Last week I asked you if you were ready to get started. How did you answer?
In order to get things started you need to get clear in your own mind what it is you want and why? This provides you with a sense of purpose and meaning which in turn is likely to boost your motivation. With this in mind take some time now to answer the following questions and write down your answers. There is research to suggest that writing down our goals and reasons for them increases the likelihood of us succeeding. We are also more motivated when we have a “why”.
What is it you want to achieve?
Write down your goals with as much specific detail as possible, so if you want to lose weight how much? What clothing size do you want to be etc.
Now reframe this into a positive frame, what I mean by this is make sure the wording is talking about what you want rather than what you don’t want. So for example here is mine.
“My goal is for 140 pounds to be my normal and natural weight. This will allow me to wear clothes in the UK sizing of 10 to 12. My clothes will hang well on my frame and look attractive. I will feel healthy and have more energy. “
Notice that I am “owning” my goal, it is about me, for me and talks about things that are within my control.
The next step is to answer the following question:
Consider how you have been up until now. How has that been helpful to you?
This is about uncovering the positive intention behind your old behaviours, this is a term used in NLP.
Definition: Positive intention is the motivation behind an option or behaviour. This is connected to ecology and is also an NLP pre-supposition – all behaviour and beliefs arise from a positive intention. For change to be long lasting the positive intention must be preserved or replaced with something even more compelling. If you don’t handle the positive intention of the old behaviour, you may get unconscious resistance. Positive intention can be elicited by asking: “What does that give/get you?”
Remember that even if you think there was nothing positive about the old way of being that there will have been an underlying motivation that was intended to help you in some way. It may have protected you in some way, given you permission to avoid certain situations or criticism etc. By identifying what this underlying motivation is we are in a better position to do something to make a change while still maintaining that positive intention.
Having identified this positive intention consider at least three ways you can achieve the same intention in a more appropriate and healthy way. So for example if your weight has been a protection for you up until now identity three different ways you can protect yourself that is more in keeping with your future self. This might be for example learning how to set boundaries, express yourself assertively or ask for help. You might need to commit to getting some help and support in developing these strategies, if that is the case investigate how you might do that.
Now let’s ramp up that motivation a bit more. From an NLP perspective you are going to engage aspects of a “metaprogram” called “away from and towards”.
Defintion: Meta Programs are our underlying unconscious filters. They are ‘programs about programs’ or ‘programs that run programs’. In any given context, they tell us what programs to run. This determines:
- What motivates and convinces us,
- How we filter and sort information,
- How we communicate.
The first part is the away from the pain of your current situation. By raising your awareness of this pain you begin to increase your motivation to make a change.
Consider the way you have been up until now. Write down all the disadvantages of staying that way. Consider every aspect of your life that might be impacted, how much would it cost you to keep going the way you have been, emotionally, psychologically, physically, in terms of health, financially etc.
The second part of the metaprogram is about moving towards pleasure. For this you write down the positive benefits you will gain from changing your behaviours and how you treat your body. Again consider all angles, emotionally, psychologically, physically, in terms of health, financially etc.
Now write down the next smallest step that you can take that will take you toward your goal.
Now take that step….
Let me know how you get on. Next week I will give you the next set of exercises.