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How To Get Motivated To Exercise 

With Hypnosis & NLP

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By



hypnotherapy exercise cdThere are two mental states that must be satisfied before a person will begin to feel an urge to exercise, and then actually start an exercise program. These mental states are called “Desire,” and “Decision.”

 

Desire: A want, crave or a wish for

Decision: Making up of one’s mind / a verdict or judgment

 

The motivation to exercise generally starts with a vague idea or notion that by exercising, something about one's life will improve. It may be their health, strength, endurance, appearance, love life, self-esteem, or even their safety. This vague idea or notion gives one their Desire.

 

You probably already have the desire to exercise, or you wouldn't be reading this article. In order to actually start an exercise program, you have to make a decide to exercise. Since you haven’t started exercising, or at least exercising in earnest, it simply means that you have not decided to. . . yet. So what you need is to feel motivated to make a serious “decision” to exercise.

 

Motivation, we all need it. I have never known anyone to do anything without motivation. If you think about it, people don't get out of bed or get dressed without feeling motivated. They do not eat or wash themselves without first feeling motivated to do so.

 

The source of each of our motivations is a belief. Think about it, if you did not believe that you could get burned if you touched a hot stove, you would not feel motivated to be careful. If you did not believe that the gnawing sensation in your stomach meant that you were hungry, you would not feel motivated to eat.

 

When it comes to starting a regular exercise program, you will need to feel a great deal of motivation to make that decision. And you'll need to feel a great deal more motivation to maintain that regular exercise program.

 

Motivation is based on the ideas that we believe. So you will need to figure out what ideas will motivate you (when you start to believe them). Because when you feel powerfully motivated, you will exercise consistently.

Thanks to NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and hypnosis for motivation, it’s a lot easier to learn how to believe these new ideas than you probably think it is.  However, you do not believe the ideas that will motivate you to exercise consistently at this point, or you would probably not be reading this.

You have a desire to exercise, but that desire by itself isn't strong enough. It hasn't motivated you because you don't really believe the ideas that are triggering those feelings of desire. Or maybe you do believe them, but they are not what you, as an individual, need to believe to feel motivated to exercise.

For the purpose of this discussion, we need to define a few words:

Doubt: Uncertain/distrustful/dubious - “maybe it’s this way, and maybe it isn’t.”

Belief: Trust/faith/tenet - A state of mind devoid of all doubt. In other words, belief means, “this is the way that it is.” 

Highly valued criteria: What is most important to you, as an individual.

When you totally believe that unless you start an exercise program, your highly valued criteria is in jeopardy, you will feel the motivation that you require to start exercising. We call this is a negative motivator, because it’s a belief that motivates you by giving you bad feelings. Negative motivators are very powerful.

When you believe that if you do exercise with regularity, your highly valued criteria will become enhanced, you will also feel the motivation that you require to exercise. This is a positive motivator, because it motivates you by promising good feelings if you exercise.

The first task is for you to figure out what your most highly valued criteria are. In other words, what are the most important things in your life? Here is a hint for you: Your most highly valued criteria are usually intangibles. For example: Money would not be highly valued criteria, but the freedom, fun, or security that money can provide would be. Write your list of highly valued criteria down on a piece of paper.

Next you need to figure out what you need to believe to feel motivated to exercise. Here is the good news, sort of: Logic has nothing to do with belief. Things don’t have to be logical for you to believe them. As a matter of fact, they rarely are. So forget logic!

Just figure out what you need to believe to feel motivated to exercise no matter how ridiculous it may sound. When you figure this out, you may find that you already have a belief that contradicts this new idea. That’s okay. We can deal with that if it’s ecological.

The format for the negative motivator beliefs will be: "I believe that unless I exercise regularly, something bad will happen to my most highly valued criteria.”

As you write down the list of negative motivator ideas that you will need to believe to feel motivated, make sure that you’ve stated them in the positive. In other words, always state what you want or what will happen. Never state what you don’t want or what won’t happen. Eliminate the “not” word from the beliefs.

