If we want to achieve anything in life, we must persevere and stick with it. Success invariably comes down to motivation.
Let's say "Sarah" wants to lose weight. She decides she'll start exercising every morning, cut down on refined sugar and processed foods. She'll eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. She'll never eat late at night. She feels determined and sticks to her plan flawlessly for a few days. But then Sarah gets distracted by work and family responsibilities. She goes to dinner with some friends, drinks a few glasses of wine, doesn't wake up in time to exercise the next morning ... and her weight loss plan goes out the window.
Did Sarah change her mind and decide she didn't want to lose weight? No. So what happened? Sarah lost her motivation, the number one most important requirement if you want to achieve anything, whether it's weight loss, getting a promotion or starting a new business.
If only we had an unlimited supply of motivation, we could achieve whatever we put our minds to. But the problem is that we often lose our motivation when we get distracted, stressed and overwhelmed by responsibilities and the everyday stuff life throws at us. We lose sight of what's important and start drifting on autopilot, driven by impulse.
So here's a better process to motivate and inspired from within:
1. Define the best version of yourself.
Instead of following someone else's idea of how your body should look or how you're supposed to live, get in tune with your heart and define the best version of YOU. Deep down, you know what that best version is. So take a piece of paper and start writing: what does that person looks like? How does she/he feel? What kind of lifestyle does she/he lead? What does it feel like to be this person?
Think of the energy levels, vitality, confidence, self-esteem, love of yourself and of the world, freedom, etc. Be as specific as possible. Make an effort to review this "best version of you manifesto" daily, and keep it in your mind throughout the day.
2. Raise your standards.
Your personal standards are the most important element to determining the quality of your life. The reason you have the body you do — whether you're happy with it or not — is because you've set yourself, consciously or not, a certain standard.
Have you ever wondered why some people achieve so much, follow through with their goals and achieve incredible success? These people don't achieve it just because they're "better" or because they have more resources or are lucky. It's because they've chosen to live by a different standard.
Consciously raise your standards and decide never to settle for average or "good enough." Aim higher. The required behavioral changes (i.e. waking up early to exercise and eating a healthy diet) will happen automatically when you want more for yourself and believe you deserve it.
3. Adopt the belief that you can do it.
The most important thing you can do to motivate yourself is to believe you can achieve whatever it is you set out to accomplish. If you're ambivalent about a goal, thinking "sure, I guess it would be nice to get in better shape" but you don't really believe it's possible, you'll always find a way to sabotage your plans and not follow through. Adopt the belief that you can succeed and don't let anything shake you from that belief.