It’s happened to every one of us at least once in our lifetime: at one point or another, we’ve signed up for a diet or fitness program, only to drop it a week or month later because it just wasn’t working out. Part of this is because of how these diets and workout regimens are set up in the first place. But because we can’t use that as an excuse, we need to address a few ways to stay on target and hit our health goals. In order to give you a leg up, we’ve written this blog to provide some motivational tips while you’re hitting up your gym…and your refrigerator.
Tip #1: Small, attainable goals are critical
When we first make a decision to do something, we always look at the end result. While this is an important step in getting motivated, it’s also the number one reason why people fail to proceed toward the goal. The reason? It’s too far away! We want instant weight loss (hence the constant advertising mentioning weight loss in days) and if we don’t get it we lose the motivation to proceed.
Small goals are important to maintaining your motivation. If you need to lose 20 pounds, break it down into chunks of five over the course of a year. While we often don’t realize it, setting goals is tough work! How can we gauge where expectations and reality are one and the same? We must experiment, and the best way to do that is to set small goals, and keep the larger one from demoralizing us.
Tip #2: Look for help
Getting help is one of the most important steps you take toward staying motivated. Find friends that want what you want. Put your heads together and come up with goals for yourselves. The challenge will keep both of you motivated!
Personal trainers and nutritionists work for similar reasons: they help you set goals and they challenge you to do a little better each week. As an added benefit, they are experts in their respective fields, meaning you know without a doubt that they understand your current health and wouldn’t give you more than you could handle.
Tip #3: Planning will make or break a good fitness program
When you have a plan, motivation comes easy. As far as losing weight goes, your two plans will involve shopping lists and gym schedules. When you’ve set aside time each week to hit the gym, there are far fewer excuses you can use to not go. At the same time, planning a shopping list, or more importantly, creating a meal plan for each week, will help you identify things at the store you do need, and help you ignore the things that you don’t.
The good news is, good planning eventually becomes routine, and routine makes everything a lot easier!
Tip #4: Food diaries keep you on target
Food diaries, according to a study done by the Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, has found that people who keep food diaries lose twice as much weight as those who don’t . That’s a lot of additional weight loss! The reason why they are so successful has to do with how we visualize our eating habits. When we see what we’ve eaten over the course of the day, we are much more likely to make better eating decisions.
Tip #5: Look for fun activities, not just gym activities
For a lot of people, going to the gym is awfully boring. No one wants to run on a treadmill for an hour and then throw themselves onto a bunch of awkward looking machines. To avoid this, take classes! Spin class is a blast, and you can meet people that are equally motivated. You can also take self-defence classes, as these are also a good way to stay fit and safe at the same time.