Motivation is the most important factor in achieving a long-term goal. If you started out the New Year with a resolution, you have probably given into temptation more than once. I mean … “How long is 2017 anyway!?” Well, it’s almost summer, and as the change in temperature approaches you may be starting to hit a lull – but never fear. While an estimated 80% of people who set resolutions give up by February, you don’t have to stop now.
As a reminder to all of you warriors out there still working on keeping your 2017 New Year’s Resolution: losing your motivation is pretty common. In fact it’s expected. But don’t worry … we’ve got you covered with these five ways to stay motivated all summer long:
1. Set a Realistic Goal
When you set out to achieve a weight loss or fitness goal, you may grab a pen and write in big, bold letters on your “To Do” list: “Lose 25 Pounds.” What you may not know is that this is one of the main reasons people give up or fail at their goals. They don’t realize that reaching a goal like, “lose 25 pounds,” requires that you actually set 5-10 smaller, more attainable goals, so that you can check each one off your list on your way to reaching your ultimate goal.
For example, if you want to lose 25 pounds, break it down into smaller, more realistic goals like this:
- Trade one soda pop for a water today.
- Drink only five sodas, all week.
- Eat one piece of fruit, instead of something from the vending machine today.
- Eat fruit five days this week as a snack, and NO foods from the vending machine.
- Go to the gym once before Friday.
- Make a friend at the gym before the end of the month.
Over time, you’ll find this approach is a much more successful way to achieve long-term weight loss and fitness success. Plus, it’s more fun to remember all of your small victories along the way to realizing your end goal. Keep track of all of your accomplishments in a journal, so you never forget just how far you’ve come, and so you’ll remember to reward yourself for it.
2. Find a Mentor
Fitness professionals on the cover of bodybuilding magazines know that their bodies don’t get like that overnight. And you need to remember that. It takes time, and a commitment to achieving your goals one step at a time to reach your ultimate goal. But you can do it. However, it is human nature for willpower to give out. It’s normal to want to skip the gym, eat more calories than are allotted for the day, and to just want to quit altogether.
That’s why it is highly suggested that if you have a weight loss or fitness goal that you find a mentor you can visualize while you work on achieving your smaller, more attainable pieces of your “Big” goal. Keep images of your mentor any place you like, to keep your mind focused on the new you that you’re working on. This could be your refrigerator, your desk, or even your bathroom mirror – it’s all good! As long as it keeps your eyes on the prize.
3. Make a Friend
Let’s just be honest, it is tough to achieve a weight loss or fitness goal. However, to stay motivated, and achieve your long-term goal, you will need to build a strong support system. You may find new friends at your group fitness class, at the Farmer’s Market, or even sitting next to you at the gym resting in-between sets. Each of these people you meet can become a part of your support system.
And here is just one more motivational must: Studies have shown that placing a friendly bet can give you the kick in the you-know-what you need to keep going. Researchers recently revealed that financial incentives worked to increase physical activities when used as a reward system. So, find your weight loss, or workout buddy, and place your bets! It’s clinically proven to get you motivated and moving.1
4. Cheat. But, Do it Right.
The number one mistake most people make with a weight loss or fitness goal is that they believe they must stick to strict rules or self-made guidelines. But they don’t. That’s just it, too … the more you feel like you are suffering through a diet or an exercise routine – the more you will want to stop. So, don’t sabotage yourself. Go ahead, but do it wisely.
The key to cheat days is not to put so much pressure on yourself that you feel like you’ll never be able to reach your big goal. Relax. Cheat a little. But then, get right back on the plan. One cheat day is usually enough to relieve the pressure of following a new strict diet. And just remember, there’s no treat better than loving the way your body looks—even in a swimsuit!
5. Get Online
When your running shoes feel like they weigh 100 pounds, or when you eat chocolate cake – not just a slice, the whole thing – or when you just want to complain about how much dieting sucks, you need a listening ear. And we are here for you! Check back with the Nucific blog any time you need extra support. We’ve also got a newsletter with helpful weight loss tips and recipes that you can get sent right to your inbox.
You may also like to join an online forum that allows you to share your ideas and victories, as well as those little losses and cheats with others who are going through the same thing. There are tons of forums available online, so just search it. You might be surprised just how many people are out there, ready and able to help you along your own journey to the new you.
While long-term weight loss and fitness success comes from hard work and dedication, it can be difficult to keep going through all of the nay-sayers, and bad habits tempting you to give up and slip back into your old ways. Just remember these five ways to stay motivated, and incorporate them into your daily life. They’re sure to get you all the way through this summer with the lean and sexy body you’ve been working on since January 1.
For more confidence building tips and diet suggestions, keep reading here:
1. To Encourage Physical Activity, Potential to Lose a Financial Reward is More Effective than Gaining One. Results Demonstrate the Power of Using Loss Aversion to Motivate Health Behavior Change. Penn Medicine. Feb. 15, 2016.