3 Steps to Fuel Motivation

Motivation can be fleeting. Learning to create a system in your life to fuel it daily can be empowering. Over the years, I have made many major changes in my direction both career, personally, and emotionally. Starting a new journey doesn’t have to be the hardest part. There are 3 steps I practice that make a new direction, goal, or change exciting and act as fuel for my motivation everyday. I am excited to share them with you in the podcast episode. 

Show Notes

In this episode, I’m talking all about how to:

 

  • The difference between drive and motivation is an important one to remember. 
  • How to feel the benefits of the end result right from the beginning instead of waiting until you reach the goal. 
  • How controlling your thoughts can be easier than you think
  • Harnessing willpower by not exhausting it in decision fatigue. 
  • How the system to break free from the chaos with food and body image can be used in all areas of life. 

Podcast Transcript

I’m so excited to talk to you today about three steps to fuel your motivation. I always say how we are in life is how we are with food. And so much of my life is parallel to everything that I work with my clients on with food and body image. And as I am taking a pivot to really make my business focused on helping other women to do the work that I do and giving them the expertise to turn their food struggles into a purposeful, impactful business that they can run on their own time. I’m so excited about this shift towards growing my mission in a bigger way. I thought it was worth having a conversation about drive and motivation, the difference between the two and what happens when you are starting new or starting fresh.

(01:14)
So I’m at a point in my business where I’m starting in a new direction.  When I’m starting in a new direction is there is no path laid out for me. I have to build the path as I go and there’s going to be times that I’m going to run into obstacles or challenges and they’re going to teach me what I need to do to get to that next step. They’re going to make me stronger, they’re going to make me smarter, they’re going to make me better able to serve the women that I am working with and meant to serve. And it also got me thinking about food and body image and that shift towards letting go of finding another diet and working on transforming your relationship with food and body image. 

 (02:12)
And the good news is is that doing this work and making this shift, it starts off maybe a little bit more difficult than picking a diet because a diet will give you a meal plan and a calorie level or something to track it. It’s black and white. If you’re following it, you know, you’re doing good, not following it bad and you fell off the wagon. It keeps you in that cycle of feeling frustrated with yourself that you can’t do something or you don’t have enough willpower or you don’t have enough motivation. Whereas transforming your relationship with food and your body feels a little bit more difficult at first because your mind doesn’t know how to handle it. You are afraid you’re going to lose control. You’re gathering evidence from your days of dieting or disordered eating or feeling deprived and restricted, and it’s saying, if I go in this direction, I’m going to lose more control. I’m going to gain more weight.  My health is going to go in the opposite direction.

 (03:21)
And so it’s harder at first. It feels more confusing at first because you are looking for a right and a wrong, and there is no right or wrong in order for you to get in touch with your intuition and to feel aligned, to feel peaceful, to feel clear, and to know that you can’t make a wrong decision.  When you’re not judging, stressed out, feeling deprived, feeling restricted and you’re not looking for everybody to tell what to do, you start to trust yourself more. You realize that one choice, one decision is not right or wrong. It’s not morally right or wrong. There’s no perfect hunger. There’s no perfect fullness. There is no one food that is going to make or break you. 

(04:20)
It reminds me of that book, Eat This, Not That. Where they would take two foods.  So you have a cheeseburger on one side and a grilled chicken sandwich with nutritional content to compare the two. The whole point of the book was to shock you that the “healthier” option was not always what you think. And that the cheeseburger from this place might actually be a better option than the grilled chicken. Where this is flawed is that you’re getting content when they give you just the nutritional facts. This has this many calories and grams of fat and this has this many calories and grams of fat.

 (05:14)
 It doesn’t give you context though.  Context meaning you know what your whole life is like, what your whole day is like, what you’re in the mood for, what is going to satisfy your craving which is different than someone else. If you choose the lower calorie option but you didn’t enjoy it. You just ordered it because the book told you so you go on to pick and eat more or feel frustrated with yourself and then your stress hormones come up. So many different things can come up when we’re making choices based on a black and white situation. And so content is content, but context matters and you don’t need to spend your whole life thinking about every little decision. In fact, having that faith, having that trust that it all equals out is beneficial to stress and mental health.  Loving exercise because it’s movement and it helps you move emotions through you faster and get you more in touch with their body.

 (06:25)

Intention matters. Which is why I don’t like to wage war on all of  Diet culture. For example, fitness pal causes eating disorders. I saw an article the other day that there are studies that show that people who use it can turn to more disordered eating patterns. But I would argue to say they’ve never done the work to transform their relationship with food. And so could someone be using fitness pal and it would be really helpful so that they’re not in decision fatigue and they’re making decisions based on what they need to attain a goal. And they have a healthy relationship with food in their body and they’re just pushing and driving themselves because they have a bigger mission and purpose. Yes. And can someone be using it because they hate their body and they’re trying to control themselves and they’re frustrated? Yes.

