I’m sure you already have goals you want to achieve. I previously wrote about setting yourself goals being a key ingredient to success. However, just as goals are important, it’s also extremely important to stay motivated when working towards them. So many people start their journey with these great intentions to make some serious changes and then they hit some challenges, lose momentum and don’t reach to where they want to go. So to help you stay on track I thought I’d share a few things with you that help me stay motivated and working towards my goals.
Have a clear picture of what you want – Firstly, have a clear picture of your goal. It’s nearly impossible to achieve something if you don’t really know what it is you actually want. Write down the specifics of what you want and the more detailed you can be the better. Then plan what you’re going to do to reach your goal(s) and write it down. When you have a clear picture in your head of what you want and what you are going to do to get there, it will be easier to stay on track when things get difficult. And they will get difficult, so be prepared. I am used to writing plans for people to help make their goals achievable. Please contact me if you need help.
Write down your ‘why?’ – The best way to stay motivated is to remember your ‘why?’. Your goal may be to lose weight, get fitter or stronger, but ‘why?’ it is important to you is a key to success. If you explore deeper into that ‘why?‘ then you will probably find that whilst losing weight or getting fitter is the aim, you will actually have a deeper reasoning behind it. You may want to feel more confident or perhaps it’s so you can get your health back and have more energy to be around your family. Making sure you know your ‘why?’ is so important and is going to be the key to getting you through the tough times.
Get organised – If you want to stay on track towards your goals then you need to get good at being organised. Prepare your meals in advance so there’s no chance of slipping up. If you know you’re going somewhere where there’s no healthy food then prepare healthy food to take with you (work, etc). It might seem boring and like you’re “missing out” but people will be asking you what you eat soon. When eating in restaurants, go online and check the menu so that you can plan your choices in advance and don’t make snap decisions when you arrive. Work out what days and times you are going to exercise. Fit ‘healthy eating and exercise’ into your life; plan a way to make it work and stick to it.
Find other motivators – Find photos of a body that is similar to your shape and close to what you want for yourself (make it realistic). Every time you feel unmotivated look at the photos and remind yourself what you want and again ‘why?’. Remember that you’re not trying to look like the people in these pictures; you are using their success as motivation for you to become YOUR best self. Create yourself a little vision board (on paper or your phone) of something you can look at on a daily basis to remind yourself of those goals. Before reaching for that chocolate bar, or skipping out of your exercise session, go take a look at your board and you’ll be straight back on track.
It’s okay to treat yourself – Allow yourself some treats, plan for them and have them without any guilt or regrets. Throughout the week if there is something in particular that you keep craving then tell yourself that you can have it, in moderation. I have two squares of dark chocolate most evenings as I love chocolate and it is a way of me stopping the cravings that come from denying yourself food. By overly restricting yourself you are bound to binge at some point, which will lead to the negative thoughts of ‘failing’.
Motivation is a daily habit – Staying motivated is a day-to-day thing. You don’t just become motivated and then you are motivated forever. You have to work on it every day. It’s the same with everything in life. If you want to change something that you’re unhappy with, you have to make an effort every day. You’re re-programming yourself to think and act differently to how you were previously. It takes time and the beginning is always the hardest. If you keep at it, it will get easier every day and eventually it will become part of who you are.
Remember when you are aiming to make big changes in your life, things are going to get tough and you will hit bumps along the road to success. The important thing is not let those things deter you from the bigger picture. The good news is, if you are consistent (key word) you will never have to go back to your starting place ever again. Once you know what it feels like you won’t want to stop. Trust the process and stick at it. You can, and will, do this.
If you are making some changes in your life, whether big or small, then make sure you join me on Facebook (MH Health and Fitness) and Twitter (@MHHealthandFit) and let me know what they are.
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