Understanding inspiration and motivation

Here we are starting the third
month of the New Year and struggling to keep our New Year resolutions

What makes it so difficult to stick
with the commitments of resolutions in the first place?  Do we lack the will power to achieve our
goals?  Or did we set and unrealistic
goal in the first place?

These are all important questions
but have less to do with why we fail at fulfilling a resolution.  During my life skill-coaching programmes, my
clients are constantly setting goals…and wouldn’t you know it, achieve them regularly.  So what is the difference you ask? 

Achieving a desired goal is quite
simple, if you know how and if you have set a realistic goal.  Often, the goal is unrealistic and could not
be achieved by the most successful individual.

Here is a tip to help you along
your journey to achieving your New Year’s resolution and other goals you set
for yourself throughout the year. One of the most important aspects of goal setting
is determining and writing down your purpose. 
Knowing the real purpose of the goal is the difference between being
inspired or just motivated about completing any given task. 

Inspiration will give you the
necessary inner energy and strength to continue when the going gets tough,
while being motivated requires constant external energy and reinforcement in
order to bring about the desired target. 

I like to tell coaching clients
that inspiration comes from deep within, and motivation comes from some
external source, a friend or contest. 
This is not to say motivation can’t help or is not necessary.

Let’s apply this key principle as
we examine the most common New Year resolution – losing weight.  Let’s pretend we have set a realistic resolution
to lose 10lbs in three months.  If losing
weight is your objective, it must mean you are overweight and expecting to lose
more than 10lbs would be unrealistic for most individuals who are struggling
with their weight. 

Now that we have a realistic goal,
let’s determine the purpose and write both of them down for daily reflection. 

Remember, inspiration comes from
within, so I can’t give you an answer, but I can give you examples of what
clients have told me in the past.  “I’m
losing weight so I can dance at my two-year-old daughter’s wedding,” or “My
purpose to lose weight is so I don’t have to suffer health problems like my mom

These really hit home for these
individuals and gave them the desire and inner drive to accomplish their goals
during the tough times when you’re ready to give up.

Next, write down your motivating
factors.  Again, I can’t answer this for
you but here are some examples other clients have written down. “I am going to
ask my friend to join me in my weight loss efforts,” or “I am going to email my
entire contact list with my intentions and ask them to pick a random day in the
next three months to email me and ask how is my weight loss coming along?” 

I loved this last one and have
suggested it many times.  As you work
through your goals, remember that consistent small victories will lead you to
your ultimate victory.  Five field goals
beat two touchdowns every time! Let’s get out the note pads and good luck.

 Dr. Bouliane is a chiropractor in Grand Cayman.