 (07:19)
If you do the work on your relationship with food and your body and your relationship with yourself, it doesn’t matter if fitness pal exists or not.  So the topic today of three steps to fuel your motivation came up because I always promised myself in this work that I would never forget what it takes to make that step, to make that shift, to make that commitment to say I’m ready to do this work. And I don’t know what the other side is going to look like, but I know that I don’t want to be on this path anymore. It is the first step towards your instinct telling you that this is the right path for you and you don’t need this perfectly laid out system and proof that it works for everyone.

 (08:15)
You are going to trust yourself to know that you’re going to show up as the best student you can be and you’re going to put everything you have into this. Your freedom, reclaiming your energy from all of this effort given to dieting, obsessing about your body and trying to look a certain way is no longer worth what it takes away from you. And so you’re just going all in. And that’s where I’m at right now with my business and it’s new and scary. And it could cause me to go into that same kind of fear that you would go into if you were making the decision to do this work with the food and the body image. There’s so much to do, it is overwhelming. 

 (09:09)
What if I say the wrong thing?

What if people react a certain way and the same things happen, right?  

People react when you start shifting your patterns, behaviors, setting boundaries, eating differently and making different decisions. Even though you change fundamentally as a person for the better, people react because they’re used to you being a certain way in their lives. That’s normal. And so you’re going to encounter this over and over again. The work that you’re going to do with food and body image, it’s just going to make you stronger with any new challenge that you face. So over the years, I’ve made a lot of shifts from when I left my nine to five, when I first started my business, when my family decided to move to Costa Rica for a year, when we moved back to Florida, when I sold my network marketing business and decided to fully focus on The Free Life and now shifting into helping women get their own food freedom and body positive businesses and giving them all of the support that they need so they can focus on their craft and getting profitable fast instead of on all this stuff which creates a really expensive hobby.

 (10:14)
 Three things have really been crucial every time I make a pivot. And I’m better at them now simply because I have practiced them for so long. So if this is something that feels not natural to you, just remember, it gets easier and natural the more you practice it. The same with trusting your intuition and tuning into your needs around food and body. So the first one is the belief and knowing that you control your thoughts. We are not trying to get rid of negative thoughts or your inner bully

(11:19)
Different things work for different people. Whatever feels fun or feels like it’s going to work for you do it. When I have that voice and observe it, I don’t identify with it because I  know that I can control my thoughts. We need to put boundaries around our inner bully. Sitting and just observing the thoughts, not trying to push them away so they don’t grow stronger. 

(12:21)
Building things into the day that are going to keep you moving towards the mission, beliefs, and thoughts that are going to serve you so that you don’t go into decision fatigue. Always trying to fight different thoughts won’t work, so decide on the thoughts that are going to serve you and get you closer to your goal and then feed them to yourself.

Feed them to your mind every single day. I have a mission statement that I wrote out. That is why I do what I do, how I do it, and the bigger picture of where I want to go. I also wrote out a manifesto of what I believe and what the mission of my company believes. I read it every single day. I have noticed every time I don’t read my mission statement, I do tend to fall more prey to getting unfocused, losing my train of thought forgetting why I’m doing what I’m doing, getting distracted by little things.

(13:41)
 Drive. When you Google it and you look up the definition it says “biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need”. And when you Google motivation, it says “general desire or willingness for someone to do something.”

So drive is more of an internal purpose, a mission-driven place that keeps you going and fuels you. And it doesn’t run out of energy. Where motivation can be fleeting when you’re looking at the end picture, but you’re not being driven by the daily activity. So when you feel fueled by purpose and mission and you know that you can control those thoughts and actions, you believe that every step you take is getting closer to that place, and that the simple actions you take in a day have contributed to this greater purpose and mission. This results in you feeling more satisfied and aligned.

(15:02)

It feels easier to practice on a daily basis, celebrate small things and not to get down when things get difficult, because when something gets difficult you know can control your thoughts. I know one of the first sentences and mantras when I started to realize how powerful just adopting something as a belief was, was seven or eight years ago when I heard Marie Forleo say Everything is Figureoutable, which is the name of her book that’s coming out in September. It was a simple phrase and I just remember thinking, what if I believed that? What if I adopted that belief? So any time I would run into a struggle, I started bringing up that phrase and taking a deep breath on how I would address the problem from this belief.

(16:13)
Just from deciding to believe that was a true statement, I taught myself how to code websites. I taught myself how to do things that felt overwhelming and outside my expertise. So I learned more then I thought was possible and while I enjoy hiring it out to the experts so that I can stay in my zone of genius, it really was confidence building. It makes me better at hiring people. So just by that one phrase, it has trickled down into so many changes in my life. 

