February 2019

This month I’ve been thinking about purpose, achieving goals and what motivates us. 

What if our goals could be as simple as realising and actioning our dreams? Dreams are incredibly important. Do your dreams keep coming back time and time again, with an almost nagging presence? It’s probably because you’re supposed to fulfil them. It could be that something inside you is calling out…so listen. Often when you love to do something it’s because you have a gift for it. So pay close attention to what you love as you may be overlooking your greatest gifts. 

We are all one of a kind and we have gifts unique to us. I think success in the past has been about skill and practicality rather than passion. And to fall in love with your life you must be passionate about everything you do. And fulfilling that potential and realising your gifts is left up to you. No one is magically waiting for you to realise your talents; only you. 

How often have you half heartedly tried to do something you love and maybe taken a class or started working on a project and can’t find the motivation to follow through to the end? Then we blame ourselves for not having enough willpower so we lose heart and give up. 

If motivation is the key to achieving our goals then we need to find out what motivates us. And we are all different. What motivates one person won’t inspire another at all.

I always assumed I had no motivation and therefore gave up pursuing all sorts of projects and dreams. That somehow I was born lazy and weak. This negative thinking has stopped me succeeding in the past. I now have hope that there is some kind of motivation that will work for me. After all, I have succeeded in many areas before when I worked at something until done. You too will have achieved a lot and had the motivation, perseverance and drive to succeed at something. What motivated you to achieve what you have in education, sport, career, family? If you can figure that out, you can apply it to anything you do. If we are all different, then chances are, how we approach life is also unique to us.

I realised long ago I was a rule breaker. That following the rules wasn’t my motivator as I have always tried to find ways to bend the rules to suit me. This hasn’t always worked out well for me I might add! But it does tell me that I need more than a rulebook to motivate me. I’ve also achieved goals despite being full of self-doubt. So what motivated me? I have concluded that I often do my best work in a team where I get loads of encouragement. Alone or in a team, I need to be uniquely me rather than fitting into a one size fits all approach. Authenticity is my number one value so when I’m trying to follow others, copy their approaches or change to fit in I always fall short. That actually when I’m prepared to be authentically me and explore my own uniqueness I’m happier and generally more successful. So it makes sense that I too need to find strategies that work for me. I need a plan. And I need to work out what will motivate me to achieve any goal. 

Weight loss surgery and long term maintenance is much the same. What works for one person might not work for another. We have a set of guidelines to follow and yet so many people find it hard to commit to these long term. Finding out what motivates us could be crucial to that success. Whether it’s reward based, being part of a team and/or sheer determination, discovering what makes you unstoppable is essential.

I have learnt that I had to dig deep in my courage to challenge all of my belief systems because so many of them held me back in a cycle of self loathing and doubt. I had to strip back the layers and shed who I thought I should be to become who I am meant to be. I have learnt so much about myself in recent years by looking at my past with kindness and compassion. When I don’t judge myself so harshly I accomplish so much more. I think of a personal trainer being able to get another 25% out of us when we didn’t think we could go on. How did they do it? Usually by sheer encouragement and they spur us on to the finish point. Maybe if we were our own cheerleaders and approached all we do with the same type of enthusiasm, encouragement and kindness we would achieve far more. Rather than letting self doubt and past beliefs stand in our way of what we want we could motivate ourselves in a unique way that works for us? Sound simple? No, but I believe it’s necessary so we don’t slip into old patterns of behaviour. After all, regain is a symptom of falling back into old ways of thinking and behaving.

So I challenge us all to think about our own patterns of behaviour and work out what we are passionate about and what motivates us. After all, we deserve success and owe it to ourselves. Have a great month xx