How to Get and Stay Motivated
How to get & STAY motivated!!!
1. Set Small SMART GOALS & Celebrate your Achievements
Setting goals isn’t just about saying ‘I want to lose weight’, it’s about setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound both short and long term goals. Your aim may be to ‘lose a stone in 6 months’ but your goals should be BEHAVIOUR CHANGE focused i.e. based on HOW you are going to lose that weight. A SMART goal based on portion control could be: I will fill at least half of my main meal plates with either vegetables or salad everyday for the next 3 weeks. It may be useful to draw up a check-list to put up in your kitchen - everyday that you achieve your goal mark it off.
Once you’ve achieved a ‘mini goal’ you should treat yourself with a non-food reward such as a spa day or new t-shirt (choose your reward in advance).
Write down all of the positive changes that your new healthy lifestyle has brought you. Your achievements may be more than just what the scales are saying.. it could be to do with energy levels, health or even how you look and feel. Look at your list every time that your motivation levels start to waver.
2. Keep a Track of Your Progress.
If you’re trying to lose weight WRITE DOWN your weights each week, or if you’re trying to change your body shape take pictures of your progress or use body measurements such as inches or body fat percentage. It’s not all about the scales after all!
Write a food diary; it means that you can reflect back on all of the positive changes that you have made over the previous weeks and months.
3. Be Accountable.
Find a friend, trainer or a group that will keep you on track when you miss a workout or have an unplanned indulgence. You could call them your ‘accountability partner’. Talking aloud to someone about your goals and how you’re getting on is really powerful.
Post it, tweet it, instagram it, blog about it. If you tell others that you are striving for a major goal you will find support that keeps you accountable. Posting ‘before and after pictures’ is always a major achievement and such a confidence booster!
Keeping a food diary keeps you accountable for everything you eat (I really like myfitnesspal.com for that).. it’s also a great way of becoming more ‘calorie savvy’.
4. Change it Up.
Doing the same thing week after week can get tedious, which is why every month you should experiment with new, healthy foods and give your fitness regime a re-gig. Signing up to events such as Park Run can be great for motivation as it’s a new challenge each week (your personal bests are recorded on a personal home-page for all to see!).
Work out in a morning. Research shows that people who work-out first thing are more likely to a) keep it up for longer than those who exercise at other times of the day and b) make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
Treat yourself to new fitness gear. It will help to boost both confidence and motivation to exercise (trust me!).
Donate your ‘big clothes’. If you’re trying to lose weight don’t hold onto your ‘heavy’ clothes – visualize yourself in your new wardrobe and change it up!
5. Stay Positive.
Turn off any negative self-talk. Learn to love and accept yourself as you are NOW, before you embark on making any more goals and changes. The more positive you are the more likely you will be to achieve your goals.. always remember this.
DON’T be too hard on yourself. There really is no need to be super strict and healthy all of the time (remember the 80/20 rule!). If you like your ‘treat foods’ then don’t deprive yourself of them, simply have them in moderation i.e. plan for them and don’t have a huge portion. Allow yourself treat day’ each week) .. just keep the snack to something small and still containing goodness (some pranut butter on a bannana works well). For the other times that you get ‘peckish’ have some healthy snacks prepared!