more valued that what we are giving up. We all have those things that we can’t live without. So when you are deciding how you are going to achieve those goals, make sure those sacrifices are do-able, for the long term, or perhaps even just for the short term, otherwise it will become too much like hard work and you will give up.
We have a good example of this. Debbie Schofield set out to lose 10 stones. BUT, her husband was in a band at the time and he gigged every Saturday night in local pubs. Debbie loved her Saturday nights, and it was an absolute no-go for her to sacrifice these. So, she had to make her sacrifices elsewhere in her plan, to allow for this part of her life to continue. And she did. She used the weekender plan, sacrificing calories in the week, to allow her to still enjoy her Saturday night.
So choose your sacrifices wisely and you will ensure that your motivation and dedication sticks for the long term, getting you to your goal.
Check in with your motivation levels, whether you have made that commitment, how many dedication dollars you are prepared to spend, and just exactly what you are prepared to sacrifice, to get you to your goals.
Are you going about things the right way? Are you connected with your purpose? Is motivation high? Are you putting all the effort in that you can?
If you need a bit of a boost, give us a shout – speak to us for some advice. Your plan just might need a little tweak, or you might just need some reassurance that you can actually do this!
Next week we will be looking at what exactly a healthy weight means… so don’t miss it!