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Motivation to Improve: Remember the 4 A’s

It’s easy to be temporarily motivated to improve. But most of us know how long we last on any self improvement track. I’ve had countless restarts in my many years of “getting it together.” But with persistence and an eye on the goal, I’ve gotten there. How? I developed my own system. Information without a system of implementation is simply trivia. Every attempt risks failure and trust me, I’ve had several failed attempts. What helps me is to remember the four A’s. With the four A’s in your foray (I know, stick with me) we turn attempt into achieve. To successfully achieve our goal of looking our best we must first Aspire, then Approve, Assume then Affirm.

Aspire. Desiring Your Dream (I want it)

When we are young, looking good is relatively easy. Not only because we are young but because we are designed to attract. Instinctively we‘re looking to mate. As we pair off and priorities change we often relax the effort. But, when we lose our desire to attract then we truly have gotten old. Without desire passion fades and drive dissolves.

So what do you do? You fuel it. You find those trigger trippers that keep you motivated. For me it’s simple. My trigger trippers are vanity and competitive instinct. If I see an attractive, fit and put together man, my competitive instinct kicks in and I want to look like that—I want to look better than that. If he can do it, so can I. To fuel my desire I need visuals to get me in gear. I subscribe to fashion and health magazines and when I see images that inspire I cut them out and catalogue them. Though not naturally motivated to work out nor thrilled by eating healthy, my desire to look good trumps my desire for Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Coffee Crunch. Sometimes. Still with a method to fuel my desire I can make it past the pastries to the produce.  

Everyone’s fuel is different. Maybe for you it’s getting into your skinny jeans. Or perhaps it’s that photo of you on the beach. Many women look good for the appreciation of other women. Female competition. Whatever it is find it, define it and resource it. It will encourage you to remember why you care.

Approve. Deserving the best (I deserve it)

Most people are afraid to see the truth of who they really can be. They‘re stuck in the comfortable rut of the familiar. Enough to get by. It’s been said the only difference between a rut and a grave is a few feet. So what do you do? Quit digging! Procrastination kills accomplishment and forces acceptance of average. You have a choice. This is YOU, for crying out loud—your image, your reflection of self that you create each day. If you want to improve you need to approve the process to becoming your best self.

Assume. Deciding your destiny (I will have it)

If just wanting something was all it took to get it we’d all be beautiful, healthy, rich, in love and “following our bliss.” To truly stage a comeback you must fix in your mind a state of belief, not merely wish or hope. You must desire it with a state of mind that becomes an obsession. The power of a made up mind is one of the strongest forces in the human psyche. Once you have decided, powerful forces are put into play to help you create your desire. There is no maybe. There is no probably. There isn’t even any try. There is only will.  

Certainly things will get in the way, but until you decide differently, defeat is only temporary. The decision you make right now determines how you will look tomorrow, next year, and for the rest of your life. The moment of decision is the turning point to a new destiny.

Affirm. Declaring Your Vision (I am it)

I’m a believer in affirmation—visually based, verbally spoken and committed to memory affirmations. Affirmations work! Without daily affirmation of who I wanted to become, I’d probably still be waiting tables in between auditions waiting for the big break. Affirmation allows you the power to take the ordinary to amazing.  

It has been said that people rise to their own highest level of mediocrity. Mediocre is easy. As you improve, many will attempt to pull you down to their comfort level out of jealousy, or laziness, or who knows. Rather than encouragement you may hear anything from “You don’t need to go to all that work” to the less subtle “Who are you trying to impress?” The only person you need to impress is you. Looking back, how do you want to be remembered? What is your standard? If you set the bar higher you will rise to it .

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