You may have gotten excited about a new weight loss program, do well for about a week, then completely fizzle out.
I used to do that all the time until I discovered how to get out of that self-defeating cycle.
Believe it or not, there is a biological reason why this happens. But you can learn how to make motivation last.
When your brain starts something new, it releases a neurotransmitter called ‘Dopamine.’
Think of it as like kindling wood to start a fire.
Dopamine makes you feel energetic and excited when you start pursuing a goal. But there’s only one problem.
Just like kindling wood burns hot and fast, so does Dopamine! The high from starting something new typically lasts only 4-10 days.
That’s why most people start feeling discouraged when they don’t feel the same level of excitement as they did at the beginning of a new program.
They feel their fire going out. They think this is a sign that they shouldn’t change. At this point, many people quit.
But that is a gigantic mistake!
The ultimate solution is to use a powerful, unseen ability the Lord gave you to stoke your faith – much like stoking a fire to keep it burning.
What is this force? I call it imagination excitement. In this article, I share how this works and give you 5 questions to excite your imagination for lasting motivation.
With your imagination, God empowered you to paint mental pictures of things not seen. Unfortunately, many of us use this ability the wrong way.
Here’s the issue: Even though Jesus lives in your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit after you accept Him as your personal Savior, your mind is not renewed automatically.
So even though you are a new creation, it is possible to remain in bondage to your old ways of thinking and acting.
For transformation to occur, you must be intentional about reading or listening to God’s word, meditating upon it, and then applying what you learn.
Because many of God’s people do not know what God’s word says about health, they use their imagination to paint tragic pictures!
They consider what their eyes or circumstances whisper to them and then make their decisions based on that.
But consider what Hebrews 11:1-3 says about faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Compare that to our definition of imagination: “the ability to paint mental pictures of things not seen.”
I am convinced that God built imagination into us as a gift. He designed it to help us strengthen our faith, especially during times of doubt or discouragement.
God designed us to use our imagination to paint pictures of triumph, not tragedy.
To use your imagination properly in your weight loss journey, you need to know what God’s word says about health – and then paint a mental picture of what that looks like in your life!
Not only that, but return to that picture throughout your day, experiencing the joy and excitement of it.
When doubt or discouragement knocks on your door, use that as a signal to start praising God for success – even though you can’t see it yet. Keep taking wise actions and keep praise on your lips until you experience your breakthrough!
Just as you can’t eat one meal and expect that you’ll never need to eat again for the rest of your life, so you feed upon God’s word, your vision, and praise Him throughout the day.
Your goal is to mature your motivation into “Commitment,” which has more stability than motivation.
Commitment is when you declare, “This is it. I am not going to turn back, no matter my mood. I know that this is the right thing to do and I am going to keep doing it no matter what. If I make a mistake, I am going to rise again.”
For an example of commitment, let’s look at how Abraham obtained God’s promise for him. Abraham was old and childless. Yet God promised Abraham a son:
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ (Genesis 15:4-5).”
Romans 4:19-22 tell us how Abraham responded to God’s promise:
And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
That’s our pattern for success! Have you found a word from the Lord with which you can put your imagination to work?
Here is one:
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5).”
I recommend reading this scripture out loud (or other Biblical health scripture). Allow it to capture your imagination. Then answer the following questions:
- What mental pictures are you seeing?
- How would your daily life change as these words manifest?
- How would the words you speak to yourself and about yourself change?
- What good things would you eat as you believe they satisfy you and renew your youth?
- How could amazing health energize your life?
Write down your answers to these questions as if they are your daily reality. Why am I asking you to describe your day?
I believe you can’t control your life unless you can control your day.
Your daily habits determine the direction of your life.
Read your vision daily and keep it where you can review it easily. Remember, you want to keep that inner fire burning, so you need to keep stoking it!
It is a lot easier to keep an existing fire burning brightly through periodic stoking than letting that fire die, then having to start one all over again from scratch.
In this way, you allow your motivation time to mature into commitment. With commitment comes consistency and with consistency comes ultimate success!
Be blessed with health, healing, and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. When it comes to weight loss, do you often know what you should do but have a hard time doing it?
I struggled with this issue on my own weight loss journey, but I discovered that “Nothing is different until you think differently.” – Pastor James MacDonald
The value of the Take Back Your Temple program is that you will learn how to think differently through using Biblical keys to overcome obstacles. You’ll discover how to win the Spiritual and mental battle that often causes us to become inconsistent and get off-track on our weight loss journey.
Join a community of like-minded Christians losing weight and keep it off.