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Motivation: Intensity

We have ignited a spark and have a plan for persistence. What about intensity? Intensity is the concentration and vigour that goes into pursuing a goal. There are some who can coast along and be successful in achieving their goals, while others require more intensity to achieve a similar outcome. Think back to other areas of success - do you tend to require more concentration and energy to make progress on projects or are you most successful when you sustain longer periods of low intensity effort? Next question, have you been taking a similar approach to your health? If not, I wonder if you adopted a similar intensity strategy that has been successful in the past to your health goals, would it change the progress you see?

For people who in other areas of their lives are coasters - they chip away at projects day by day over a longer period of time - diving into a full-on lifestyle overhaul may feel overwhelming. It may result in burnout in short order. Taking a lower intensity, consistent approach may be the way to go. Because weight loss and health change can be a longer, ongoing process this approach may work for many people.

However, for those who tend to jump into things with both feet, taking a slow and steady approach may feel like you are being held back. You want action and that will ultimately help with adherence and staying engaged in the process. While you may progress at a realistic and heathy rate (quick weight loss is never recommended except under very specific circumstances and under doctor supervision), higher intensity action may keep these folks excited and fired up.

Whatever your style has been in the past, try adopting that strategy here. After a couple of weeks check in with yourself. How are things going? Have you enjoyed the process more? If not, adjust!

Keep in mind too, that for many of us intensity can come in waves or seasons. We may have a period of intensity, like when we join a challenge group, find a new class, or buy a new cookbook. After a while the intensity may simmer down, but it isn't gone. The desire to be stronger and healthier burns even once we are in maintenance. All it takes sometimes is a breath of fresh air to rekindle the embers into a glowing flame.

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