Structural Tension

Structural tension is the difference between our future desired outcome and our current state. If those points are are too close together, there is no tension…and no reason to work hard towards creating change. If those things are farther apart, there is more tension, and more of a “pull” towards achievement.

Structural Tension & Goals

If you’re working towards ANY goal, structural tension is going to be KEY in achieving that goal.

Structural tension is the purposeful increase of tension in order to help us become laser focused on our goals! It never fails: as we get closer to our desired outcomes, we start to see more slack. Our motivation wains, and the drive to reach the end goal decreases. We have to INCREASE the tension again to help ourselves stay motivated, focused, and working hard.

Let’s use a weight loss example:

If someone comes to be 50 pounds overweight, high blood pressure, poor fitting clothes, and a pre-diabetic diagnosis, there is naturally a high level of structural tension.

Factors like ill fitting clothing and the possibility of having to go on medication are highly motivating, and they start out with really healthy levels of structural tension. They NEED to see change happen, and they are COMMITTED to doing what it takes.


Once they’ve lost enough weight for their clothes to fit and their numbers to drop into healthier ranges, their structural tension decreases. Things start to feel okay, which means they aren’t really that motivated to lose the last 10-20 pounds.

In order to re-motivate and recommit, it is essential that they reevaluate their WHY and find a way to increase the structural tension in a way that will help them work towards their goals.

The same thing can happen with ANY goal you set.

A student who wants to bring up a failing grade is tempted to settle with a high C. It’s better than where they were….but not as good as it could be. They need to INCREASE their structural tension to get to the finish line!

A family trying to pay off debt is incredible motivated (and has high structural tension) when they have thousands of dollars of debt that impact their quality of life…but once the worst of it is cleared away, it’s all too tempting to use the credit cards again. Structural tension decreases….and motivation decreases.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

What do you want?

Why do you want it?

Where are you right now?

What are you willing to give up?

Who will you bring into your life to help you?

You can find more helpful videos on my Getting Healthy with Lesley YouTube playlist!