In this example we will say that feeling loved is your most highly valued criteria.

Wrong: “I believe that if I remain in my current physical condition, I'm not going to be loved by anyone.”

Correct: “I believe that if I remain in my current physical condition, it's impossible for anyone to love me.”

Now take the list of your highly valued criteria, and create a list of positive motivators. “I believe that if exercise regularly: (something very important to me will be enhanced).”

Again, write down the new ideas that you will need to believe. Make sure that you’ve stated them in the positive. In other words, always state what you want, never what you don’t want. Eliminate the “not” word from the beliefs.

Wrong: “I believe that if I exercise regularly, I won't be stopping anyone from loving me.”

Correct: “I believe that if I exercise regularly, It will be easy to find someone to love me.”  

The next step is to modify the computer codes in your brain to make yourself actually believe these motivational ideas. Now for a shocker: Belief has nothing to do with logic or reality. But it does have everything to do with your perception of reality. In other words, it has a lot to do with the way that we see things.

Our belief systems are based in our unconscious mind. The unconscious is like a computer. Computers don’t reason. The input controls the output. To demonstrate, I want you to think of anything that you already believe without the slightest bit of doubt. Make it a belief that makes you feel good.

For instance, it’s easy for most people to believe that they love their children. If that is true for you, make a mental image that makes you feel that love.

I’m going to ask some questions, and there aren’t any right or wrong answers.

Is your mental image a moving picture, or a still?

Is it in color, or in black and white?

Is it close or far?

Is it focused or fuzzy?

Is it normally bright, overly bright, or dim?

Is there a border on it?

Is it borderless?

Is it a panorama?

Whatever your answers are, write them down. These are the computer codes that your unconscious uses to indicate your feelings of belief. In this case they are the codes for positive belief because you’ve chosen a belief that gives you a good feeling. You have just calibrated your positive belief.

All positive belief pictures are bright and focused. If yours aren't, you probably don’t really have total belief. You probably have an element of doubt. So find another belief to base your calibration of belief on.

If you think of something that you doubt, and you make a mental image of it, one or more of these computer codes will probably be different. Similarly, if you have a belief that gives you a bad feeling, (a negative belief): one or more of those codes will probably be different.

In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) we call these computer codes submodalities. In this case they are called visual submodalities.

Now you will want to calibrate a negative belief. So repeat the same exact process, but do so using an idea that you already believe, that makes you feel bad.

Once you have calibrated your positive and your negative beliefs, it’s a simple matter to manipulate what you believe to motivate yourself to exercise.

So, to summarize, using the above example: “I believe that if I remain in my current physical condition, it's impossible for anyone to love me.”

1.  Sense how motivated you feel to exercise.

2.  Make a mental image that illustrates the above belief.

3.  Adjust the computer codes (visual submodalities) of the image to match the submodalities from your calibrated negative belief.

4.  If you are right handed, move your eyeballs (and your image) up to your left and hold it there for five seconds. If you are left handed, to the opposite. This will help you to quickly memorize the belief.

5.  Now sense how motivated to exercise you feel. Do you feel more motivated? Less motivated? Or the same?

Using this technique you can make yourself believe almost anything by making a picture in your mind that illustrates your new idea and then adjusting your mental image to match your calibrated belief pictures.

And if you have a belief that is holding you back, you can use the same technique to change that belief to doubt by changing one or two of the submodalities and memorizing it that way. Now that you can motivate yourself to exercise.

My "Urge To Exercise!" program utilizes a combination of Traditional Hypnosis, Ericksonian Hypnosis, and NLP to create a powerful urge to start an exercise program, and then exercise consistently.  

© 2006 By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved. 

Alan B. Densky, CH is an NLP Practitioner. He started his practice of NLP & hypnosis in 1978. He offers a broad range of hypnotherapy CDs, including an interactive NLP Six-Step Reframing CD on his Neuro-VISION Hypnosis site. Also offered are his Free hypnosis research library, MP3 downloads, and NLP & hypnosis newsletters.