I received an email from a client today that reminded me of myself a few years ago. She was saying she just didn’t know how to get herself motivated. Her story was like so many. She has lost weight in the past but in a very unhealthy way. She was on an extremely restrictive diet that she could not maintain. So, of course, when she started eating “normal” again she gained all of the weight back. Her body was hanging on to each bite saying “ I am keeping this, I know you are just going to starve me again.” She is not in fault here. She’s not to blame. There are a million reasons starvation diets should be avoided like the plague. This is always the end result of a starvation diet! This drives me nuts because I have been there and know how terrible this all feels. You feel hopeless. So now this women has to re-program her body. She has to start all over again. She has to re-learn everything she thought she knew and re-train her body to function properly. She is frustrated and doesn’t know if she can ever be happy. I get it! I know how she feels. It is like so many things in life, before you have experienced them you can’t really “get it.”

This theory is also true for anyone that has been single and wondering “will I ever find the right guy?” “how will I know that I am in love” and your friends that have found their life partner look at them and say “ you will know when you find him” “he will come.” If you are the one waiting for Mr. Right you kind of just think, “I don’t know if I will ever find him. I don’t know if I deserve to be happy.” Then the day comes when you find Mr. Right and you as so happy, everything feels different and you just know. You think to yourself “now I know what my friends were talking about.” You may not “get” what I am going to tell you right away. You may have to “fake it till you make it” (meaning… follow what I have suggested first and the results and understanding will follow). Open your mind and your heart to the things I am going to tell you here about motivation. I am a friend telling you how I created and maintain mine. I am not “lucky” I am blessed. I am blessed that I woke up to the fact that I can create my own life. I can change my destiny. I can create my lot in life and you can too! I have been to the bottom of the bottom not knowing if there would ever be light. This is not some textbook “here is how you get motivated cause this book said it.” This is the truth. This is what works and how I live.

Here are my top tips on how to spark your motivation, how to set it on fire and how to maintain that flame!!!

Get a Mentor

If you are looking to sit around and complain about not being where you want to be in life or how frustrated you are with your weight you will find there will be a million people out there to encourage your frustration. Instead, decide to engage in conversation with positive, successful people! Seek out people that have accomplished what you want to accomplish. Listen to them! Take in their suggestions and what worked for them. Be humble and let your ego go. If you are not where you want to be, you currently don’t know how to do it. Take advice from a pro (please ensure that the person you choose as your mentor has lost weight in a healthy manner). Your best choice is to find a coach that is certified. Be humble, open and ready to learn.

Watch and Learn

Take a peak at how people that have been successful at having a happy, healthy life behave. Take a peak at the way they engage on Facebook even! They are not sitting there complaining about how life is so hard or how they hate their annoying neighbour. They are positive! Even down to what they put out on Facebook! They say encouraging things, talk about what they are grateful for and discuss the best part of their day. As you put out positivity and good it will come back to you.Watch what you are putting out into the world.

Watch Your Tongue

Watch how you talk about yourself. Would you talk about someone you love the way you talk about yourself? We often can be our own worst critics! Start your day by saying something’s great about yourself. This can be a physical attribute that you love about yourself or simply tell yourself how strong you are. You will find that when you take a moment to find something you love about yourself, you will then notice more great things about yourself and more. You will eventually be conscious of how you speak to and think about yourself. This alone can be so valuable to improve your self esteem and in turn your motivation.

Gratitude is the Only Attitude

Every time you want to complain about not wanting to workout please stop and pause. Instantly replace this thought with instant gratitude! Say to yourself “I am so grateful that I have a healthy body that allows me to be physically active.” Physical health is the number one gift in life. If you have ever had anyone that you love become ill and not have the basic ability to be active you know what I am saying. After watching my Father, a very active healthy man, become ill and not be able to engage in the activities he loves I made a promise to myself that I would never, ever take for granted my body’s ability to move. I wake up each morning and say “thank you” to my body for simply functioning. No, not every morning I look in the mirror and think I look “smoking.” I have goals that I have not reached but I will never, ever again get angry or say demeaning things about my body. I am grateful just to have the body I do.

Decide and Let Go

If you want to lose weight and get in shape, do it. Make the decision and do not look back. Get a game plan (of course I think ours are the very best available) that is real and do it. It’s that simple. Take the advice from your coach and trust in the plan. I have experienced so many times people will join my program and want me to convince them to lose weight. If I want them to be happy and healthy more than they do, it will never work. You have to want it and decide you are going to do it. You also have to let go and follow what the professional is telling you. I have also experienced people that have never had success in their weight loss try and tell me what works. Again, let go of your ego, it isn’t doing anything for anyone, especially for yourself. You join a program because you need  guidance and are not an expert in this area of life. Experts know what you have to do to be successful at weight loss. Trust in your plan and just follow it. It’s that simple.

Know there will be some “Hard” Days

When you go from eating whatever you want whenever you want there is going to be a bit of a shock to your body and your mind when you stop. If you have been eating sugar, salt and fatty foods you are going to miss them when they’re gone (at first). Sugar, salt and fatty food are addictive. The more you eat the more you want it. When you remove these from your diet you are going to have a day or two in the first week where you are going to have to fight through some cravings. What is my trick?

First you need to accept that there are going to be days that you want to eat these foods. Accept it. Stop trying to fight it, just notice it and don’t get all caught up in it. Have tools in place to get through these cravings. Give it a week (for most) and you will stop craving the junk! You will love the new way you feel. Just let the distance from the junk happen. You will not hurt yourself by craving chocolate but you can certainly hurt yourself by giving in to it time and time again. No, this does not mean you can never eat chocolate again. You have to first get your cravings under control and distance yourself from the emotional attachment to food. Then you can have your treat once a week. I encourage a treat once a week. This is a planned treat and is in a controlled manner. It’s not to be confused with a binge. *I will be doing a whole post on how to have treats and continue to lose weight. Yes, there is a science to it!

Fake It Till You Make It

Sometimes you just have to get out and do it! You have to start and the real motivation will follow. So many will say “how do I just get started.” The answer is simple and in the question. You just get started. People become sparked for great change commonly by 2 different ways: Something happens that lights their fire (like seeing another’s great success or having a terrible experience) or they just become fed up with their own excuses and decide they are going to choose a different lot in life. Did you know that you can do this? You can decide that you are going to change your path in life. Everything else is just details. So start! Start now. Start today. But how do I turn that spark in to a full blown fire? You “Fake till you make it.” Here’s where the magic happens.

Eat healthy this week on plan, get your workouts in, be grateful for your health and your body and speak kind to yourself. You will be shocked to find out, day by day you get a little more excited. You believe in yourself a little more. You are actually feeling amazing from all this healthy food. You are no longer bloated and you don’t waste your brainpower on obsessing over all the junk you ate today. You feel you have more energy and wait, what is this feeling? You are excited for your workout today?! What? Your pants are a little loose compared to the start of the week and you are walking a little taller. You have some positive things to talk about with your friends and co-workers. Someone sees you starting to lose weight and being so enjoyable to be around that they decide to start on this journey with you. BAM!! It happens. The 1 – 2 week mark comes and you’re feeling it! You are so excited and can’t wait to continue to see more great changes not only in your body and in your energy but also in the world around you. You my friend are motivated and how did you get there? You faked it till you made it!