"I just want to drop about ten pounds before the wedding."

"My class reunion is coming up next year and I need to be more in shape before then." 

"My ex-girlfriend invited me for a drink next Friday, I need to get my crap together before then." 

Any of these statements sound familiar? Many of us have uttered, or at least thought, something similar at some point.

Life can present us with situations where we are either obliged to interact with people or take part in some activity that can cause us trepidation. Why? Typically it's because we haven't been taking care of ourselves, our finances, or some other aspect of our life. And since we inevitably "reap what we sow," these months or even years of neglect can come to fruition at what feels like exactly the wrong time.

The problem is, we can't undo the negative consequences of our long-term actions overnight, as lovely as that would be. So, when that person, social event, or opportunity that requires financial resources pops up, we panic.

But why should these things cause us panic when we feel no impetus to live "better" the rest of the time? Usually it's because we are extrinsically motivated. We only feel external events or people are important enough to live the way we know we would rather be living anyway.

The problem with allowing yourself to only be motivated by external factors, is that they inevitably change, come and go, or end. So then what? When the reunion is over, the relationship ends, or an opportunity has come and gone do we just sit back down and wait for another reason to stand up again? Are you not worth enough to live in the manner you'd like anyway? Every day?

Before you mumble something to yourself about not being good enough, let me stop you right there. YES. YOU. ARE. You are absolutely worth taking care of every day. Believe it. Until you find a way to power your goals by internal, rather than external, motivators, you'll continue this pattern.

If you feel you're struggling with not having the self-respect that would be helpful in this regard, there are many resources available like this article from Psychology Today. Maybe there's some underlying issues best talked through with a therapist. What are you daily habits like? Let's talk more about that in a subsequent post. But for now...believe it. Accomplish those goals for you, not for some outside entity.

An extra upside? Next time one of these events comes along, you won't have to panic. You'll already be ready. <3