Raise The Stakes

One of the biggest requests I get in my life coaching practice is, "help me get motivated". I hear, "I would really like to do this but..."

Or, "I would really like to stop doing this but..

...I just can't get motivated."

First of all let me make it clear that I am completely incapable of motivating you - as is; your Mother, your husband, your BFF.

The only person capable of motivating you is... you.

I can see you bitching at me in your head right now... "well then what the Hell do I need you for?"

You need me to help you Raise The Stakes.

Every time you do something you claim you want to stop, and every time you don't do something you claim you want to start, you are making a choice. We all know what Yoda says, "do or do not, there is no try".

Every choice is driven by one of two things - you are moving away from pain, or moving toward pleasure. The higher the stakes... the easier the choice.

Wanna know how good that hot, fragrant piece of flaky sour-dough looks to me? Good, awesome, irresistible. Except I do resist. Contrary to the belief of this idiot, I don't resist because I am trying to lose weight on some new fad diet. I resist because I have celiac disease and if I were to eat that lovely, yummy piece of sourdough (perhaps dripping with some butter or dipped in extra-virgin olive oil... be still my heart) it would hurt...badly. I'm moving away from pain.

Likewise, wanna know how easy it is for me to get on a plane even though I have a horrible fear of flying?


OK I admit I need hubby's hand and a trashy magazine, but you get the picture. It's easy because I love, love to travel to new places and have new experiences. I'm moving toward pleasure.

So the lesson is... Raise The Stakes.

If your reason for wanting to work out is because you want to lose weight, and you are not working out? Moving away from the pain of working out is winning over moving toward the pleasure of a hot bod. I hate to exercise but I once got up every morning at 5:30 for 4 months in a row to go to the gym. Why? I was going to a wedding where I would come face to face with my husband's ex-wife for the first time. I was going to take some delicious pleasure out of the hot bod.

The best thing? You are in control. You know what makes you tick.

Raise The Stakes.

Make sure that the pain you are running from is pretty damn scary OR the pleasure you are running toward makes your heart beat a little faster with anticipation.

Today. Write down one thing that you are not doing that you would like to do. Raise The Stakes. Every day for the next week when you are about to make a choice to "do, or do not" consider the consequences. Are you making the choice you want to? No? Raise The Stakes again.


*Photo by Aaron Jacobs