We have all heard the old adage, “Getting motivated is easy, staying motivated is the hard part!” This is true whether we are talking about motivation to eat right, exercise, get up early, quit smoking, think positive, and so on.
Why is it that we cannot seem to stay motivated to do the things we want to do? We know that what we want for ourselves is better for us than what we are currently doing, or not doing. We know that we will be happier in the having of, or the doing of, what we want. So what gives? How can we successfully maintain that initial excitement and motivation we feel when we first get excited about making personal change?
Let’s use the example of exercise. Every year on January 1st, there is an explosion in the sale of exercise equipment and gym memberships. The holidays are over, it’s a new year, and lots of us are motivated to exercise and get in shape! Most of us do well for a few weeks, some keep going for as long as a month, and a few stragglers are still plugging along after 3 months. Unfortunately, most New Year’s Resolutioners have thrown in the towel by late spring, or sooner.
One of the most common hindrances to our ability to maintain a motivated state has to do with the type of “self-talk” we engage in. Many of us sabotage ourselves with negative self-talk about our ability to successfully accomplish our exercise goals. As we rattle off our list of excuses and justifications for not exercising, we are in effect reinforcing the exact opposite of what we want, making it all the more difficult to maintain our motivation.
The skills and techniques used in hypnosis to increase our motivation to exercise are broadly the same as motivating performance for anything else you care to name. So how can hypnosis help increase and maintain our motivation to exercise? As humans, most of our behaviors are driven by the avoidance of pain, and/or the pursuit of pleasure. Hypnosis is a great way to learn to associate pleasure with exercise, and pain with the absence of exercise. Hypnosis increases your motivation by removing the obstacles, or roadblocks, that are between you and your motivation. Hypnosis increases your positive thinking and helps to develop healthy, positive, natural responses to these obstacles.
Hypnosis reinforces and creates the habit of thinking positively about our goals and desires. This allows the part of us that knows what is best for us to dominate our thought process. By eliminating that negative, critical, judgmental voice within, and learning to visualize what we want to have happen on a regular basis, we soon find ourselves on an upward spiral. We find ourselves enjoying exercise, and looking forward to it! I spend a lot of time at the gym, and I have never heard anyone expressing any regret that they exercised that day.
How does it work? At Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon I have been able to help my clients re-program their subconscious minds to help them actually look forward to, and enjoy, exercising! Hypnosis takes you into a wonderful state of highly focused attention. This is contrary to the misconception that hypnosis takes you into an unconscious state. Once you are comfortably relaxed and receptive to suggestion, you enter the non-critical listening stage. At this point, your hypnotherapist will offer you a visualization of sorts, or a suggestion to “think of” or to “remember” what it would look like to be standing at a fork in the road. Not all hypnotherapists offer the same visualizations of course, but you get the idea.
The main idea is to give you the opportunity, while in hypnosis, to make a choice; to continue on the path of excuses and justifications for not exercising, feeling guilty about it, and fostering continual negative self talk, or, to change directions; review and reinforce all the health benefits of exercising, all the positive consequences of maintaining an exercise habit. In this state, you find it easy to make the right choice, the healthy alternative.
As you find it easy to make the right choice about exercise while in hypnosis, you will be guided into a vision of yourself in the future. A future you looking and feeling great because you love to exercise, and it shows! You will feel that expansion of confidence, and be completely engaged in the pleasure of exercising! You will be inspired to stay with your new level of motivation on a long-term basis.
We all have unique behaviors when it comes to motivation. Most of us find it easy to stay motivated in some areas and not others. Hypnosis can use that fact to demonstrate and reinforce that you do have what it takes to get and stay motivated to do anything and everything you want in life. Once you realize how easy it is to stay motivated in one area, it’s easy to accomplish the same thing in other areas.
Let hypnosis help you get, and stay, motivated to exercise this summer, and forever!