Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I have noticed about motivation

What motivates you? When you're working on a project, are you motivated by the process, or the end result? Does the work you put into achieving the goal actually bring you more happiness than actually crossing the finish line?

I guess for me, it's a combination of the two. I love learning how to do something new, mastering a skill. I've learned to knit, to can, to cook. I like learning to dance, taking language classes, writing a novel. The process brings me more pleasure than the finished product, but at the same time...I'm definitely motivated by what I'm going to "get" when I'm finished.

When it comes to weight loss, it seems like the whole time, my eye is on "the prize" - a smaller me - and it's less about enjoying the process to get there.

I'm also motivated by external validation. A gold star, compliment, credit for my work. In the context of weight loss, that could mean a coworker or friend I don't see regularly asking me if I've lost weight. My mom telling me I look slimmer. Getting a compliment from my partner. And frankly, one of the things that is hard to swallow is the waiting period. when will someone notice? I notice. I feel different. I definitely notice that my clothes fit better. Surely I must look different?

But here's the thing. To other people - I don't. They might notice that I have more confidence, or more energy, but will they notice that I have less muffin top? Unlikely.

I read a few months ago that it takes 4 weeks for you to notice a difference in yourself, 8 weeks for your closest friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice the difference.

Processing that has really helped me stay motivated. I do notice a difference at 3.5 weeks, but I live in my body and see and feel it every day.

I notice how after eating too much - even too much broccoli and chicken - I feel bloated and uncomfortable. I used to relish that "full" feeling. Now I loathe it.

I notice that in the mirror, my hips are slimmer. My belt is looser. My waist is smaller. These changes are tiny, but I feel better.

I feel lighter. I sleep better. How can anyone else notice whether I'm sleeping better?

Working to enjoy the process, and doing this for me and my personal growth (and shrinkage!) is definitely going to be a key to success. External validation and compliments are great, but at the end of the day, it has to be me who looks in the mirror and says, 'you look awesome, lady. keep going!'


Megs said...

I wish I could say I was all "it's the journey, not the destination" but really I'm all about the shiney prize at the end. I find it VERY hard to notice things along the way. Good for you for noticing the little things :)

Alice said...

Meg you look awesome. Have you lost weight? :)

MissHaneefa said...

YEAH! I am happy that you are seeing changes! Keep it up!