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Staying Motivated: Focus On Your Progress Not The Gap!

Feb 22, 2022

Having goals of how you want your life to be after your WLS is incredibly important. At the same time, when your progress starts to slow and it still seems like you still have so far to go, it can be easy to lose motivation.

How do we avoid this and stay inspired even when there's a lot of work still to do? The answer is to simply shift your focus away from the gap and towards the gains you've already made!

At Fresh Start, we're huge advocates of setting goals and picturing the future health that you want to create. We call this a 'Health Vision' (see this article on how to create your own Health Vision). The purpose of the Health Vision is to motivate us emotionally - to get ourselves to the point where it's exciting to move into the future, guided by this vision of what we want to achieve. 

We must remember though that the vision is not a 'measuring stick'. It's an ideal of what we want to achieve.

How we measure our progress towards what we want to achieve can make all the difference in whether we stay motivated or not. In fact, it's game changing!

If we constantly measure forward against our vision, and focus on the space between where we are now and what our ideal is, then we're in the 'gap'. When we're in the gap, it's easy to feel like we're failing because there's always a distance between 'here and now' and 'there'. This is when it's easy to become disillusioned and feel unhappy as you lose confidence.

If, however, you measure back to where you started, then you're rewarded by seeing all the progress that you've already made. When you do this, you'll generally feel more satisfied about how things are going, and your confidence gets an immediate boost. 

Even if you haven't taken all the steps that you've set for yourself, that's nothing to beat yourself up about. Instead, it's an opportunity to celebrate the progress that you have made and the lessons that you've learned. You can then use this to recalibrate and stay on track or get back on track if needed.

So, always measure backwards rather than getting stuck in the gap, which can smash your confidence. It's so important to protect your confidence in order for you to keep making progress and to keep implementing changes into your lifestyle.

How do we do this in practice?

We highly recommend keeping a journal next to your bed, and at the end of each day, simply record as many 'wins' as you can think of, no matter how small those wins were. Even if it wasn't such a good day, and perhaps you didn't achieve everything you intended during the day, compare that to how you were before you had WLS and how far you've still come since pre-surgery!  Next, plan what your 'wins' will be for tomorrow, no matter how big or small. This simple process will help to keep you focused on your goals while also recognising your achievements along the way. 

It is always worth celebrating what you've accomplished, no matter how small that accomplishment is! Celebrating your wins is one of the most important and also one of the most overlooked steps of successful goal setting. When you train your mind to look for the progress and wins that you're making then you'll see your confidence soar, and when you're feeling confident you'll tend to make more goals and take more positive actions, giving you an upwards spiral of emotion and results!

If you're struggling to find things to celebrate then ask yourself instead 'what have I learned'? Again, this helps to reframe our perceived failures and move us towards our ideal future with more confidence, rather than feeling lost or disillusioned. Give it a go for at least 7 days and see the difference it makes... enjoy!

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