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“If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” -Derek Sivers
The strategy of weight loss is easy- you consume less energy than you expend. However, the psychology of weight loss is where people struggle the most. The key to any transformation is to make the process require less “grit” (struggle, consistent white knuckling) and instead shift to rely on intrinsic drive.
Intrinsic drive can be defined as being self-motivated to do a task for the enjoyment of it without a need for reward. When you have drive you have ‘energy for free.’ Drive comes when you’ve aligned neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine to work in your favor.
Think about when you’re interested in something like a specific task, there’s no ‘resistance’ toward doing that task. When there is no interest in a task, you feel friction. You have to expend more mental energy to engage in that task – and that mental energy is costly.
Here are a few habits you can start putting into practice to help increase your drive so you can achieve your goals with less effort and more enjoyment:
Have Clear AF Goals
There are three main types of goals you should have while on your fitness journey:
- Massive goals
- Chunked goals (weeks/months)
- Clear goals (what do I need to do today)
Have A Purpose
Beyond a goal, be crystal clear on WHY you want to achieve that goal. Then ask why again, and again, and again…
Find Enjoyment, Create Passion
Sure, if you’re trying to lose weight you may not find it enjoyable at first. But people who are successful long term in reaching and maintaining their goals develop enjoyment from the newly established habits and behaviors that they engage in. They find enjoyment in eating healthier options rather than going for sweets like they used to. They find enjoyment and passion for feeling better, moving better, looking better and seeking out ways to do so.
Stay Curious and Learn About the Process
Curiosity is the kindling that turns into the flame of drive and intrinsic motivation. Just learning about things you’re interested in or are interested in doing (such as losing weight) is a great way to start the process of switching from a grit-based process to an intrinsically motivated process.