(17:15)
If you go on Facebook and you put in Binge Eating Support Group, you can request to join a free support group where I do videos and we just did a video the other day on the three thoughts that you might want to consider adopting either today or for the week that can help you move forward with the food and body image.

The second step is knowing willpower depletes from decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is a real thing and it’s something that I recently had another encounter with. It’s sneaky but I like to do inventory on my thoughts and my productivity to assess if I am getting closer to where I want to go on a monthly basis.

 (18:15)
I’ve been making a lot of changes recently, but I wasn’t feeling super effective. And with my kids being off this summer, I knew it’d be very easy to procrastinate and put everything off until August. And so while I have a goal to be present with my kids, I don’t want to let everything I’ve been working on go. It just means too much to me. So I did a journal for a few days, which is something that I work with my clients on for developing self-awareness. Taking a few days to focus on where you are without judgment and record everything to take a look and know what that next step is. I still do this. That is the beauty of everything that I do with my clients, I apply it still to this day.

(19:13)
It’s a system that you don’t just use to get out of the pattern of binging or when food has taken over your life and it’s all you think about so it’s depleting you. So the system that gets you out of that and feeling free is the same system that you apply to other goals to keep propelling you forward. The number one thing I’ve seen in terms of following up with people a year or two later to see how they’re doing is that those who commit to constantly pushing themselves and, and going after things that bring them joy keep growing and don’t fall back.

 (20:08)
I realized from this process, I am spending a lot of time creating decision fatigue on choices that really don’t deserve that much energy,  like my kids camp options.

What’s our routine for the day?

What are we going to do tomorrow?

Am I going to wake up at this time?  So much decision fatigue. Now apply that to your struggle with food and body image.

How much time do you spend a decision fatigue? What am I going to have for breakfast? What am I gonna have for lunch to have this snack?  I’m afraid I’m going to crave sweets on the way home from work and the afternoon. I don’t want to do that. What am I going to do? Should I drink a lot of water? Should I do this? Should I do that? And you’re just mentally exhausted to the point where by the end of the day, you just want to zone out. And what happens when you zone out? You eat.

 (21:43)
When you’re eating, your mind doesn’t have to fight anymore. It doesn’t have to fight these decisions anymore. Your body’s going to get what you need, whether you give it to it or not, so you may as well choose how you do it and understanding that decision fatigue is a real thing. So there’s making decisions, sticking with it and moving forward. That’s it. We’re going to camp. That’s it. I’m waking up at this time and I’m not giving into the mind drama because it helps call in more energy. It keeps your willpower, your motivation, your drive fueled. It gives you more energy, it makes you feel more empowered. 

 (22:47)
I know that I fought calendars and scheduling things for so long. I really treated it almost like,  how we react with diets. I felt so restricted. I felt so limited. I didn’t want to box myself in, so it would cause this inner rebellion similar to food. Until I realized I was carrying around all these appointments in my head that took up a ton of energy and getting it down on my calendar allowed me to release the need to remember. My brain had more space for creativity. I served my clients better and it came back to my mission again. And if it drives my mission, it drives me.

Suddenly something I fought for years become something I craved because I was able to bring it back to why it benefited me. And I remembered that I have free will so if something comes up and I don’t want to do it, guess what? I can cancel just like you can.

 (23:41)
 And the third step is enjoying the process becomes easier with faith and belief. When you believe, trust and have faith that you are supported, that life is working for you, and your gut instinct to take a shift in a new direction is the right one. Then you don’t spend time second guessing yourself all of the time.

(24:45)
You just go all in and enjoy the process. You enjoy the process because you celebrate those small wins. You enjoy the process because when the struggle comes up you control your thoughts. If I look at this without judgment or frustration that a struggle came up, we don’t avoid struggles. We’re not trying to avoid our inner bully talking to us. We just handle it in a completely different way with clarity and focus.  It’s easier to have that clarity and focus when we have reclaimed it from the decision fatigue of food and body thoughts running our lives all of the time and taking up 80 or 90% of our bandwidth.

(25:50)
It really allows you to stop focusing on needing to get to a final destination to feel X. You have the control to empower yourself to feel it now.  You don’t have to wait a month, two months or a year. That’s the best part, feeling it now. I am not at the final destination of where I want to go with the shift in the direction I have. I’m at the bottom of the mountain, but I feel the excitement. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. I feel all of that now because I don’t want to miss the journey. I don’t want to blink and have my life get to the top. I don’t want to miss all the goodness and savor all of the goodness of the struggles.

 (26:50)
All of the confidence that I’m going to gain from struggles is something to crave. I want to be present for all of it. I want you to be here and present for all of it too. So I invite you to start to look at this in a different way. I hope you guys have an amazing day and think about fueling your motivation. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you guys soon.