1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something
3. *My own definition: the art of getting off your butt and getting stuff done
Because here is the thing: you may have a burning desire to do something, you may have the best will in the world, you may even know all the reasons why you should do it… but if you haven’t done it yet, don’t be surprised.
Getting motivated doesn’t happen by coincidence or by miracle. Motivation is not something that some people have and others don’t either. It is something we all do, consciously or unconsciously, everyday!
Motivation is not something you have or don’t have; it is something you do
Take training, for example, notice I say training, and not exercising! We want to do it, we know it is good for us, we know it is going to make us look better and feel better… but after a hard day’s work, when tiredness sets in, who would blame us for wanting to slouch on the couch and watch some TV while eating our favourite treat?
Well, think of taking a shower for a moment. Most of us do it every day. We don’t wait until we are all stinky to clean ourselves. We do it because it is the right thing to do; it is time to take a shower.
We are able to do this because we have built up this good habit over the years through repetition. We do it at the same time, in the same place, following the same routine, which is so ingrained in our unconscious that we are barely aware of the process.
If you want to get to the point where your training routine goes as smoothly as your shower routine, start following the following NLP rules:
1# IDENTIFY EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
Answer these questions:
What do you want specifically? When do you want it by? Where? With whom? What for? What will happen if you achieve that? What if you don’t achieve that? Is it under your control? Is it worth it?
You see, when setting up goals, a lot of people do it wrong. They state what they want to have, not what they want to do; things like “I want to be slim”, “I want a six pack” or “I want to have toned arms”… But, what do you want to do? Because it is as a result of you doing what you need to do that you will get to have what you want.
Your objective needs to be stated in a way that your brain understands it. And just like your computer, your brain needs 3 things: affirmative statements that are direct and very specific.
If you are just thinking it then it is not an objective, it is just a thought. So, put pen to paper and write your answers to the questions above.
If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you’ve got there?
2# MAKE A PLAN
Again, if you don’t have a plan, all you have is a lovely thought. I suggest you get yourself a diary, an excel sheet, a calendar, whatever works for you, and devise your personal strategy. A strategy to suit your lifestyle, your working schedule, etc…
Keeping the end result in mind, what is the first step you need to take in order for you to do what you need to do? And after that? What’s next? Do you have all the resources you need (resources are materials, books, money, people…), or do you need help?
If it’s going to take you 12 weeks to get a six pack, set a date and work backwards from there. If you want to lose a stone in 3 weeks, do the same. Break your objective into smaller, more achievable chunks, so that this week you know exactly what you are doing with regards to training and nutrition, and you can focus on just that. As I tell my clients, it’s one week at a time, one day at a time.
You see, now you have more than just a nice thought; now you have a plan of action. And believe it or not, this is what most people lack. It’s hard to get motivated if you don’t know what you want to get motivated for!
And what are you going to do when you are tired, sad, in a mad mood, frustrated…? You must put strategies in place, so when that happens, and it will, you know exactly what to do. You have to become a bit of a ninja!
3# FIND OUT WHAT FIRES YOU UP
There are a lot of things that we need to or should do, but that doesn’t mean we do them. So I want you to try on the following sentences, simply add what you want to be able to do at the end.
For example, if you want to go to the gym every day at 6pm for an hour, try these on. Say them out loud:
I should go to the gym – I need to go to the gym – I have to go to the gym – I’d better go to the gym -
I could go to the gym – I can go to the gym – I will go to the gym – I’m going to the gym
Do this a few times and notice which one creates the strongest feeling within you, like you want to go do it. You’ve just unlocked your personal motivational language. Make sure you use it from now on!
4# IMAGINE YOURSELF SUCCEEDING
One of the main functions of the brain is to prove itself right. So, whatever you focus on is magnified, as the brain thinks it is an objective of yours. Also, the brain doesn’t know the difference between a vividly imagined memory and reality. This is why if you want to do something, it’s vital you imagine yourself doing it like this (read this NLP resource fully before you do it):
Think of yourself doing the thing you want to do, training in the gym, or whatever. When you think about it you may notice the thought to be at a certain distance from you, a certain size, and in a certain place. Just make sure you see yourself in it, looking happy, positive and really enjoying what you are doing.
Now, imagine the thought getting bigger and bigger until it’s almost panoramic. Make sure it’s big, bold and colourful, maybe add some sound to it, and notice how good you feel.
Now, imagine you can float outside of your body and into yourself in the image, so you can see through your eyes, hear through your ears and feel how good it feels to be doing what you are doing and loving it too! Intensify everything even more, so the colours are brighter, the sounds louder and the feelings stronger.
It’s vital that you build a propulsion system that makes you feel good and look forward to doing the things you want to do, so that you want to do them more and more. This is how you get to build up new more useful habits to last you a lifetime.
I’ve just shared 4 motivational strategies with you, that when you use them, they will help you get more stuff done and achieve more, faster. They can be applied in any area of your life. These strategies have helped transform some of my clients from couch potatoes into fitness freaks, so good luck to you!