Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
April 17, 2011    

Create your list of motivations

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Amy Culver

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Create your list of motivations

A really good way to help you stay on track when temptations occur is to create a list of motivations.  It's important to make sure the list has both positive and negative motivations.

When looking at your positive motivations, you want to focus on things that you are looking forward too as well as achievements you have already accomplished.

Some examples are:

• Shopping for clothing in regular sizes

• Flying on Airplanes

• Keeping up with the grandkids at play

Some of these should be future goals, some should be already achieved.

Now, with these items, you can create whole stories and scenarios to go with them.  Give them their own life so that they don't just sit as words on a piece of paper.

For example, here are a couple of my own stories:

I remember the very first time after losing weight that I was able to shop in the regular clothes section.  My husband and I took a trip to JC Penney and I felt just like Dorothy in the Land of Oz.  I realized that I had created a set of blinders that I put on every time I walked into a department store.  I had completely ignored all but the big ladies' section for years.  My head actually felt dizzy as I took in all of the fun and wonderful options that were now available to me.  It is an experience I will always have with me, and I share it often with others to help them with inspiration.

From that story, I have many images and emotions.  When I need a little help with a temptation, I can go back there, to that moment, and relive any of those tidbits.  It can often turn a tempting moment right on its head.

Even earlier on, I can remember when I was able to cross my legs without helping them with my arms.  And I have met other people who have shared stories of being able to get up and down from chairs without help, for the first time in many years.

Creating a list of negative motivations is a bit harder.  You don't want to end up feeling sorry for yourself and full of despair.  But… you have to be very honest at times with what unhealthy habits do to your body.

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is my Diabetes.  After fixing my lifestyle and losing the weight, it is now considered "under control and resolved" - but there is no cure for it.  I will always have it.  That means I have to remember what sugary foods and excess weight will do to my body.  I have to look at certain foods and consider that fact when I am tempted to over-indulge. 

The reason we sometimes need to focus on things such as these is because goals can seem too intangible, and it can even be hard at times to grab onto a memory.  But your current situation and the things you are suffering from right now are very current and very real.  When the temptations are extra hard, that harsh reality can give you the extra push you need to stay on track.

Make your lists.  Spend a little time with each item as often as possible.  Get in the habit of focusing on why you want to live a healthy lifestyle.  The more you do this, the more automatic these thoughts, images and attitudes will become.


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