Many people struggling to lose weight say: "I'm just not motivated, I can't do it."

Today, I'd like to muse with you on this issue of motivation. What is it? How can you acquire some?

The American motivation guru Anthony Robbins suggests we are all motivated to experience pleasure and to avoid pain.

He believes this principle governs most of our daily activities.

We are subconsciously weighing up pain versus gain and acting to experience the greatest gain.

So you go to work every day even if you'd rather not get out of a warm bed because the thought of having money to spend (gain) is better than the momentary rush of cold air as you remove the duvet (pain).

What about weight loss? You may tell me the pleasure you'll get from being slim would be enormous so you would think you should be motivated. But the problem is sometimes short-term gain looms much larger than long-term gain.

That mince pie in front of you is irresistible in the here and now and your long-term goal feels rather easy to postpone. So the mince pie wins.

How can you get that long-term pleasure to successfully convince you the mince pie just isn't worth it?

I'd like you to try this: You'll need to get your imagination in gear.

All too often, we forget the power of our imagination. It can work wonders if you allow it to.

In your mind's eye, in full colour, imagine what will give you the most pleasure when you finally reach your goal weight.

Perhaps you want to imagine yourself in your favourite boutique sporting fashionable clothes that are only a dream today. Imagine the sounds, the colours and the feel and run this scene regularly in your mind.

Recall it when those goodies beckon you when you know you have already eaten enough.

The boutique scene may not be the one that gets you into action, so you need to design you own future, perfect-slim scene.

Here's another more serious way to motivate yourself. Let's look at the other side of the coin: The pain.

Again, get your imagination in gear. Imagine what could happen if you refuse to take control of your eating habits.

Again, see it in great detail in your head. Imagine you're in the doctor's surgery and he is telling you that you are diabetic.

You've known the risk for years but you never took action.

Or take a different painful scenario. Imagine you can't get into the seat of an airplane. Imagine a child asking you in public why you're so fat.

These are all scenarios we don't want to contemplate. But instead of running away from these thoughts, face them boldly in your mind and use those images to keep your hands off that food that will pile on more pounds.

It's your choice: You can use a beautiful future to pull you forward or you can use fear of more and more weight gain to scare you into action. Or you might use a combination of both.

Whichever you do, put your imagination to use: It's free and often under-used. Sweet dreams.

*For more tips on how to prevent weight gain over Christmas (and all the time), join the telephone weight loss classes from your own home.

Phone 0800 074 0260 or visit the web site at