Simple Ways To Stay Motivated & Centered

Getting Over the Hump” — which is the title of this week’s “Mission Makeover” episode — is an expression most use all the time.  But what does it mean? When we say it, we are usually implying that once we get past the hard stuff (the first half or so of a challenge), the rest will be…downhill. Even, easy.

Let’s think about this expression.

Have you ever climbed a big hill, by foot or by bike? Of course you have. And while you’ve likely done all kinds of huffing and puffing on your way up (working up a sweat, felt pain in your legs, etc.), the trek down was probably filled with challenges, too. After all, you had to take a breather, regain and maintain your balance, use different muscles, slow yourself down at times, keep an eye out for unexpected obstacles, and be very careful not to trip or fall.

What I am pointing out, here, is that any journey — physical or metaphorical — requires consistent muscle power. And it’s important to KNOW that; and not let it catch you off guard.

Take this week’s show. Our contestants are half-way through our program; perhaps even half-way to their goal weight. They’ve done some hard things…rethought their relationships with food, challenged their bodies with new kinds of exertion, and dug deep to start healing some psychological wounds that may have contributed to their former lifestyle. So now…the hardest part is over, right? Time to coast?

I wish the answer was, “yes,” — but, it’s “no way!

Thinking it’s “coast time” is not only wrong;  it’s, also, dangerous. Complacency is the enemy of anyone who wants to change his or her life. Coast and you’re toast. When you reach your summit, it’s time to regroup; and just like with a literal hill, you must keep an eye out for obstacles, so you don’t trip or fall.

Here are simple ways to help keep you on track, remain centered, and stay motivated:

  • Know the “hump” is coming and understand with 100% clarity that there new challenges are ahead.
  • Be aware of your old thought patterns. (Reflect on what you used to do, at this point, which sabotaged you. Once you determine what that is, don’t let it happen.) Decide to do just one thing that’s different, like focus on a positive affirmation or substitute a healthy snack for an unhealthy one.
  • Understand that you are in charge of your thoughts. You are the not the victim of your brain – you’re the boss.
  • Find and listen to an inspirational song that moves and motivates you. (Some of my clients love Beyonce’s “Survivor” or Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” I personally love Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”)
  • Google motivational quotes online or get pumped from an online life coach’s webinar.
  • Learn how to meditate. There are lots of free tips on how to make stillness and regrouping a regular part of your life.
  • Reach out for help, when you need to. This could be to a professional, a family member, or a friend. There is NO SHAME in asking for help or a boost when you need one…it is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

In my MOTIVATIONAL MOMENT on the show this week, I told you that you are your own best cheerleader. Prepare yourself for future tough times while you’re in a good frame of mind by writing encouraging notes to future yourself.

Stay strong. Expect new challenges. You’ll get there, one day at a time.

Until next time,

Dr. Jessica