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Motivation and Five Steps to Lasting Change

By: Cathy Wilson

Motivational New Year's isn't a day different than any other. The New Year represents new beginnings, hope of things differently in our lives, and all of the possibilities that lie ahead for us. We reflect on our lives as they are today and project ahead to the changes we'd like to make. Changes can be made but the key to success and personal fulfillment is to make them long-lasting.

You've acknowledged your desire to make change or changes in your life. Now, think about a specific time when you felt driven to accomplish a goal and achieve success. What reasons motivated you? Why did you want to succeed? Why was the change important for you to make? Now that you have this in mind, feel that sense of empowerment. You can use this experience multiple times to create the motivation to make changes in your life. You can create the life you want to live with long-lasting changes.

Motivation can seem fleeting. It can come and go without notice. You seem to have it easily one moment and the next it seems to have disappeared. The good news for making lasting changes is that you control your motivation. Reaffirm your motivation every single day. By reaffirming your motivation daily, you renew the promise of change that you made to yourself. You brush your teeth and take a shower every day, right? Reaffirm your mental motivation daily as well.

You can replay the experiences of past successes as many times as you need to reaffirm your motivation. Play the video of you achieving past successes. Remember and relive those feelings of accomplishment and personal power. If you succeeded once, you can do it again. Yes, you can do it and you will. Success in making lasting changes is yours.

You need a plan to make changes that last. In creating your plan, here are five steps to lasting change. After each step, I've listed an example for your reference in making your own plan.

1. Identify an area(s) that you want to change. (I want to lose 20 pounds.)

2. Ask yourself three questions about each area:

a. Why do I want to make this change? (For my health, and to feel stronger and better about myself.)

b. Is it a good time to make this change? (YES!)

c. Do I have support to make this change? Identify your system of support. (Yes, my spouse or significant other, my best friend, my friends, my family, my coach.)

3. Select one or two things you will do to accomplish your change. One or two thing are the maximum. Remember, less is more so you don't get overwhelmed by trying to switch things in your life too abruptly. (To lose 20 pounds, I will: Eliminate simple sugar and refined carbs; Walk four days per week.)

4. Start slowly, making workable changes occurs in small steps. (I will replace fruit for the simple sugar and refined carbs food choices; I will start out walking three days per week for 20 minutes.)

5. Write down your reward system. (When I lose five pounds, I will download five new songs on my MP3 player to enjoy while I am walking.)

Cathy Wilson is a weight loss life coach. Cathy lost 147 pounds six years ago. Her passion is helping clients achieve their weight loss and life goals. Cathy works with clients to create a weight loss life plan that is customized to each client. Cathy is a member of the International Coaching Federation, International Association of Coaches, and Obesity Action Coalition. Visit Cathy's website: http://www.LoseWeightFindLife.com
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