Motivation to Start

Zechariah Newman —  October 3, 2013 — 6 Comments

Heidi had a great question on the last post. Here it is, “I’m curious though, what do you do, or what can we do, to get ourselves to take that small step towards our goal?” Here is my answer Heidi. There are many things that keep us from our goals. Two huge and obvious ones are to start and to keep going through the long hall. So today’s post is answering the first question, starting. Anthony Robbins says, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” I believe this is dead on. The premise is that human’s seek pleasure and try to avoid pain. The greater driving force is the avoidance of pain. Here is a four-part exercise that has helped me to start.

smoky sunset

1. State your goal on paper. Don’t think it, give specifics. It has to be measurable and it has to have a deadline. Writing it down pulls the goal or dream out of the clouds and puts meat on its bone. If it is not written, it is a wish not a goal. My example from the last post was I wanted to lose ten pounds in two months.

2. Why? This is often skipped and it is what puts bullets in the gun. The why behind it all is what will get you to step from no movement to running downhill. You need to have a strong why, otherwise you will sit and not move. My example: I need to lose ten pounds to lower my blood pressure, live longer, and feel better about myself.

3. What pain would happen if you don’t accomplish this? Remember we avoid pain and seek pleasure. Really think through this. What pain will occur if you don’t accomplish this? Write it down. Really think and don’t just give surface answers. Five years from now you have not moved. How do you feel? My example: My health would get worse, less energy, my life would be shorter, lower confidence, and health care costs would be higher, etc.

4. What pleasure will you receive from hitting the mark? This goes back to the why. There is a reason you want the goal or dream. Name what you will receive. Even with selfless things there is a payoff in this life or the next. This is uncomfortable because it is seen as selfish, but it really is not. It can be we feel good when we give things. There is nothing that brings me greater pleasure than playing a part of leading someone to the Lord. My example: I would be fit, enjoy the outdoors more, confident, lower health costs.

To repeat myself from the first post it starts and finishes with God. Otherwise we are merely changing external behavior. This has helped me to change some things. I hope it helps you, Heidi and many others.  I can say now I enjoy running. Something I had to force is now missed when I don’t. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to start?

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  • Good stuff here. I especially like the “why” part. If we don’t have a good enough why, we might not even get out of bed in the morning.


  • Thanks Hutch. Love your blog buddy.

  • Heide

    Thank you so so much for answering my question, AND sharing your exercises to start. I actually got out of bed early this morning and went for a run because I want to be healthier. I’ve been saying it for weeks, and today I actually went out to do it.

    • Woot! Woot! Way to turn it into action. That is so cool. Day by day look at what you wrote down. You can hit your goal.

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