How to stay motivated when it's just so d*mn hard to keep it going
- the month gym rats LOVE because the New Year's Resolution members finally drop out again
- the month when that diet you tried and hated for the past 4 weeks is still not paying off and you decide it's time to live life again, meaning 'eating whatever you want'
- the month when OVER HALF of New Year's Resolutions have already been abandoned before it and over 1/3 more will be lost during February
Let's make this February (and months to come) a success for you!
Now that the excitement of New Year's has finally worn off, and reality has set back in to your life, it can be difficult to stay up with the goals you set for yourself. Here are some easy tricks you can utilize to help keep your results heading full steam ahead.
1) Set realistic goals: first off, in order to be successful, you have to set realistic goals. One problem I mentioned in my Happy New Year blog is that many people set very unrealistic goals in relation to their lifestyle or their motivation to change. This is the number one reason goals falls through the cracks very early in the year. Check back with your original goal and determine if the reason you are struggling is because it just doesn't work for your lifestyle. If it doesn't, rework and set a goal that is more realistic for you.
2) Make it public: Post your goal/plan on social media or tell friends or family members that you are working towards a goal and they will likely be there to hold you accountable in social settings when you are wanting to stray from your plan. Even if they are not the ones helping you stay on track, the idea that others know our plan, along with our innate fear of failure can do wonders to help us stay on track.
3) Recruit support: make sure the people around you are supportive or ensure you have someone around you who, may or may not be working towards the same goal, but is there for you when you need someone to talk to or someone to help remind you why you wanted to work towards that goal. Explain to them what it is you are wanting and allow them to give you a small nudge when you start trying to pull back from the hard work.
4) Track your progress: we often underestimate what a scale can do for our weight loss. Weighing yourself everyday is often unhelpful, but throwing the idea out all together can be a means of denial that you are not making changes. Another option is take photos of yourself every week or month to track how you are changing. If your goal is not weight loss related, track whatever changes you are looking for in a diary or calendar. Make sure you are measuring something or you will never know if you are hitting the mark or not.
5) Have a plan when going out to eat: if you know you are going out somewhere, check out the menu ahead of time. If there are no healthy options, ask someone to split the meal with you or ask for a to go box right away so you can take half of the food home. If you order something not as healthy, order a salad with the dressing on the side BEFORE your meal so you can fill up on that before the rest of the food comes. Do not assume you will stop yourself when you need to.
6) Do NOT buy it: if you know there is something you absolutely love to eat but cannot stop yourself at home watching TV, DO NOT BUY IT! If it is not around, you can't eat it. It's as simple as that!
7) Try a group fitness class: stuck in a rut with your workout? Or are you 'going to the gym for hours' but never break a sweat? Try a group fitness class where the energy of each other will push you harder than you thought possible. It's also a great place to meet new people.
8) Set a new goal: if you always set the same goal and it never pans out or it's too easy for you, it may be time to try something new. I used to run half marathons all the time and my goal would be to run a half. It was too easy for me and i realized, I would never push myself. I changed my goal to running a half in a certain time and it changed how I trained. Try a new activity or change how you train to help keep it fresh.
9) Form a group: many people have very similar goals. Get a group together so you all can hold each other accountable. You can also challenge each other with a little friendly competition, which makes it more fun!
10) Work with a trainer: a trainer is there to keep you accountable and motivate you when you are down. Putting a little money to invest into you and your goals is worth it.
11) Visualize what you want: Look at pictures of yourself and imagine where you want to be. Revisit this when you feel like it's too hard to get with it to refocus on what you are working towards.
12) Get more sleep: fatigue will make you less likely to stay focused on your goals. When we get tired, it is harder to stick with it during the tough times. Fatigue also causes us to craves sweets to increase our blood sugar and boost our energy for a short period of time. Sleeping more will decrease those cravings and increase your discipline each day.
13) Workout in the morning: Working out in the morning has several benefits but one is that you have less chance of deciding not to workout on your way home from work. Additionally, it will boost your metabolism in the morning and help you burn fat throughout the day. Have a hard time getting up and moving? Set out your workout gear the night before so you can roll out of bed and fly out the door with almost no time to talk yourself out of it.
14) Set your goals when you shop: Go shopping for new clothing and get it a smaller size. Make this your goal outfit and try it on every once in a while. If they don't fit, try not to get discouraged but let it push you while you are working out or about to eat something you know you did not plan for. Think back in those moments and remember how good it will feel when you can fit into that outfit.
Happy Monday and may February be a great month for the results you are looking for!