Motivation is a funny thing. When you have it, it feels effortless. When you don’t have it, it feels impossible to achieve the same effortless goal you were working towards when you were motivated. The good news is that motivation is simply a mindset and we have the power to instantly shift from one mindset to another on a whim. The key is to build enough momentum to stay in that mindset and that’s the hard part.
I want you to imagine your goal. Say it out loud. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Can you touch, taste, smell what it will be like? Then once you are really living and imagining achieving that goal, picture it shooting up into the air like a jack in the box. You’re left on the ground and that goal of yours is hundreds of feet in the sky. It feels impossible to get to so you wander around on the ground miserable because all of your hopes and dreams are out of reach. Sound familiar? It should because this is how most people live their lives every day. Scary right?
Well, good thing this is just your imagination and now imagine an elevator that will take you up to your goal. The only difference between this elevator and a regular one is that instead of pressing a button and being effortlessly lifted up to your goal, you have to actually work for it. There’s a crank on the wall and if you turn the crank, the elevator will start to rise. If you stop, it will start to fall. At first, the cranks are really hard. You have to use all of your strength and energy to make one turn and even then the elevator barely moves, but as you build up momentum, the turns get easier and the elevator begins to rise more quickly. Eventually, the crank is flying around and you are barely doing anything. You have built up enough momentum to keep the crank turning on its own without you having to put much energy towards it all. Before you know it, you’ve reached your goal at the top.
This of course, is all just a weird metaphor for what it is really like to achieve goals in real life and not just in your imagination. When we set a goal, often we don’t know how we will get there and it feels miles away and impossible. But if we just start turning the crank. If we can just pick one action a day that pushes you closer to that goal rather than further away, and use all our energy and strength to complete that action each and every day, it gets easier and easier until you have the energy to add an additional action that gets you closer to the goal and so on. Eventually you will have built up enough momentum to reach your goal and you won’t believe how easy it was once you got there.
This is where I am now. My weight loss goal has lost momentum and I’ve gained some weight back. Now, I can wander around helplessly feeling sorry for myself, or I can start turning that crank again. I acknowledge that it is going to take a lot of focus and effort to get back on track but I know it is possible. To be fair, this is the result of achieving another major life goal. We can’t be perfect in every area of life 100% of the time. So now, I reset my course and try to get back on track. Tomorrow: how I plan to do this.