When you’re beginning to make changes, staying motivated isn’t hard. You’re excited about all the great things that reaching your goal will get you. However, after you’ve had some time to adjust to the changes and realize how much work they’re going to take, it’s pretty easy to lose that initial energy and want to go back to the way things used to be.
Here are some great ways to keep your motivation burning strong:
If your final goal is so far in the distance you can’t see it, it can be difficult to keep working toward it. So, the best thing you can do is create some milestones along the way to help you remember that you’re heading in the right direction.
For example, if you want to lose 40 pounds, that can feel like a lot. However, if you break it down into increments of ten, it will seem not quite so daunting. Yes, you’ll have to lose ten pounds four times, but doesn’t that sound easier than losing 40 pounds?
Not only does it feel better to think of smaller increments, it also helps keep you motivated when you are reaching goals along the way to your final goal. Every time you reach a set-point you reaffirm that you can do it!
What good is a goal if it doesn’t have a reward? You don’t have to do anything big, just something small will do (unless it’s a big goal that you’ve hit). The key is to find a reward that makes you want to work to achieve it.
Since everyone is unique, what motivates you might not motivate someone else. For that reason, you want to come up with your own rewards. Here are some ideas you may want to consider:
<> Save money for each pound you lose. When you hit a goal, spend it.
<> Give yourself a day of spa treatment – at home or professional.
<> Rent a movie you’ve been dying to see.
<> Buy clothes to show off all your hard work.
Some people use food as a reward. Should you? If allowing yourself to eat a chocolate bar will keep you on the straight and narrow the rest of the time, then go for it. But, if it could start a deadly downward spiral of unhealthy eating, you’re best to pick non-food options instead.
Face Your Inner Motivation
What is it about weight loss that truly motivates you? Sure, maybe you want health or you’d like to wear those jeans you wore in high school, and if you do then great. But is that all?
Although contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to want to lose weight to make an ex regret walking away. And, if you want to be the one that has all eyes on you when you walk in the room or be considered the hottest person on the block, then so what? If that’s what you want, then go out and get it!
Not sure what your true motivator is? One way to figure it out is to imagine the future you. Picture yourself once you’ve hit your goal. What do you notice about the future you that is different from the you that you are right now? Are you more self-confident?
Maybe you’re more comfortable setting boundaries with other people so they don’t walk all over you? Or, perhaps you have more energy to play with your kids or grandkids.
Once you pin-point the differences, you’ll know what it is that you’re attempting to achieve. And, it’s these things that are going to keep you going when the going gets tough, which it will from time to time.
Research suggests that people who write their food down lose higher amounts of weight both short and long term. According to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, those who journaled lost around six more pounds than the participants that didn’t.
Journals don’t have to be just for food either. You can also track your feelings, thoughts, concerns and celebrations. The great thing about journals is that they can help you see patterns.
For example, you may notice that you’re hungrier after drinking a diet soda than when you drink regular water. Don’t forget to write down your upcoming rewards. Keeping your eye on the prize will help you stay motivated when you’re ready to give in.
Ask for Help
If you’re struggling, there’s no shame in asking someone to help you. Remember, it takes more strength to go to someone for guidance than it does to fight your battles alone. One of the best places to find help is online.
There are forums, Facebook pages and all sorts of groups you can connect with. It may be daunting if you’re a little introverted, but remember that other people struggle too.
And, by you stepping up and talking about it, you may be helping others just as much as you’re helping yourself. When you’re part of a network of people who have similar goals, it helps you stay accountable.
On top of that, you just might make a friend or two!